Thanks God For Giving…

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The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But it isn’t always easy to be thankful, right? When things fall, they aren’t always beautiful. We fail. We fall. We sin. We worry. We get grumpy, we frown, and we may find ourselves wondering, How am I going to turn my frown into a smile? Not just a pretend one, a real one.

How are you supposed to keep your tears from flowing when the bucket in front of you doesn’t look big enough to catch them all? How can you celebrate Thanksgiving every day when you don’t know where to begin looking for gratitude?

I think we need to seek for and find thankfulness every day, not just on Thanksgiving. At times the holidays get busy. Too busy for us to slow down and thank God for blessings given and those yet to come. On Thanksgiving Day, the turkey roasts in the oven. I’ve never seen so much food on the counter. Now I understand why we only do this once a year — at least the meal portion.

My family has been able to smell the turkey all day, so they ask me questions incessantly…

  • Mom, when is the turkey going to be done?
  • Honey, did you get pumpkin and apple pie?
  • Is the whipped cream fresh or canned?
  • Is there enough gravy?
  • Where do you want us to sit?
  • Can my friends come over too?
  • When is the football game on?
  • Can we come over again next year?
  • This looks delicious! Can I have a preview bite?

I think they’re anxious to gobble, gobble, gobble. I admit I am too.

Instead, I want to step back and pray. Pray for those of you who don’t feel like you have enough to be thankful for. Pray for those you who are lost, sad, overwhelmed, confused, lonely, and find yourselves wondering, Where are You, God? Where are You right now? What do I have to be thankful for? We all have moments where being thankful isn’t simple.

Beloved child of God, He is right next to you. In Him, you are forever forgiven, forever loved, and forever in His presence. He is your reason to be thankful. Thankful every day. Behind your smile, there are reasons to unleash gratitude. Sometimes blessings feel like they’re overflowing. Other times it doesn’t feel like there are enough. Look a bit harder. If you can’t find them ask yourself, “What am I thankful for today?”

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I talked with God today and this is what I thanked Him for…

Thanks God for giving me today.
— It’s a gift.
Thanks for reminding me that You’re always near.
— You captivate my soul.
Thanks for blessing me with courage when I’m afraid.
— You are my Anchor.
Thanks for victories.
— You are my Armor.
Thanks for giving me confidence that hope is always found in You.
— You are my Sustenance.
Thank You for every breath I get to take.
— You are my Healer.
Thank You for my family.
— You are our amazing Creator.
Thank you for faith-filled friends.
— They are blessings from above.
Thank you for a roof over our heads and food on the table.
— You are our Provider.
Thank you for sacrificing Your one and only Son.
— You are our Redeemer.
Thank you for the honor to get to praise You.
— You are our King.
This Thanksgiving I will get down on bended knee, stay in awe, thanking You for blessings big and small.
I love you God.
Amen.

So how do you find thankfulness in every situation?

KNOW WHO YOUR KING IS.
Authentic identity is found in Christ, not in this world. If you let the world rule you and say who you need to be it won’t fulfill you. You’re not perfect and the world will demand that from you. And sometimes feeling imperfect, because you cannot live up to the world’s standards, brings you down and then it’s hard to be thankful. Or you may hold onto treasures on earth, accomplishments you hope to gain, praise from others, or the need to have others unconditionally love you. You’ll find that all of this lacks what you hoped it would give you. Fulfillment is temporary not everlasting. Now you might feel thankless instead of thankful. Beloved, turn toward your Heavenly Father, your King. Focus on all that He has done for you. He gave us His one and only Son to make you whole. Make you complete. In God’s eyes, you are flawless once you pull Him into your heart. I pray you will know how real He is today.

LOVE HIM BACK.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much God loves you! Choose to love Him back and discover how much He loves. If you’ve loved God for a long time, love Him more. If you haven’t before, start today. I promise you, you’ll find a reason to give thanks every day.

