Thursday, November 13, 2014

Give Tanks

“Tanks!” is how Daniel says thank you. He yells it from wherever he is in our apartment when he hears someone in the kitchen preparing a meal. He says it again, sometimes more quietly, when we’re gathered around the table, enjoying the food together.

David and Daniel made thank you hands out of colored paper to put on the wall last weekend. They told me what they wanted to thank God for in Chinese, and I helped translate so that they could write them in English. Daniel was thankful for “clothes, food, love, home, and books.” David thanked God for “Jesus, wisdom, Liam’s adoption, bodies, and hearts.” 

This is a month that reminds us to be thankful.
But whether or not I choose to be thankful is up to me.

Back in August, I wrote in my journal:

It’s My Choice

whether I see the good or the bad
whether I focus on myself or others
whether I give in to discouragement or not
whether I choose to compare or not
whether I affirm or condemn
whether I laugh or scowl
whether I am thankful or resentful
whether I make room in my heart or not
whether I seek God in the day to day or not.

Every day I have the choice: of what to focus on, of what kind of attitude to have, of how to interact with those around me… Regardless of my circumstances.

Our inner happiness depends not on what we experience but on the degree of our gratitude to God, whatever the experience.” (Albert Schweitzer)

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning.” (Karl Barth)

“The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God—even for the bread and cup of cost, for cancer and crucifixion—this prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him” (Ann Voskamp)

God, help me to have a thankful heart.

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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