Tag Archives: Gratitude

What I’m Thankful For

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What I’m Thankful For

Thankfulness should be a continual state. “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 HCSB).” Even when circumstances are less than ideal, thanking God for them puts us in the exact right position, where we are able to walk with God and are accessible to all the blessings He wants to give us.

As we approach our national festival of Thanksgiving, it’s customary to give thanks for all the good things that have happened since last year. Here is the top of my list:

  • My husband is still with me. In March 2020 Greg had a surgery that didn’t go well. He survived, though life is a daily struggle for him. I thank God for each day that we are together.
  • Even though Covid-19 is still with us, infections are down, due to vaccination.
  • My daughter is getting married next month. (She was supposed to have a wedding last fall, but, you know, Covid.)
  • My son, whose job disappeared when the pandemic started, has a new job.
  • We’ve reconnected with Greg’s brother and his wife.
  • We have lots of people to send Christmas cards to.
  • We have a great team of health professionals taking care of us.
  • I enjoyed swimming this past summer.
  • I’m having fun making quilts.
  • We’ve been able to go to church a few times when Greg’s strength has allowed for it.

A few years ago I started a gratitude journal after reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. A lot of my entries are repetitive—thanks for tasks being completed, lost items found, good news from our children. Nevertheless, I think gratitude journaling is a productive discipline. There’s so much disturbing news in our world—shootings, cars running down parade-watchers, political discord, extreme weather, people trampled to death at concerts—that it’s easy to become cynical and depressed. Let’s balance the bad by celebrating the good things in our lives.

Now it’s your turn. Think of three things you’re thankful for, and share them in the comments below. Or if you’ve posted about them in your social media or blog, shoot us a link so we can rejoice with you.

The Kindness

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old car

I was on the road home with my (then) two little kids when the car started acting up, making noises and bucking. This was in the days long before cell phones. I was afraid of being stranded on the highway, with no money to pay for a tow and repairs. I knew my husband wasn’t home, but I wasn’t far from a good friend’s farmhouse, and maybe her mechanically-inclined husband was home. They lived on a country dirt road, and the turn-off was just ahead, so I took it.

Although I tried avoiding the ruts, the ride was bumpier than it should have been, the car misfiring and misbehaving. I was still a distance away from my friend’s house, but I could see her neighbor’s place. The man who lived there was working in his yard, and looked up at the clamor my car was making. The car shuddered as it clanked with malice, and I turned into the neighbor’s driveway just as the car died.

The man came over and opened my hood. His wife recognized me as her neighbor’s friend (I had met her before), and she offered me a glass of iced tea. We sat in the yard and chatted about kids and crafts as her kids and mine played together and her husband tinkered away on my engine. The knot in my chest from worry about my car loosened.

After about an hour, the man had my car engine running smoothly. I can’t remember what he said was wrong with it. He asked me if I could pay him $20 for the repair. I tittered nervously. We were just getting by. I didn’t know when I’d ever be able to pay him. He didn’t press.

I don’t remember the first names of the couple, but their last name was Vogt. If by some chance they should happen to read this little story, I would want them to know that I may have forgotten their names, but I’ve never forgotten their kindness to me that day, almost forty years ago.

OctPoWriMo Day 23

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The prompt is gratitude.

face mask; Covid-19
In All Circumstances
 
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
 
All right, God. Because You say so.
Thanks a lot for this scourge that has killed hundreds of thousands 
of people worldwide.
 
I can sincerely thank You for the people 
who call their elderly neighbors and say
“Is there anything you need?”
I thank You also for the doctors and nurses and orderlies
who work long hours caring for the sick.
For the grocery clerks who stock the shelves
and who gather customer’s orders.
For the people who conscientiously wash their hands
and wear their masks.
 
For the people who lost their jobs
and don’t know where their next meal will come from.
For the people who don’t know how they will pay their rent.
For the children who can’t go to school.
 
Thank You also for the people who died alone,
whose loved ones wanted to be there to comfort them,
but weren’t allowed.
You see my tears and You know I am devastated for them
and angry at You for letting this happen.
 
But I know there are also blessings that I can’t see.
So I thank You for Your invisible movement through this valley.
I thank You that out of pain and death
You can make life and beauty,
even if I can’t see it now.
 
It hurts.
But I trust You.
And I thank You.
Even though I don’t know why.

©ARHuelsenbeck

Monday Morning Wisdom #242

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Joy-is-vulnerable-1

NaPoWriMo2019 #7

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Thank you, God.

Gratitude

I know the secret of joy
And I want to give it to you.
I challenge you to give it to
As many people as you can.

The secret of joy is gratitude.
Thank God for everything.
For the pebble in your shoe.
For rush hour traffic.
For the thirty-ninth rainy day in a row.
For your favorite show pre-empted by breaking news.

The miracle is,
When you thank God for everything,
He will give you more to be grateful for.
He will give you new perspective.
Frustration and disappointment melt away
Making room for immeasurable joy.

Not happiness.
No, happiness is fickle.
Happiness can disappear in an instant.
But joy transforms.
Joy changes your world and your outlook.
Joy makes all things fresh and new and remarkable.

Don’t believe me?
Prove me wrong.
Buy a notebook.
Everyday, write down something to thank God for.
It doesn’t matter if it’s mundane,
Like finding a stamp so you can mail a birthday card.
Before long you’ll be noticing more and more gifts from God to you.
Little tokens of His love.
Little expressions of your uniqueness and your specialness to Him.

I know the secret of joy
And I’m giving it to you.
Give it to as many people as you can.

©ARHuelsenbeck

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