Tag Archives: thankfulness

Doing all

Colossians 3:17 NKJV — And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

There’s two important truths in this verse.

The first is: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” Col. 3:17a

As followers of Christ our entire lives are to be a reflection of our choice.

Which can seem difficult on the day-to-day scheme.

Yet, we are called to live unto Christ, no matter the task at hand.

Which is an encouraging thought.

No longer does the mundane task mean nothing.

If my attitude is to accomplish those things with a heart of serving Christ, mundane can become mighty, an opportunity to serve Christ no matter the task.

It’s always about the heart and what is residing there: servanthood or selfishness.

The second truth is another opportunity: “giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Col. 3:17b

When our lives are a reflection of Christ, we have the privilege to praise at the same time.

Praising and thanking God for His marvelous works of salvation, restoration, and provision are a natural reaction.

Or it should be.

If one finds their heart is following through with the daily tasks, but the gratitude is lost, it’s a warning.

Can the “doing all” be missing? Could the motivation of the tasks been lost to living for something else other than Christ?

The human heart constantly requires self discipline to remain in line with the commandments of scripture.

It’s good to do a heart check.

Therefore we need both truths in this verse.

And as we step out into each day, may we keep these truths close to our hearts.

It will take effort and perseverance to train our lives into living each part unto Christ, but that’s why this is a journey.

Walking with Jesus is a growing stretching building beautiful journey.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this verse. Thank You for the truths You have given us so we can live aware of our actions and attitudes. Lord Jesus, You know that we often find it difficult to follow Your Word. Our hearts don’t easily surrender to Your will. Please, walk with us today, hone our hearts and minds and hold our hand, that we might follow You in all things. Please keep us from evil. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. For Thine is the kingdom and the glory forever. Amen.

Life’s lessons

I hadn’t expected it.

But when my husband asked me to go with him to the store, I was looking forward to getting out of the house.

As we drove along, I thought about how much daily living has changed.

The world has been forever altered by the virus.

Our lives have been touched more by my health, than the virus.

We have moved.

Our home is now in a suburban area when we used to be rural.

We live in a rental twice the size of the house we sold.

Pets are no longer an option.

We used to have two dogs and two cats.

I used to be very active, involved in many things, and our children were active as well.

Now, we stay home, enjoy a much slower pace.

Neither lifestyle is better than the other.

It is simply the way our lives have changed.

There are blessings in life, no matter where one calls home.

With the new requirements, I’ve found going out more difficult.

To receive my allergy shots, I have to wear a mask.

I understand why.

But my asthma makes wearing the mask feel like smothering.

I have to concentrate on my breathing.

I have to work at deep even breaths.

When my time is up, I’m so thankful to reach the car and pull that restriction off.

That’s why I went into the store without my mask.

With just a couple of things, we figured we could stay away from others and do fine.

What neither of us had thought about was the cleaners.

Everything is disinfected constantly.

Those chemicals put off odors and my asthma doesn’t appreciate it.

After working hard to not rush around so I could “get out” I realized what I needed to do.

“Honey, I need the keys. I can’t stay in here anymore.”

He understood.

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” crossed his lips as he handed me the keys.

By the time I reached the truck my head was pounding, my chest hurt, and my eyes were stinging.

I worked at not listening to the question which popped into my head.

“Will it always be this way?”

God came to my rescue.

Worship Me.

I started singing a praise song in my head.

Everything got better, slowly.

When my husband reached the truck I was able to articulate my emotions.

And to speak the truth.

I’m glad we have a home I enjoy, and at some point things will be better.

As an added bonus, my husband stopped at the donut shack.

Freshly made donuts smell amazing!

I enjoyed mine with a cup of tea.

I thanked God for my husband.

For the blessings of our day.

For the opportunities we have.

For the hope I have in tomorrow.

And I thanked Him for chocolate frosting with sprinkles.

Two Mason Jars

It was a dream.

My husband was standing next to our dining room table and explaining to the family, “a thankfulness jar”.

