Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thankful Be

My mom's white kitty, Nim, posed next to some of my Chalkboard art (such as it is) last Thanksgiving.

I do believe that being Thankful is a necessary state of mind.Without it we are danger of withering into a blob of self-destructive pity.

Now that is some warm and fuzzy imagery!

I also think being Thankful should be more than just a one shot a year deal. Obviously. In fact, I think that the cares of  life will just gobble us up if we don’t bother to “count our blessings.” (Get it. Gobble? Ha!)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the beloved hymn, “Count Your Blessings", (at least it's beloved with the toe tapping, church going Hillbillies of my acquaintance) I want to share the lyrics with you. 

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?

Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?

Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,

And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,

Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;

Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy

Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,

Do not be disheartened, God is over all;

Count your many blessings, angels will attend,

Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

I really need to stitch a sampler of these words…and wear it every day. 

I’ve mentioned a couple of times (well, probably more than a couple) that I have had a lingering case of the grumpies as of late.  You have to watch out with those grumpies. They are catching. It is also a fact that a proven cure for the grumpies is Gratitude. 

So I have been taking extra care the past few weeks to consciously (and publically) give Thanks to the One who created all things for all that He has blessed me with. 

To be honest there have been some days it hasn’t been easy. I’m more of a “glass half full” kind of person in real life. But a good case of the grumpies can lay even those most positive of girls low now and again. 

I want to share some of my thoughts on how to encourage a life of Thanksgiving. I hope to inspire you and myself in the process. By the way…I was kind of inspired by the Hymn above. It’s a great blueprint for living a grateful life.

1.       Count Your Blessings. I mean it. Get out a notebook and start recording those blessings. One day this week all I could come up with is that I was thankful I could clean house. There have been times in my life where I couldn’t even comb my own hair…let alone dust the furniture. It’s a biggie when you think about it. I just needed to be reminded how blessed I truly am. 

2.       Don’t Go to the Dark Side. As tempting it is we have to be extra careful not to go negative. Even if you are facing a trial, you must trust that God is going to work it for His good. I have to know that God is taking my mess and making a masterpiece!

3.       Don’t Compare. It’s hard. We as women often hold ourselves up to each other. Sometimes we just don’t measure up. We aren’t as skinny or put together. We don’t keep house as well as our Baby Sister (just getting a little personal there). Our clothes don’t look as fresh and stylish. Other women seem to manage their children better. The truth is that we can’t see inside another’s heart. Our focus needs to be on God. Not others. 

4.       Don’t Wish For What Was or Could Have Been. This has been a biggie for me in the past few weeks for some reason. My mom and dad have been going through a storage building. My mom found a whole stack of pictures from my youth. There were those of me in my svelte (if not fuzzy-haired) days. There were also those of me when I had gained an enormous amount of weight. Today I am somewhere in between. I have lost much of the weight, but have more to lose. Instead of rejoicing in my accomplishment, however, I was sad. How could that tiny girl let herself get so fat? I spent entirely too much time in a self-imposed pity part…complete with streamers and an ice cream sundae. We have to be thankful for what God has taken us through. We have to be grateful for Today. And not wish to change our yesterdays. There was purpose in those yesterdays. 

5.       Don’t Carry the Weight of the World (on your shoulders). There is an old song that I used to sing as a special as a kid. 

There is no problem too big

God cannot solve it

There is no mountain too tall

God cannot move it

There is no storm too dark

God cannot calm it

There is no sorrow too deep

He cannot soothe it

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my brother that He will carry you

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my sister that He will carry you

Thankfulness is that state of mind that allows you to rest in His providence. To rest in the knowledge that He is carrying you in the palm of his hand.  I am often guilty of not only worrying about my issues (as many as they are), but also taking on the problems of others. I was never meant to carry those burdens.

So this Thanksgiving midst the Turkey and pie, I hope that we all take time to be Thankful. More than that, however, it is my prayer that the Attitude of Gratitude permeates my life. That “Counting my Blessings” is as natural as breathing in and out. 

I want to leave you with this little clip (keeping, perhaps, in the spirit of this ‘sing-a-long’ post) from one of my most favorite movies ever. White Christmas. 

Bing and Rosemary. It doesn’t get any better that this. 

And the song is oh so appropriate.

Happy Thanksgiving, My Friends.

I'm linking this post to The Old Schoolhouse Crew Blog! It goes live on November 19.



  1. I started when my Josiah was about 18 months teaching my kids this song. We sing it every day in the month of November.It was the only way I could make sure my kids know this song, since it's not sung at our church any more. It's our tradition now. It's fun, and it really helped me this year to get over my very-own-personal case of the grumpies because of something in reference to the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Blessings.
    (You don't have to be a good singer to make a joyful noise. :) )

  2. there is indeed much to be thankful for. :)


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