Give Thanks

Gratitude Day 327

Fri., Sept. 20, 2019

Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

It was right there in front of me. I just needed to read it.

“Give Thanks.”

Late last night, I pulled out a few fall decorations. Company is arriving today. Maybe I should make the house look a hare bit more like fall?

Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

As Hubby Rick snoozed in the TV room, I quietly moved a few things around. Pulled out the pumpkins. Switched out a few flowers. Drank in the scent from the pumpkin candle. And called it “good enough.”

This morning, I walked through the dining room. Fog hung outside, heavy and dense. Light was barely breaking through to begin the day. Crisp air wafted through the front parlor, coming through an open window. I sat on the couch in this room, which seldom has visitor. With a cup of coffee in hand, slowed down and saw the words.

“Give Thanks.”

The list would be long and cumbersome and laborious if I accounted for everything I am thankful for. It would begin and end with blessings I have beyond my imagination.

And so, let’s just leave it at, “Give Thanks.”

What are you thankful for today?

For the ability to give thanks and rejoice today, I am grateful. 

Almighty God – May I rejoice and be thankful for all the blessings I have in my life today. “Give Thanks” seems too shallow. Maybe not enough. Thankfully, Your heart knows all that is in my heart.  Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 161 – Thankful

Thurs., Nov. 22, 2018 – Thankfulthankful

Psalm 118:29 – Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.  

The pies are baked. The corn casserole for the community dinner is laid out, ready to be assembled in the morning and popped into the oven. Yes, I cheated and bought the dinner rolls rather than making them. Someday, I’m going to really learn how to make good dinner rolls. But not this week.

Instead of making dinner rolls, I had a meaningful conversation with a dear friend on Thanksgiving Eve night. In the moment, conversation was a higher priority than making rolls. And I don’t regret the choice.

A year ago, I would have tried to do both: make bread and carry on a conversation. These days, I trying to have a little less busy-body Martha in my life and a little more contemplative Mary.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m wasting time.

Sometimes, I feel like I don’t get enough done.

Sometimes, I delay doing something seemingly important for another day.

It’s hard to let go of Martha. But she’s trying.

Why? Because I don’t want to miss out on the little things. Too often, we focus only on the milestone moments of life: baptisms, first day of school, prom night, graduation, first car, first job, first apartment by ourselves. Marriage, first child and buying a house. A 40th birthday and then a 50th. All important events. All milestones. All significant.

But what about the afternoon sitting by the lake? The bike ride with a grandchild? The good book that just wants to be read?

When Hubby Rick and I were dating, I remember us promising each other to make sure we always would take time to just be with each other. We have … and we haven’t. More so because of my lack of prioritization than Rick’s. We have wonderful moments and we have days in which we don’t see each other awake.

give thanks

How might we find the important little moments of today? Put down our phones and have a conversation with the people around us rather than on social media. Turn off the television during dinner and go around the table and share something that you so appreciate in your life. And then, keep the T.V. off and play a game that works for all the ages present. Go outside and take a walk and marvel at the beauty of the world around you. And when you do pick up the phone, may it not be to check Black Friday deals but to call someone who you weren’t able to see today. Tell them that you love and appreciate them and make a date to get together soon.

And simply be thankful. Give thanks not for the big things in life … but for the seemingly insignificant. Appreciate the young boy’s comments about his Mom. After she died of cancer, he was asked what was the most special memory of his Mom that he had. His answer? When she sat with him on the couch and they ate popcorn together.

Sit with someone and eat popcorn today. And cherish every minute of it.

Everything else can wait for a day. Even the dishes could wait.

I am convinced the most meaningful times in my life will always be the simplest of times that I would love to recapture. Like going for a ride with my Dad and talking cows. Snuggling on the couch with a grandchild. Having a cup of coffee with my Grandmother. Picking out fabric with my Mom. Matching my hand in Hubby Rick’s hand.

These are the things I am thankful for today.

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And this card. It was made by one of the kids from one of the churches that I used to serve. It came in the mail just recently. Somewhere, somehow this little person knew to include God in the card, along with Thanksgiving. Just a little reminder that God’s love endures forever.

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For the simple and deeply meaningful moments in life, I am grateful.

In some ways, it seems to silly to need a day in which we stop and remember to be thankful and grateful, Holy God. I pray we find your love and blessings in the littlest of moments of every day. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 33 – Give Thanks

give thanksMon., May 7, 2018

2 Corinthians 1:11 – Please help us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks for the blessings we receive in answer to all these prayers.

During worship on Sunday, there came a time when I truly felt at home. Many years ago as a pastor, I began using the song “Give Thanks” after the offering rather than the Doxology. Some people really love the Doxology. I really love “Give Thanks.”

Why? Early in our marriage, Hubby Rick’s eldest son was killed months before we were married. There were times it was a challenge to make sense of this accident. Nate was just 21. So much life to live. Sed quickly because of a snowmobiling accident.

Many days, Rick would come home and sing, “Give Thanks.” It was a purposeful way for him to remind himself that in everything, he wanted to give thanks. In the good days, give thanks. In the awful days, give thanks. In the days that are too busy, give thanks. In the days when life is too difficult, give thanks. In the days that may seem boring and predictable, give thanks.

Simply, give thanks.

Read (or sing) the words of this worship song:

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks.

Today’s bible verse reminds us of something important in our daily lives. Most Christians pray. What tops our prayer list? Our needs, our wants, where we want God to intervene and intervene now. Here, how are we encouraged to pray? For all the blessings we have received because of answered prayer. It seems so much easier to criticize God for unanswered prayers than to give thanks to God for answered prayer. Too often, we dwell on the prayers that don’t get answered as we desire and give little credit for when a prayer is answered in an amazing and surprising way.

As we stood and sang this song during in worship, my heart felt very full, blessed and at peace. I just wanted to express my thanks to God for all the answered prayers, the blessings in our lives and the ways God works in our lives we take for granted. I just wanted to give thanks.

For this, I am grateful.

Almighty God – I pray we give thanks to you this day: for things we see and the things we don’t see. For our place in our lives even when we take it for granted. For all the prayers you have answered which have had an impact in our lives. We give you thanks. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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