Basically it was an ordinary Mason jar which we were to each write one thing we are thankful for and place the papers in the jar.

I remember him talking about our need to give thanks to God regularly for all our blessings.

Then I woke.

I pondered.

“Lord, I like this. I think it would be good for all of us.”

“The girls could even decorate a jar, so it would be pretty. It could be sitting on the piano.”

–pause–

“Lord, what am I missing? It feels like I only have half the plan.”

Bible verses

“Of course. Love it! We will have two jars, one for our thankfulness notes and the other for scripture.”

It’s perfect.

I texted the information to both our girls.

Easter Sunday seems a beautiful time to begin.

I have been praying about which verse to begin with.

I think this is the one:

Matthew 28:6 KJV — He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Emphasis mine.)

No matter your circumstances, I pray you are able to find creative ways to praise and thank our Lord Jesus this Easter.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your sacrifice. Lord, as we look to Easter Sunday please help our hearts be completely focused upon praising You for all You have done. Let us never grow weary of the greatest story, Your story. Help us find renewed vigor from the trials You walked through. Lord Jesus, please bring our hearts and minds back to You on this, the best of holidays, for without Your Resurrection we have no hope of heaven. Thank You Jesus for dieing for me. Thank You for rising again! Praise be to God on high!!

Praising God for today

I woke up with a song this morning.

It was playing over and over in my heart.

With it was a lovely memory of singing in our church’s Sunday school.

This song is one I learned there.

I knew it was a scripture so I looked up the words I can remember.

Here’s what I found:

Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV — ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

As a child the last line was my favorite.

Nothing is too difficult for You.

It’s true!

He’s able to do anything.

Of course life and learning have taught me there are a good number of things He chooses not to do, but we can trust Him that His way is perfect.

So, armed with this lovely reminder, I’m stepping into my day looking for opportunities to praise God.

I started with praise for this beautiful rental we live in.

Then to my blessings.

The dishwasher!

The rose blooming on the table.

The tulips in the garden.

The humming bird feeder.

Tea out of my Grandmother’s china.

My wonderful family.

Breakfast!

Warm fuzzy socks.

Jesus.

Yes, there’s plenty of opportunities to get bogged down in the “what in the world is happening?!”.

But I’m choosing to praise God today.

No matter what occurrence may come, I know that Jesus will be with me.

That’s worth praising God for!

Allowing circumstances to teach

Beautiful Christmas gift with an excellent reminder.

It had been happening all weekend.

I’d find myself yearning.

Not all the time and not often enough to pay attention to.

Just little bits, little bites out of my day, slowly consuming my thankfulness.

It was yesterday, during the quiet.

I realized the yearning had a name: discontent.

“Uhg! Lord, what have I done to allow this to creep in? I want to be thankful for each day, not waste my blessings in longing for those of someone else.

Lord, please forgive me! I have so much! I am so blessed by You. Please help me to throw out this enemy to peace and joy. Help me to see where I’ve stopped being thankful.”

God is faithful.

He showed me several little things which had all crept up and robbed me of my contentment.

It’s embarrassing, but the two main areas where my guard had fallen were covetousness and self-pity.

It’s difficult to even write that.

To look upon the ugliness of either is repulsive to my soul.

But the truth was brought through by Jesus shining into my heart and I have repented.

I’m now rebuilding the guards which had fallen.

I’m being much more careful what I allow myself to look at online.

It’s easy to “get creative ideas” and fall into “want my house to look like that, it only takes…”.

Or, “I’m only looking for tips on house keeping” and find a list of items you need to keep your home up to par.

What I look at really does get into me in ways I don’t always realize at the time.

So, instead of searching the internet for an idea to an organization issue, or a creative boost, I’m praying.

The self-pity thing is all about what thoughts I allow to linger in my brain.

When I see the stain on the couch cushions what do I think?

Today, and as often as possible, I’m purposing to think:

“Praise God for this couch! It has been such a blessing and a perfect fit to our needs. Lord, thank You for blessing us with this!”

