Thanks Giving

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Four years ago, I read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. She encouraged readers to begin a journal to list 1,000 things for which you are thankful.

Easy enough, I thought. I bought a long, narrow, cute little book with lines and vowed to list one thanks a day.

I just retrieved the book and found that I had gotten to number 70. (Remember, this was four years ago—sigh.) So I’m hereby renewing my vow in front of God and all my readers to begin again a daily thanks. Two or three words a day is all it takes, Joyce!

I’ll report back next Thanksgiving.

I do believe that if we gave more emphasis to giving thanks for a friend or family member, for instance, rather than finding fault or, just as bad, taking them for granted, we would come to a greater appreciation for that person.

               

If I’m thinking about giving thanks for something, I have to first be aware of it. It can be as simple as looking at a clock and being thankful that I have a way to keep myself on track. I can look at a sunrise and think, “Good morning, Lord. Thanks for waking me up for another new day.”

I often thank God, as I’m driving down the road, for a car that runs well and a tank of gas to get there. I recently thanked Him for the smooth, newly-paved road.

In my little “Thanks Book,” I saw where I had listed each of the grand kids and something about their gifts or their nature for which I gave thanks.

       

I love giving thanks during peak seasons: new green grass and forsythia in the spring, full-grown trees and roses in the summer, lush yellows and oranges in the fall, and snow-lined trees in the winter. But November is a real challenge. I complain about how drab it is. So my goal this week is to find something worth giving thanks as I drive about this dreary month.

Speaking of dreary, one of the greatest challenges is giving thanks during those hectic times (December, for example), or those heart-breaking times, or those times when things are going so wrong. 

O my strength, I sing praise to you; you, my God, are my fortress, my loving God. Psalm 59:17

He may say to you,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9

My challenge to you is to dig a little deeper in your practice of giving thanks this Thanksgiving day and on into the year to come. Best turkey wishes to you all!

~ Joyce ~

And Here’s a New Year!

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

I don’t know why it’s always so hard to believe another year has flown by. I think back to  favorite verses that drew me closer to the Lord this year. Probably my top verse two years ago was—

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

This year’s verse, considering all the issues with my mother,  would have to be—                                                                       

We walk by faith and not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7

One of my life verses that continues to challenge me is—

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3;5

When I doubt my worthiness to even enter God’s presence, I remember Jesus’ words and the price He paid for me.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Last year, I received a tea-cup (I’m not a coffee drinker, so it’s a tea for me) which says—

“The Lord is my strength and song.” Psalm 118:14 

It’s a beautiful, dainty cup. As I sip my tea, I think about how He helps me not only make it through the day (my strength), but also gives me joy (my song!)

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

I have struggled to find the joy the last two months, though. Care of my mother has increased and has left me “spent” many days. What a blessing when He gave me this verse on one such day—

He makes all things beautiful in his time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

and… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

All roads seem to lead back to that first verse about being still.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee. Isaiah 26:3

These are only some of the verses on the back of my door that holds the “tea towel verses.” We can certainly agree with the psalmist—

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Last Sunday, our pastor led a convincing service about setting goals for the new year, seeking God’s will, and taking small steps to make a big difference. He concluded the service by reading John 12:26 which encourages us to follow Jesus. But the phrase that popped out for me was, “my servants must be where I am.”

“Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:26 (NLT)

What a worthy way to begin our new year by focusing on where God is at work in our lives and having the determination to be there with Him, joining in. 

~ Joyce ~