Just Be Thankful

cascade

When we discovered that the case of children’s DVDs was stolen from our car, gratitude was not my immediate response. Irritation and anger, maybe, but not gratitude. With a ten hour car ride looming in a couple of weeks, I knew how much smoother the trip would go if the boys had something to hold their attention other than the passing scenery.

I didn’t think my son noticed my response. But oh, how our kids notice every bad attitude or negative behavior we think we’re hiding from them, don’t they?

A couple of days later, my son wanted to watch one of the movies that was in said case. When he remembered we no longer owned that movie, he immediately began echoing what he’d heard, no doubt, from me.

“I can’t watch it because someone stole it. Someone stole our DVDs. And now we’ll never have them again.”

It was as though I was looking in a mirror. Here was my son making a dramatic dialogue over something that, in the grand scheme of things, didn’t matter one bit. But I wasn’t going to let this attitude progress. I grabbed hold of the situation and used it as an opportunity to teach my son.

“Yes, it was wrong of the person to steal the DVDs. But you know what? We can replace them. It may take some time, but we have the money to buy new ones eventually. The person who took them may not have had any money to buy their own. We should be thankful God gives us these things to enjoy.”

As my son thought about what I’d said, his attitude changed. He realized that not being able to watch The Incredibles at that exact moment was not the end of the world. There were other ways we could enjoy our time together. Other blessings to be enjoyed.

When we focus on our blessings, anger diffuses in a cascade of grace.

God’s word tells us not to merely be thankful in the happy, shiny, rainbow filled moments of life. He tells us to be thankful in all things.

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

Is this even possible? Is it possible, when the stress of life is overwhelming, to be thankful? When tragedy strikes? When things don’t go according to plan? Yes, but it does not come naturally. It is a discipline. We must choose to be thankful.

Why? Because this is God’s will for us. And when we really stop and think about it, how can we not? He has given us a life we didn’t deserve and paid a debt He didn’t owe, so that we can live in eternal communion with Him.

When I pause and reflect on what he’s done, I am more than grateful.

I am overwhelmed.

 

Today I’m linking up with these communities who inspire and encourage each week. Click the links below to learn more.

                 

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16 thoughts on “Just Be Thankful

  1. Another great post, Abby! I’m always deified when I visit here 🙂

    On my morning drive in (as I prayed), I felted on just how negative I’ve been lately. There’s good cause for it – having to go back to work after the second baby came, with my husband always traveling for work, to boot. This is not fun stuff. But you are so right – God calls me to be grateful. I can’t deny that part of my duty to Him. And i need to remember that whatever I’m doing at the moment – His will lead me there, so there is *need* to be grateful in that moment. Thank you for this!

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    • You are such an encouragement to me, Kirsten. I’m so glad we found each other via Meredith’s blog. You are in my thoughts and prayers today. I know what you’re going through isn’t easy, but God will get you through it. He is faithful.

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  2. What a great lesson and reminder… to look for the gifts! I love that visual of a ‘cascade of grace’! Yeah… that one will stick with me for awhile! Thankful for that… stopping by from Holley’s place, sharing a cup of Coffee with you this morning!

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Karrilee! I loved your post too but was interrupted by my two-year-old before I had time to comment. 😉 Have a wonderful day and enjoy that “island time.”

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  3. I can’t count the times my children have ushered out what they heard me usher in their little ears….and it wasn’t anything that I wanted them to repeat. :-\ Thank you for this reminder, that even when I mess up, there is an opportunity to turn it around to good and teach from it. And the reminder that I have nothing to offer BUT thanks to such a good and gracious God. Thank you for linking-up today, Abby! Always a joy to have you. xoxo, Meredith

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    • I’m glad to hear I’m not alone, Meredith. They are certainly God’s little teachers, aren’t they? He reveals so much to me through them. Thank you for your encouragement as always. Much love to you, friend. xoxo

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  4. My son isn’t even two years old yet, and already I’m hearing him parrot me in ways that make me do a double take. Is that really what I sound like? Thank you for sharing this story, so that we all can remember—right along with you and your son—to be thankful in any and all situations. God is good!

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    • Yes He is, all the time. And yes, my youngest is two and a half, and he is quite the parrot. 😉 They certainly are God’s little mirrors, aren’t they? Have a great rest of your week, Katie.

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  5. Abby, great message today. Thank you for sharing it! Being thankful in all things is something I still would like to master some day. I love how you taught your son through your example. And I love The Incredibles too! Sending hugs your way!

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    • Thank you, Julie! I’ll take a hug from a friend anytime. 🙂 I think being thankful in all things is a discipline that takes a lifetime to learn, but I will continue to work on it!

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  6. The Lord sent these words from you to my inbox and straight to my heart. Thank you, Abby. You’ve reminded me of just what I needed to hear today. Choose to be thankful. God is in this difficulty.

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    • That is so encouraging to hear, Sabra. Thank you. I pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to you in your present difficulty. He is faithful! Blessings to you, friend.

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  7. It is amazing the things our little ones will reflect back to us. I have been there many times. It takes a little practice to be thankful when things don’t go our way but well worth it.

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