Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18

According to, thankful means feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.  This is something we do a lot... someone helps us, we say thanks.  Maybe you said thank you to a friend today for caring... or to your neighbor because they lent you something you forgot at the grocery.  We thank our servers at restaurants and our kids when they obey (especially if it's first time obedience!).  Being thankful is easy, right?

Well, I'm learning that being thankful isn't always easy.  God is funny.  I'm discovering that He  presents me with opportunities to put thankfulness into practice... and I don't always pass the test.  Let me explain.  This morning, I got up and read my Jesus Calling devotion by Sarah Young.  One of the verses from today's devotion was Ephesians 5:19-20:  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  There are two words in these verses that make thankfulness a little more difficult... always and everything.  Ephesians 5:19-20 says we should always give thanks for everything... which translates into giving thanks when things are great... and not so great.  I should have known I was reading this for a reason...

I go upstairs to get ready for church and decide to wear a dress since we were visiting a different church this morning to watch my friend's daughter get baptized.  I thought... hmmm, I'll wear the dress I wore for my anniversary date.  I go to the closet to get it out, and I'm mortified... it's not there, and I know exactly where it is... in the closet of the hotel where my hubby and I celebrated our anniversary.  Let me tell you, I am NOT giving thanks for two reasons.  Number 1:  This is my favorite winter dress.  Number 2:  We checked out of the hotel two weeks ago... yep, you read it right, it took me two weeks to realize I left it.  And to top it all off, I remember thinking as I hung the dress in the closet,  I sure hope I don't leave this here.  Should've left it out...

I called the hotel and they told me they'd check the lost and found for my clothes.  This didn't look too good.  However, they promised to call and let me know whether they found our clothes or not.  I'm still pretty hot about it and then I remember I'm supposed to always give thanks for everything.  And knowing I'm accountable to you, I thought I should put this into practice.  So, my half-hearted attempts at thankfulness were "I'm thankful I have other dresses I can wear.  And if someone else found it, I'm thankful they have a nice new dress to enjoy."  That's a little bit of progress... and if I wasn't doing this experiment, I doubt thankfulness in this situation would even cross my mind.

And then, just to make sure I got the point, God reminded me of thankfulness yet again by having the first worship song be none other than 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  As the tears steamed down my face, I confessed and asked God to forgive me for not being thankful like I should. 

But God wasn't done with me yet because later, I drove past a church marquee that said "Give thanks with a grateful heart."  Ah, so my heart needs to be invested too.  I'm so very thankful that God doesn't expect me to be perfect with this thankfulness stuff!  And that He gently reminds me to CHOOSE thanksgiving even when I don't FEEL like being thankful.  Can any of you relate?

And now for the rest of the story... after lunch, I received a phone call from the hotel and they found my clothes and are shippin them to me.  How cool is that?  After the phone call, I stopped and said a prayer of thanksgiving to God, letting Him know that I appreciate that He even cares about my lost clothes.  God cares about every detail in our lives... no wonder we should always give thanks for everything.  The Thankfulness Experiment can help us practice Ephesians 4:19-20... even when our feelings don't match up with our decision to be thankful.  Keep those lists coming so we can help each other with this thankfulness transformation stuff.  Here's to God's grace and learning how to be thankful one day at a time.

Today, I am thankful for...

1.  Watching my friend's daughter get baptized... so beautiful!
2.  God's grace when I'm not being thankful like I should... and His gentle reminders to obey
3.  Dress found and on it's way back home
4.  My son getting to do his favorite thing in the world - ride his motorcycle
5.  My hubby doing dishes after dinner

Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 7,922 to go...


  1. I am thankful for-
    Tina Carter's Italian wedding soup- YUM-O
    An invite to a cookie exchange with friends we don't get to see very often
    2 days to focus on a homework project before the Thanksgiving festivities begin.
    My husband the Chef, who takes care of every Thanksgivibg feast detail, because he loves to do it, and he's great at it !
    Passion fruit tea :-)
    Bonnie Lawrence

  2. Amanda.L.
    I'm thankful for a great sermon today.
    I'm thankful for a prayer today.
    I'm thankful for my uncle rod and aunt pat.
    I'm thankful for vanilla robost tea.
    I'm thankful for getting to know new friends.

