Giving Thanks

Can I admit something to you on this dreary Black Friday? Oh it isn’t that I am a secret shopaholic or that I got up at 4AM to stand in line to purchase a television. This is something that I am really not proud of. And it certainly isn’t a part of my life I want to highlight.

But I want to share it with you, just in case in might help you.

I realized last night while praying before my Thanksgiving meal I don’t thank God often enough.

thank_you_by_loish-d8boqn5Oh, I manage every once in a while to thank Him for the big things. My husband, my dog, the house I live in, the fact I get to live in my favorite state. But when it comes down to where the rubber hits the road, I skid away from thankfulness.

This morning, I grabbed my journal because it seemed like a great way to start the day. Normally, I journal at night, but today I wanted to begin with it – to ask God to bless my day in advance instead of reviewing my day with Him at night. And in the middle of asking Him to use me today, it struck me how often I ask Him for things instead of thanking Him.

I rush through my day so intensely, I rarely take time to thank Him for some of the blessings He gives me. Like the delightful taste of my morning cup of tea. Or the comforting warmth of my slippers keeping my feet balmy on the cold wooden floors. The soft whoosh of my dog’s tail on the cabinets as I prepare her meals. The things that make our lives rich and beautiful, but that we often don’t notice or appreciate.

Instead my prayers seem to be “Help me, Lord. Give me, Lord. Please, Lord, provide this thing for me.” I tell myself to send up short prayers in the middle of my day to thank God, but I rarely do this. I even journal about the deep desire in my heart to develop this habit. My faulty attempts fall short.

I wish I could say I was learning how to do this much better than I currently am. It’s as if all roads lead back to me and not to God’s glory.

I have done things I never dreamed I could accomplish. Like marrying the man of my dreams when I thought love would never bloom, traveling to Hong Kong, moving to California, writing a book. I remember moments that were so uplifting I couldn’t hold my joy inside. But rarely in that moment of exquisite delight did I take time to thank God, even though I knew as the Creator of joy, the blessings came from Him. Somehow I miss the power of the short prayer in 2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

This year, I am bound and determined to thank God as often as I can. Because during those times when I wonder where He’s gone, why He’s not more present to me, I realize it is mostly because all I’ve been doing is praying about what I want and not thanking Him for what He’s given me.

As the season of gift-giving starts, I’m preparing my heart so God gives me the eyes to see the gifts that gather in the small, mundane, everyday places of my life where I can easily say, “Thank you, Lord.” Won’t you join me? 

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