Tag Archives: thankfulness

30 Days of Thankful: Day 24

My friend Donna always makes me think.  She gives us a great strategy to take our thoughts captive through what she calls “spinning toward thankfulness.”

GUEST BLOG: Donna Elyea

I planned and prepared for months to return to Haiti – specifically to Minoterie, the village my church has adopted through our partnership with Mission of Hope, Haiti. It would be my third visit and I had been so looking forward to visiting with my Haitian friends, seeing the changes taking place, continuing to build relationships, and ministering there. Two days before departure, my precious team of women learned that we would not be able to go to Minoterie!

This was a mild shock and a severe disappointment. Yet, even as my heart felt the impact of this change of plans, my thoughts were changed by God’s Word as I prayed. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “In everything by prayer and supplication (asking), with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine)

Prior to departure, I tried to take my thoughts of disappointment captive by spinning them into thankfulness. For example, though we would not go to “our” village, we would be able to see another part of the country to broaden our understanding and perspective. We would not get to see all of our friends in the village but, thanks to social media, could reach out through social media and invite them to meet us at church.

As other fears or obstacles entered my thoughts, I “spun” those into thankfulness as well. Many of our team members were dealing with illnesses themselves or with family members just as we were to depart. How to be thankful? The Bible tells us that in our weakness, He is strong. I was thankful that we would be walking in God’s strength and not our own.

As I considered that our team was all women and any fears for our safety cropped up, I chose to be thankful for the opportunity to really see God for who the Bible says He is: Our Defender, our Rock, our Strength, our Peace. I thanked Him that He would be our Protector.

Now that our team has returned from the trip, I see that God certainly honored every prayer of thankfulness. He wrote a beautiful story for us that none of us could have expected or imagined. I think I will not wait until my next Haiti trip to “spin” my thoughts toward thankfulness!

 

 

 


30 Days of Thankful: Day 7

Welcome to 30 Days of Thankful!  Today my friend Sara shares a beautiful lesson in thankfulness that she learned from her little daughter.

GUEST POST: By Sara Miller

Each night when we put our three-year-old to bed we share a list of the things for which we are thankful. This practice brings about some sweet memories and some really practical takeaways for myself (and maybe for you too.)

1 – When she was younger she used to say, “I’m thank you for …” instead of “I’m thankful for …” How true! We’re not just saying that we’re thankful for these things; we’re taking time to thank God for these things. A subtle but important reminder.

2 – The purity and simplicity of her list is sweet. Honey (my husband keeps bees) is always #1 and playgrounds are usually #2. The remainder of her list is sometimes consistent (cats and dogs) but other times it varies with the activities of our day. I’ve found that choosing gratitude can be easy, but can also be a stretch if I force myself to “vary” my list and find new things each day for which I’m grateful.

3 – Ending the day with mindfulness towards gratitude is refreshing and it gives good perspective on the challenges we may be facing. Who doesn’t benefit from perspective?

4 – For a few months my daughter always finished her list with the same four items: “daddy, daddy, snuggling with daddy, and daddy!” She would proudly say, “That’s 4 daddies!” (Can you tell she loves her daddy?) What a great reminder. At the end of my days, do I take time to say to MY heavenly Father, “thank you daddy for who you are, for being my daddy, for your presence with me, and for your Fatherly love for me”?

Reflecting on who God is and remembering His presence with me are a few ways I give thanks. Worship music is another.  Click here and take a few minutes to listen to “Good, Good Father,”a great song about our great God.

And I encourage you to start your own “thank you” list too!