  3. 1. I am thankful for Downton Abbey
    2. I am thankful for books
    3. I am thankful for being at Biola
    4. I am thankful for nice people
    5. I am thankful for the crisp cool smell in the air

  4. (1) I am thankful for getting up this morning and going to church.
    (2) I am thankful for eating lunch with my kids and their families.
    (3) I am thankful for taking a nap.
    (4) I am thankful that all the decorations are in the house wating to be put up.
    (5) I am thankful for my husband putting the tree together and waiting until Yuesday to decorate with my family.
    (6) I am thankful for popcorn and apples with carmel dip.
    (7) I am thankful for Christmas lights.Gina

  5. Little behind today 15-19 thankfulness:
    1- for a church that is an amazing example of what God called us to do
    2-sunrise over Agape Retreat Center
    3-Sunset over KCIW woman's prison
    4-Helping good friends at the retreat
    5-Being able to love on the woman at KCIW on Saturday and then again tonight
    6-Text that Lilly is serving with a happy heart
    7-Being excited for the holidays
    8-Our Sunday School class and what they have become to our family
    9-Thanksgiving feast at church
    10-Random text messages that make me smile
    11-being thankful when I am sad
    12-Christmas music
    13-The upcoming long weekend and much needed rest with my family
    Have a fantastic day!!!

  6. 1. I am thankful for a family trip to the UofL basketball game, courtesy of a wonderful gal!!!

    2. I am thankful for fun times and new experiences.

    3. I am thankful for popcorn.

    4. I am thankful for spontaneity.

    5. I am thankful for my husband who loves life and God in such a peaceful way.

  7. 1. I am thankful for people who complement my kids
    2. I am thankful for people who don't look at Toby different
    3. I am thankful for my Evelyn and all the joy she has brought
    4. I am thankful for grass and tress
    5. I am thankful for the cards win

  8. 1) I am thankful that Emma is home from college:)
    2) I am thankful that our two teenagers came with with their mom and dad to the UofL game.
    3) I am thankful for Emma's friend Lauren who hugged me and called me her second mom:)
    4) I am thankful for the opportunity to take a nap
    5) I am thankful that my husband took care of dinner while I took a nap.

  9. I am thankful for:
    1. a walk with my husband,
    2. Tea time at Sister's Tea Parlor with 4 amazing women,
    3. seeing Sarah in a hilarious hat,
    4. hearts turned toward Christ,
    5. that the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective,
    6. that someone I have prayed for weekly for the last 9 years has made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus, and been baptized!! (A million thank you's my dear gracious Lord),
    7. my son sleeping in his bed this week in his ol' Kentucky home,
    8. that God's plans can never be superceeded by man's plans,
    9. the book of Hebrews and all the Lord has taught me through it
    10. our Lifegroup,
    11. the sound of lots of laughing children at my house last night,
    12. the smell of brisket cooking in the smoker,
    13. legs to walk - especially after a disabled woman asked me for help this morning at the grocery store
    14. Brussel sprouts on the stalk - they look so pretty and i can't wait to try a new recipe
    15. my daughter's love for children

  10. 1. I am thankful for an afternoon cup of coffee.
    2. I am thankful for good books.
    3. I am thankful for a repaired computer.
    4. I am thankful God chooses to use ordinary people to accomplish His plan.
    5. I am thankful for dark chocolate.

  11. I am thankful for aerobics
    I am thankful for shopping at Target and getting some new boots :)
    I am thankful for yummy smells coming from the kitchen
    I am thankful for my parents helping me with college stuff
    I am thankful for God's faithfulness

  12. I am thankful:
    1. health concerns for a co-worker not as bad as originally thought.
    2. for God's patience with me...even when I'm not patient with myself.
    3. there are only 2 school days this week.
    4. for the beautiful sky this morning. Loads of fave.
    5. for the cool convo I had with my son @ bedtime. Lots of questions rolling around up there and I'm glad he likes to ask me questions.

  13. 1. Thankful for bus stop waiting time in the car, just me and my girl.
    2. For deciding last night to bring a jar of peanut butter and some crackers to stash at work on the very day I left my lunch at home.
    3. Thankful for safe traveling on my commute every day and the conscientious, polite drivers that help make it so (and thankful that the actions of the others cause me no harm)
    4. Thankful for the "but God"(s) in the Bible that remind me that His ways are not mine but infinitely wiser, better, and more powerful.
    5. Thankful for sleep that restores.

  14. 1. Family time without arguments
    2. Church days
    3. Smaller clothes
    4. My commitment to a vegan diet
    5. The ability to be able to fall asleep early