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An Attitude of Thanksgiving

Sometimes when I look back to my pre-teen and teenage years I wonder how my parents made it through with two girls a little more than two years apart in age. My sister and I are opposites in many ways but one thing we shared in those years was a dislike for helping out around the house and especially emptying the dishwasher. I chuckle to myself about it now since it generally takes less than 10 minutes to put a full load of dishes away and we were only delegated to each empty one rack! Oh the complaining and the arguments over who had to empty the bottom rack (that is where the silverware is after all, thus creating MORE work!)

I don’t know how many times one of us was told “you’d better change your attitude!”

Luke 6:45 tells us:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Have you noticed the difference in what comes out of your mouth when you are stressed compared to when you are relaxed and having a good time? When we are under a great deal of stress (external or internal) we often choose to concentrate on the negative instead of the positive. Soon the negative will affect our attitude and without even realizing they slip out of our mouths.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 charges us

Rejoice always,

pray continually,

give thanks in all circumstances

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

WHAT?

This is a big order to be dished up for us! After all, we all have troubles and times when things aren’t really going so well. And God’s word says we are to give thanks?

Notice the verse doesn’t say to give thanks about all circumstances but in all circumstances.

I think it all comes down to attitude.

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When the attitude of our heart is one of thankfulness to God for what we have and His grace and faithfulness to us it is easier to give thanks even when things are not going well around us.

As Thanksgiving approaches we focus more on being thankful. That is a good thing. But what about 3 weeks from today? Thanksgiving Day will have passed and many will be recovering from Black Friday shopping. The Christmas season will officially be in full-swing. The stress will increase and it will be more difficult to give thanks.

It is said that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 21 days to break a habit.

We have just that – 21 days!

Let’s spend part of each of the coming days giving thanks and asking God to help us change our attitudes to one of being thankful in ALL circumstances. Over these 3 weeks we will certainly see a change in our hearts, minds and actions! We will have a habit of thanks which will become an attitude of thanks.

Don’t think of it as a chore but as an opportunity.

Attitudes are catchy. Make it your goal to spread an attitude of thanks.

blessings & peace…and thankfulness for all of you!
Paula

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Choose Thanks

It’s November 1st and now that Halloween is behind us many have moved on to Christmas. Radio stations have started playing Christmas carols and Christmas movies and specials are playing on TV. I have heard that some people are putting up their Christmas trees and other decorations now that November is here.

I love Christmas. I love everything about it (except the push of buying more, more, more). I started my Christmas shopping months ago and have begun making Christmas gifts. BUT  I fear in the excitement of Christmas only a few weeks away we will overlook the season of thanks that comes with Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving TreeAs the years go by I realize how blessed I am.

Life has its challenges, but is also filled with so many good things.

Too often I forget to look at my day through eyes of thanks. Our culture seems to push our focus towards the negative. It makes it easy to see what’s wrong with life (and people) and harder to see what is good. When I focus on being grateful instead of critical I find more peace in my puzzle of life.

So….

For the month of November I’m going to choose thanks. Each day I’m going to share something I’m thankful for through a photo or thought.

I’m also going to make a point to thank someone for what they do and/or their impact on my life.   Thank you bubbleI invite you to join me! On Facebook or Instagram let’s use #choosethanks to connect with others who are sharing things for which they are thankful.

I know this is not an original thought or activity. But the more we can flood our environment with positive, thankful thoughts and images the more we will be encouraged and perhaps encourage others to live a life of gratitude.

Will you Choose Thanks with me this November?

 

blessings and peace…and thanks for all of you!
Paula

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Grateful

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Today we paused to give thanks for all we have, for all we’ve been spared, for blessings that abound.

At my house the turkey is now leftovers and we are all stuffed. Our family has gone on home…only the memories remain of treasured time together. Now we will move on from Thanksgiving.

As I settle into the quietness I am reflective.

I am grateful…

I am blessed.

And I wonder…

As we move on from Thanksgiving will we also move on from being thankful?

Give-Thanks

Will our days become filled with wants and must-haves as we put up our trees and lights, filling our homes with gifts and treats?

Please don’t misunderstand. I love Christmas and so much that comes with that precious season. I love the time to focus on the gift of Christ coming to earth as a baby. I love the sense of magic in the air as people seem a little kinder and willing to believe that the would can be good.

But I still want Thanksgiving to live on every day.

I want to live a life of gratefulness. To focus on the good…the blessings…every little thing.

I want to look at the world through a gratitude filter, finding good all around me, and bringing good to others.

Most especially I want to live a life filled with thankfulness for God’s great love for us.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

It may seem like an exaggeration, but I don’t care.

Will you join me?

Let’s see if we can help the spirit of Thanksgiving live on all throughout the year.

blessings and peace to you…
Paula

 

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Reluctant Thankfulness

I chuckle when I see or hear the phrase, “It’s the time of year to be thankful.”

Of course we should be thankful all year-long, but with Thanksgiving around the corner our focus bends towards being thankful more than other times of the year. As Black Friday sales press in on us from every side concentrating on thankfulness brings into focus what we have more than what we have not.

cornucopia

I’m wondering, though. Does your thankfulness ever come reluctantly?

We are human and our lives are sometimes laced with circumstances where it isn’t always easy to be thankful. Our family’s festivities will be mixed with sadness as we are without a very special uncle who went to Heaven earlier this year. Maybe you face a similar situation or something even more difficult.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 The apostle Paul encourages us to

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

That’s a pretty tall order!

In fact it’s easy for me to read this and see it as impossible. How can people be happy all the time and never grumble about circumstances we are in? If I don’t always rejoice and pray or have trouble giving thanks am I outside of God’s will for my life?

Let’s look at this verse with perspective.

I believe God doesn’t ask us to be thankful for all circumstances, but as the verse says, be thankful in all circumstances.The reality is that it is difficult to be thankful for some things. God knows this. However in the midst of the difficulty we always have something worthy of thanks.

This request is much easier when we follow what precedes the instruction…pray continually. When we pray and put ourselves in God’s hands we will find a strength we didn’t know we had and joy hiding in unexpected places.

If your thankfulness comes reluctantly this year, or if you’re struggling to be thankful at all, please be encouraged and seek God’s strength to get you through. If you need some earthly encouragement please let me know. I would be honored to stand with you in prayer.

Would you have a story of thankfulness to share with us today? We would be encouraged by the experiences of others.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and peace, and blessings galore.
Paula