What to say? Hmmmmmmmmm????

What do you do when you’re in the mood to share something important with your readers and friends but feel you have “writer’s block” at the moment?  Writing nothing is probably the best policy, but just pressing on and starting to write  in order to see what God brings to the “paper” might be the best course of action, before just giving up altogether!  Let’s see where this leads, shall we?

As a small child, I have no idea at what age, I began learning from my mom that being thankful is not only the right thing to do, but it will set the tone for your life and bring good things/blessings that being ungrateful and complaining will not.  She made sure I said thank you anytime people did nice things for me, said nice things to me, or were directly responsible for creating an environment that was beneficial for me to prosper in some way.  I was strongly encouraged to write thank you notes to my friends and relatives for Christmas gifts, birthday and graduation gifts.  But, since I wasn’t very good at doing that sort of thing, (truth be told, I really didn’t like to write thank you notes at all, as most kids don’t), I didn’t write as many as maybe I should have.  Sorry, family!

I’ve found this to be true!

But as I’ve grown and experienced life for a number of years past my childhood, I have become more convinced that what Mom taught, and lived with sincerity every day of her life in front of me, especially with regards to being thankful, definitely made a difference in my life for the better.

Have you ever been around people who complain about everything…all the time?  Isn’t it difficult to be around them for very long at a time?  I find that I start to get downright angry that they are so ungrateful!  Who do they think they are anyway, and who died and left them in charge?  Oftentimes they never bother to try to find a positive solution to whatever they are complaining about, much less consider they might be the problem or certainly a contributor, they just like to complain and blame others for their situations, however horrible they may view them to be.  I often wonder how their lot in life would change if they would start being thankful for what God is doing through that situation to make them stronger, more loving, humble, and closer to the Lord, heal their relationships, get them a better job, etc.?

I have gone thru a lot of unexpected unpleasantness and turmoil in life, but having asked Jesus’ forgiveness for the things I’ve done, said, and thought that were contrary to His way of handling life and then asking Him to “take the wheel” at the age of 18, has certainly changed my perspective on things over the years.

I’m making a mess, please take charge of my life…..

Being genuinely thankful, not for the circumstance itself, but that through the conflict, pain, injury, hurt, sadness, etc. He is working on my behalf to make me more like Him and to bless my life–that is do-able!  It’s a matter of concious determination to “practice” being thankful, just like we “practice” being bull-headed, opinionated, or obnoxious.

For example, as you “oldtimers” may recall, I shared about having gone through a divorce many years ago.  (See “Don’t Throw it Away” from the Archives.)  It was, without question, the most difficult and heart wrenching thing I have ever had to go through in my life to that date.  But, having “practiced” being thankful for most of my life prior to those two years or more of agony, I was able to be thankful that God would help me come out on top.  I was not thankful FOR the divorce, but that in it (or through it) God was helping me learn about myself and grow closer to and lean more fully on Him as I went through the process of grieving the loss of a marriage and overcoming the incredible feelings of rejection and helplessness.  Those positive things, I could be thankful for.  And, God was faithful, as always, to bring me through to victory.

Since then, I’ve had plenty of other scenarios that required being thankful, inspite of what the situation looked like and God has been faithful to His Word to bless.  But it occurs to me that if you haven’t developed a habit of being thankful for everything, you may be asking, “where do I begin?”  May I offer some very simple suggestions?  When you first wake up in the morning, “Thank you Lord for waking me up to a brand new day.  We can start over fresh! ”  “Thank you for hot water in the shower! It’s so warm and cleansing!”  (This is especially good if you have been without hot water for a few days due to your plumbing malfunctioning!!!!!)

Always!

“Thank you Lord, for clean water to drink to take my vitamins with.” “Thank you for milk that tasted so good with my oatmeal this morning!”  “Thank you Lord for all this traffic backed up because you kept me from being in the middle of that accident up the road!  Bless that person and their family and heal them Lord.” “Thank you for my boss’s bad attitude today.  Help me be a blessing to him  and thank you for helping me learn to be a better employee to bring prosperity to this company in order to bless all the other employees.”  “Thank you for my computer that isn’t working correctly.  Maybe you are keeping things from my sight that I shouldn’t be looking at, or you want to bless a computer tech through my life and testimony while he fixes it”.  “Thank you Lord for my family, inspite of their faults.  “They each  are a blessing from your hand and I’m thankful you are showing me how I can be a blessing to them when and where they need it.”  “Thank you for my toothbrush, Lord that I can use to remove dinner from between my teeth!” “Thank you for my bed Lord!  And thank you for a restful night’s sleep with pleasant dreams!”

What’s on your list?

Ok, got the picture?  It’s really not hard, but so incredibly valuable to our lives if we want to see blessings from above!  Spend some time “practicing” being thankful and I’ll bet you’ll begin to see a difference right away.  To me, two of the most important things we can do to benefit our lives is first and foremost, forgive; and then, without doubt, be thankful in everything!

PS. If you ever wanted to know what the will of God is for your life, read 1 Thessalonians 5:18!