Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Heart of Thanksgiving - A Repost

I noticed that suddenly, this particular post from a year ago has been getting a lot of attention.  Perhaps people are doing internet searches on thankfulness.  Whatever the reason, I thought on this Thanksgiving day, this post would be a good one to republish.  Acknowledging our thankfulness is a good thing, but once a year is simply not enough. Thankfulness should be a way of life, not just a holiday or occasion. As you contemplate the things you're thankful for today, consider this...

A few weeks ago I led the first monthly women's prayer group of the fall.  As we went around the room voicing our thoughts, concerns and desires, one woman shared a quote she'd just heard that morning.

"What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  

An eternity of silence followed as the weight of the thought rolled around our in brains.

How would you fare?  Would you wake up in a bed?  With a roof over your head?  Would there be food for breakfast?  Lunch?  Dinner?  Clothes on your back?  A car to drive?  A job to go to? 

Forget the possessions for just a minute...would you have family or be the only one around?  Would you have all your senses - smell, sight, hearing, taste...even touch?  A sound mind?  Body?

One person spoke up..."If we did that, we wouldn't ever have time to get around to anything else."  Bingo.  If we spent more time being thankful for what we do have, we'd have less time to petition God for what we think we need.

Don't get me wrong...things go wrong in a fallen world.  People lose their jobs, their health, their loved ones.  There is sorrow and pain, and we need to intercede for others on a daily basis.  Life is not one big feel good love fest by any means.

But...when we start out with a heart of thanksgiving...with praise on our lips...when we learn to appreciate all that we have, we are better able to look at God and not dwell on the problems. 

Like the saying goes, "Don't tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is."  That's not a trite saying.  It is a powerful truth.  I know.

Right now, my son and I are dealing with several large problems, but our outlooks are completely different.  I don't know how he's come by this way of thinking, but he believes that God is too impersonal to care about the daily needs of two people out of the billions on this planet.  He has actually stated that he "doesn't think we're going to make it through the winter."  Even as we can clearly see the hand of God moving in the situation, my son is overwhelmed by what we appear to lack.

On the other hand, I am completely at peace.  I know I am powerless to deal with the issues at hand and have already given them over to God to deal with.  I am grateful for all I do have, trying not to take any of it for granted. I think on the verses which tell me that caring for me is EXACTLY what my big, yet personal, God does...He saw me formed in my mother's womb, He knows the number of hairs on my head, my name is etched on the palm of His hand, and He died for my sins so that I don't have to live an eternity apart from Him.

Yes, I want to thank God for that last one especially.  Without a grateful, accepting, heart for that sacrifice, it is hard, if not impossible, to be truly grateful for everything else.  

So here's the challenge at the close of this day:  "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?"  Today is drawing to a close...think about it...make a list...voice your thanksgiving and praise before making your requests.  You might just discover there are far fewer things to ask for than you first thought.


  1. Great post, Toni! I love this quote too: "Don't tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is." - never heard it- but I am keeping it! Sending a cyber hug your way, beautiful lady! Keep shining- I love your new profile pic- it is new, right? ;)

  2. Thanks Dawn- they are both good quotes to remember! And yes, the profile pic is new - I had it taken for my bio on the devotion that will be published at the end of this month - 10/29 - on christiandevotions.us. Look for it :)