Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart

in everything give thanks at

Some years ago, our family chose a Bible verse to guide our days and our steps, to help us focus on who we wanted to be and how we wanted to live. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]

Rejoice always,

pray without ceasing,

in everything, give thanks.

Simple words that pack a powerful punch. Easy to recite but not always easy to live. What I’m learning is my heart attitude has a direct relation to how I live out these words. Am I looking for joy? Am I taking time to pray? Am I stopping for a moment now and then to pray for guidance, discernment, to give thanks?

Recently we enjoyed an unseasonable warm, rainy day. I watched out the window as the raindrops fell from golden leaves. The sun began to shine through and those little drops began to glisten. The leaves shimmered and looked almost translucent. Then the clouds rolled in and the wind began to blow. It whistled through the window panes and so I pulled my sweater closer round my shoulders. And then it calmed. I felt a chill in the air and poured another hot cup of comfort.

Golden Autumn Leaves Give Thanks Rejoice Always at

I paused to ask myself, am I giving thanks with a grateful heart? Am I looking for the silver lining behind the rain clouds? Am I trusting the Lord to guide my steps, to bring comfort and strength?

In those few moments, I was reminded of all the seasons of life — some are warm & rainy, some are bright & brilliant, some are windy & cold. When my heart aches to hold my far away children, I change my thinking about the love they have within their own families, and I’m thankful. When I get frustrated with the dirt and mess and piles of laundry, I wonder what life would be like without those who contribute to the mess. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wonder how I got so old and fat, I celebrate the days God has given me and the days still to come.

Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. If you want a formula for a happy, content life, this would be it. My friend Rebecca created the watercolor at the top of this post so I could place our verse in a prominent spot in our home. I want each of us to see it daily.

This week I am joining others from Happy at Home Blogging Network, sharing posts in which we Giving Thanks with A Grateful Heart.

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  1. Beautiful, Linda! I’ve gotta admit I laughed at “old and fat.” I might not be all that old yet, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think the same thing πŸ™‚ I’ve been working on these things too. Great reminder!

    • aww, thank you, Danielle for your sweet comment πŸ™‚ It was good for me to just sit and write and reflect. I’m glad you had a laugh, and hope you were encouraged! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  2. I can so relate to this, Linda! I’ve been wondering who is that old woman who keeps jumping in front of me in the mirror. I love your attitude towards this; I’m going to work on that too!

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles a bit with this, Kathi πŸ˜‰ Just working on perspective, and working to keep my perspective on the bigger picture — Blessings to you and your family this week!

  3. That’s a beautiful watercolor that your friend painted! I love how you look beyond negatives to see the blessings behind them. I got a chuckle out of the mirror – I can relate to that, too. No matter what life brings, I hope to be able to focus on the good. It’s always a choice that we have to make.

    • “It’s always a choice…” that’s a good way to put it, Michelle. Being happy and content IS a choice! I’m glad I could encourage during this time of Thanksgiving – a little humor always helps, right?

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