Or something very like it.

Because that couch was and is a blessing from God.

I got it used for $25 and after arranging to buy it realized I couldn’t go pick it up. It’s 7′ long. Even healthy I can’t move it.

My husband was away on a business trip and wouldn’t be home in time.

I prayed.

God placed a name in my heart. I called my dear friend.

Her husband borrowed his father’s trailer, drove the twenty plus minutes to get it. He and their son loaded it. Drove across the road to pick up the bed I’d purchased and then drove back to our place and set it all up.

That was a couple years ago, but I’ve not forgotten how much God blessed me through all of it.

But I had allowed the stains and blemishes of discontent to tarnish the gift.

All because I’d not been on my guard about my thoughts.

After the Lord revealed the reason for my yearning, threw His light upon my sin, and I repeat, I made sure to tell my family.

I asked for their forgiveness for allowing this into my heart.

I also asked them to hold me accountable.

This Monday morning I’m purposing to live a simple content life in Jesus.

There are so many more important things for me to pray for than stains on the couch or my inabilities to organize.

Yes, I want to be a good steward of the things God has given me, but they don’t have the right to draw my attention away from the things which really matter, nor to steal my joy.

I’m so grateful to God for not allowing me to slide further down the slope of self-pity and covetousness.

O Lord , You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1‭-‬3 NKJV

Praise the Lord!

He is so faithful and generous to use circumstances to teach me!

A rough week

Picture by N.K.

Photographs of things from the U.K. encourage me.

They remind me no matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the work, things built by God are both beautiful and enduring.

It is in the middle of the work, when I can lose sight of this.

Before my sweet husband was called into the mill this morning, we were discussing our week previous and the one we are beginning.

His schedule for this week is rough.

My health from last week was rough.

We came to two conclusions.

First, there is always something to be thankful and praise God for. Always.

Second, our own suffering should be an opportunity to remember and pray for others.

My husband even brought the name of someone I could pray for every time I suffer from a specific ailment.

I completely agreed.

What better way to live through pain than in thankfulness and as an opportunity to up hold others?

Didn’t Jesus do even more?

Since Christ is our example in all things we look forward to our busy schedule with peace.

Life isn’t always comfortable.

Life isn’t always easy.

But it can always be a joy.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3‭-‬5 NKJV

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

It was a lovely surprise.

I opened my Bible and read:

“A Psalm of Thanksgiving”

Sometimes the Word speaks best for itself.

With that in mind, here it is.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord , all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord , He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.”

Psalms 100:1‭-‬5 NKJV

Thankful praise

It’s meant to be as natural as our breath.

Gratitude should be as common as inhaling and exhaling.

But our flesh rankles against such.

Our pain stings us into discontent.

Therefore with purpose and persistence one can gain the art of gratitude.

Thankful daily praise.

Psalm 7:17 NKJV “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.”

Even in the names of God we can find praise.

“And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.'” Mark 14:36 NKJV

Here we see Jesus using the name Abba.

This is a partial quote from Easton Bible Dictionary from the Blue Letter Bible App.

This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament, and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “father.” It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence.

We can thank God for being a Father to us.

In Exodus we gain another point of gratitude.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
Exodus 3:14 NKJV

The very security of Who God is shall always be worthy of our praise.

And this is only the beginning.

Psalm 19:1 KJV — To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Let us join with the host of heaven and declare the glory of God.

Let our hearts be lifted in worship.

Let our words be praise and thanksgiving to God Most High.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for being worthy of all our praise. Please help gratitude and thankfulness to become as common as breathing. Lord Jesus, let it replace fear and stress and worry. Thank You for all You have done, all You are doing and all You will do. May my heart ever praise You!

Thankful for my asthma

Here we are!

At track.

Our good friend stood on Bell’s blocks for her.

Both meets he’s done it for the 400.

Bell likes me to be at the finish line and Daddy at the second corner, so it was great to have another to weight down her blocks.

