Author: Paige Winn
1 Thes 5:16 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I’m a tad bit obsessed with distressed wooden signs. I have them all over my house. I just love them! Choose Joy, Pray Big, Be Grateful…that’s the one I need the most. I love having them in my home as a reminder everyday. Some days I need them more than others. Some days I wake up “grumbly” and I am reminded I have a choice. I have a choice to complain and fuss about my circumstances or to be grateful. Because I fight the “grumbly,” I am a gratitude journal girl. Every morning I write in my little journal at least 10 things for which I am grateful. Thank you Ann Voscamp! It was really hard at first. I was focusing on the big blessings… Thank you for my family, my health, Your Grace, The Cross… These are all huge things to be grateful for and we should always thank God for them. But slowly He began to show me all His little blessings. The little ways everyday He says I love you. The sun flickering through the window, the blue bird on the feeder, the new pink flowers in the backyard, that first cup of coffee. As I counted my blessings, I began to see they were overflowing. Our God is a God of Abundance! There are too many blessings to count, but count I do because it changes my heart. As I stop looking at the problems and start focusing on His blessings, I am reminded again that I am loved by the King.
So I am daily counting blessings but I still miss it sometimes… I am driving my college-aged son to school.
He isn’t quite ready to drive yet. I feel the grumping coming, another day taking him to school. And I hear my Father speak to my heart. Don’t miss this! Your special needs son is going to college! Savor it! My eyes tear up and I am overwhelmed with joy. Oh, thank you God for reminding my heart to choose gratitude. We always have a choice, complain or give thanks. It takes practice but every time we decide to be grateful and find something to thank God for, there is Grace. We can always give thanks to God for WHO HE IS.
There are some days when it is just plain hard to be grateful. That is when we need to thank Him the most. I believe God loves it when we thank Him in the storm. It shows our trust in Him… It strengthens our faith. It is a reminder that no matter what God is always good. There is always something to be grateful for because it always comes back to the Cross. Jesus took our shame, our sin, and stood in our place. He suffered, died, and rose from the dead for us. The Cross is the foundation of all gratitude! A grateful heart enables abundance in our lives. Praise and thanksgiving open the door to the very Presence of God. Joy always follows gratitude. Joy is the gift of our Good, Good Father when we are filled with gratitude. Choose Joy!