Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Practicing Thankfulness

Hey Friend,

With all the wondrous gifts God has bestowed upon us, you would think that we wouldn't have to "practice" thankfulness.  But, we are sinful, fallen creatures and with that comes a natural bent toward  selfishness.  Selfishness can breed a critical spirit.

How often do we see it happen that nine out of ten things are going right, but we will focus on the one thing going wrong?  Conversely, nine things could be going wrong; one very good thing going right, and we forget to say thank you to God?

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all  His benefits..."  (Psalm 103: 2-4).

A friend of mine once told me to "practice with the small stuff." How often do we overlook the small blessings, let alone the big blessings?  After my knee surgery, I pulled into the Target parking lot.  Thinking I'd have to park out in the back forty, I groaned.  Just then a spot right in front opened up.  "Thank you God,"  I praised Him.  Small stuff, but definitely worthy of praise!

I have my own little form of sign language I created as a way to thank God (silly I know), but I touch my fist to my heart; I then kiss my fist (symbolizing my heart); then I open up my hand pointing one finger up to God as a way of releasing my kiss and my thankfulness to God above.

Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is the fruit of our lips that confess His name.  (Hebrews 13:15).

A friend once drove by when I was walking Zoe (my dog) and she saw me pointing up to the sky.  "What were you looking at and pointing to?"  she later asked me.  "Oh," I said, slightly embarrassed, "that's just my sign language for thanking God for the sunshine."

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another."  (John 1:16).

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."  (Psalm 107:1).

You know it's hard to be grumpy and thankful at the same time.  Thankfulness, other than being what God calls us to, is a mood lifter.  Here are some simple ways to practice thankfulness. (Warning, some of these may be best done alone lol!):

*  Put praise music on in the kitchen and lift up your hands in praise.

*  If you are a dancer, dance your thankfulness to God.  (Dance like no one is
    watching.)  "Let them praise his name with dancing... (Psalm 149:3).

*  Even if you can't sing (like me) sing along with Christian radio in your car.

*  Write or journal a simple prayer of thanksgiving to God.

*  Tell your family what you are thankful for at the end of each day.

*  Dedicate a run, walk, game played, drawing created, or instrumental piece
    played to the Lord.  I will even dedicate my sink of dirty dishes unto
    the Lord as I wash them.

*  Begin your prayers with an opening of thanksgiving.  "...but in everything,
    by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to
    God."  (Philippians 4:6).

*  Get creative...

One of my favorite quotes is: "When I met Christ, I felt that I had swallowed sunshine."  (E. Stanley Jones)

Will you join me this week in practicing thankfulness and go out and share a little of that sunshine?  Your heart, and God, will be glad you did!




  1. Joining you, Bev! Love your sign language. Thank you for this reminder. Beautifully written as always. One of our dinner routines had been to share one thing we were thankful for from our day. It's rare we are all able to have dinner together these days so I need to come up with another time of the day to share because I so enjoyed doing this. (((hugs)))

    1. Beth,
      Thanks for joining me in my "sign language". Now there will be two of us pointing and smiling :). I have so enjoyed getting to know you through our blogs!! Blessings and ((hugs)) back to you!! Bev

  2. I agree with Beth, beautifully written, Bev! May we all be thankful in the "little" things and then God will delight us with the "big" things! Today, while i am not thrilled for the pollen and my allergies at this time of year, but i am so grateful and how i LOVE the gorgeous spring flowers God has given us and the splendid colors of them all! Love you much, friend! :-D

  3. Lisa,
    You've been with me, girl, from the beginning and I so appreciate your encouragement!! Loved the beautiful pictures of your yard in bloom...even though those gorgeous plants tickle our noses. Thanking God for you!
    Love ya, Bev

  4. Beautiful post, Bev, through and through.

    Here's to opening our eyes to abundant blessings and dedicating every bit of it to our Lord!

    Have a great week, friend.

    1. Kristen,
      Thanks for popping by! And, as always, thank you for your encouragement and your inspiration! You have a good week too!
      Blessings friend,

  5. I love reminders to keep praising and cultivating a grateful heart. Until I read Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts," gratitude toward God was mostly a concept, head knowledge. Making it my way of life has been tremendous! Coming to you from Holley's dream link up. Blessings!

    1. Mandy,
      For me, a lot of things take a long time to go from "head knowledge" to "heart knowledge"! Thanks for sharing your life lesson and so glad you came over from Holley's link...isn't she the best?


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