And God really blessed her.

She was sick yesterday, but was still able to win both the 400 and the 200.

I was blessed to see her give it her all even though she was feeling awful.

The day held special blessings for our girl.

Even an enormous answer for Bell and our prayers for direction.

The biggest surprise was what happened between races.

Bell and I were standing near the 200 start line.

I had been helping her stretch out and the 800 girls went by.

We watched although none were familiar.

The main group passed and we casually discussed the runners and their individual techniques.

When another runner came up.

She was way behind and obviously in pain.

Instantly, Bell shouted encouragement.

We watched her pass the first corner and then collapse into the grass on the second.

Bell ran over to her and I watched and prayed.

People were busy about the girl and it didn’t take but a few moments for two people on her team to sprint away toward the bleachers.

It was scary to watch, but I knew the Lord was there.

Eventually things seemed to improve and she was helped up and left.

Bell walked back over.

“What was it? Is she going to be alright?”

“Yeah, it was an asthma attack. But I was able to help her get calmed down and to stop panicking. Cause, you know, it doesn’t help anything. They got her inhaler and she’s going to be fine.”

“Oh, wow!”

“Yeah, she kept saying she didn’t finish and I offered to walk her down the track so she could but she decided not to.”

And that was all.

Bell was sad for her.

I could tell she felt for the other runner.

Since Bell was running again soon our attention went back to duties.

Yet upon reflection I found myself choked up.

Bell knew exactly what to do and what was happening with the runner because of my asthma.

I didn’t realize when we walked into the meet I’d be thankful for my asthma.

Yet, I am.

God used our struggles to help someone else.

Which is so very much

Who He is.

What the enemy means for evil,

God uses for good.

Jesus has used it in so many ways.

He has taught us to focus on what really is eternal.

He has used it to bind us closer together.

And yesterday He helped a girl we don’t even know.

But Jesus knows her and I feel so thankful He choose to use our Bell to help her.

And in it all we can glorify the Father.

What an amazing God

He is.

4 good days

It’s been so nice!

From Tuesday through Friday I’ve felt much better.

Better than I have in months.

I said to Bell,

“Get ready! I’m feeling so much better and-”

She cut me off.

“I know Mom, when you feel like getting more done you expect it from everyone!”

She was smiling.

“It’s so nice to see you feeling better!”

And I did get more done.

I helped with school work.

Jase and I were able to get his binder done in record time.

I’ve done laundry.

I’ve cooked.

I went shopping.

I cleaned house.

Visited friends.

Jase even had a friend over.

It was lovely.

And through it all I was so eager.

“When I’m completely well I can…”

“If I keep feeling this much better I want to…”

“Wow, things are worse off around here than I thought, if I’m able to…”

Yup.

All that and more was racing through my brain.

But the theme which kept creeping back in was finally getting back to being the Mom I want to be.

And when I woke Saturday I thought it would be another “good day”.

And it was,

but not because I felt good.

I didn’t.

All day I struggled.

I knew early on God wanted me to simply rest.

It wasn’t easy, but I was able to put aside my desires and do very little.

One part of the day is a treasure.

I was in bed, too tired to get up.

I called Jase in.

He grabbed his iPad and climbed up next to me.

He played a video game and talked while I crocheted.

It was fun.

When my hubby and the girls got home they were a bit disappointed by my inability.

(No more than myself.)

Yet, bless them, they just rolled with it.

Today, is another rest day.

Infact, I’m not going to make it to church again.

And I’m disappointed.

But no matter how I feel I don’t want to lose the joy and thankfulness of living.

I try to make it a habit of thanking God first thing, before I do anything.

And as my day rolls on being thankful for all that comes.

I know the dangers of allowing emotions to drive my attitude.

Circumstances should never be what characterizes my day or outlook or value.

Jesus loves me.

And that makes every day a good day!

Jesus died for me.

And that means every day belongs to Him.

Jesus is always good.

And that makes every detail of my life a chance to praise Him even if I don’t feel it.