PRAY CONTINUALLY.
If you are feeling thankless, ask God to help you find thankfulness. If you are in a joy-filled season, thank God for everything He’s done for you. Keep praying. Keep talking to Him. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

TRUST GOD.
Trusting God with our every portion isn’t alway simple. At times we face challenging, discouraging, or unthinkable moments. When you find yourself in this circumstance,  extending thankfulness is challenging. I’ve been there, done that. Trusting God will help you extend gratitude in all circumstances. Actively trust Him by lifting up thanks and shouting-out glory to the One who goes before you to fight battles encountered. God will equip you to chase thankfulness in all situations. You’ll get to see how mighty and capable our Father is. Your strong, unshakeable victory is found in Christ. Always. No matter who you are, no matter what you are going through, God is right there. So keep trusting and watch your thankfulness rise.

UNCOVER HIDDEN JOY AND GIVE THANKS.
If you can’t seem to find a reason to be thankful and joyful, get out a piece of paper and start making a list of things you’re thankful for. Stay in your seat until you have a minimum of five things written down. Leave that piece of paper out and add to it throughout the day.

I did and here is the list I wrote. I plan to leave it out for days and weeks to come, considering it a blessing to keep adding to my “thankful list.”

God thank you for…

  • Your love-grip.
  • Your redemption.
  • Your sacrifice.
  • Life. It is precious.
  • My husband, children, family, friends — now and yet to be made.
  • The four angels waiting for me in Heaven. Miscarriages took them, but I know they are with You today.
  • For helping my doctor discover my brain tumor in time.
  • For taking me off life support and for keeping me here to stay with my family a bit longer.
  •  Miracles. They are Your whispers from Heaven.
  • For every breath I get to take, every step I get to take, every prayer I get to lift up, every smile I get to see, and every giggle I get to hear.
  • For showing me that hope is always found in You — yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
  • For reminding me to thank You every day. And when I forget, thank You for extending me  unfathomable grace.

My “thankful list” for all that You’ve done will never end, because You are my Forever Father Love.

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Beloved, keep thanking. And soon you’ll find a reason to be thankful in all circumstances. “In every thing give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Remember, complaining is contagious but so is the opposite, including appreciation and gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Hope in Him,
Helo

NOT SURE WHEN YOU SHOULD SAY YES? GOD DOES.

Ever wanted to plug your ears and close your eyes for just a minute? Just an hour? Maybe all day long? I admit sometimes I have. You know, the kind of moments when it feels like everyone around you wants something from you. And you feel like you’re facing a need-to-say-YES tsunami! Some people know how to say, “No.” I admit I’m not always good at that.blue-question-mark

Child summons: “Mom, where are my shoes? I can’t find them. Can you help me?”

YES.

Child summons again: “Can you take me to the bagel store after you pick me up from track practice? I love bagels. And then can we go to the grocery store for cream cheese? Bagels aren’t good without them. And besides, I like spending time with you.”

YES.

Email summons: “Hi Helo, this is so-and-so. Could you please send me content for your upcoming talk?”

YES.

Text summons: “Hi Mom, this is your favorite son. Can you bring me my black shoes? I need them for a meeting today and school is keeping me too busy to come home.”

YES.

Phone summons: “Hi friend, can you pray with me right now, I’m struggling.”

YES.

Phone summons again: “Mom, it’s me again… can you?”

YES.

Facebook summons: “Hi Helo, Miss you. Can we talk today?”

YES.

Phone summons again: “Hi beautiful, Could you please look for my wallet, I think I left it at home. If so, can you meet me at work with it?”

YES.

Text summons again: “Hi daughter, haven’t seen you in a while. Can we get together for lunch?”

YES.

Dog summons: Woof woof, wiggle wiggle summons with leash in mouth. “Hi master, it’s your puppy, Buttons. You know the one you haven’t paid much attention to yet today because you’ve been too busy saying ‘yes’ to everyone else. Can you take me for a walk? NOW?” Bark bark. Wiggle wiggle. Jump jump. “Master, I love it outside and I know you do too. Let’s go!”

YES.

Phone summons: “Hi friend, my son is sick and I have a doctor’s appointment today. I can’t bring him with me. I know this is a lot to ask but could you please watch him for a little while today at 2 o’clock?”

YES.

Phone summons: “It’s me, your plumber, can we reschedule fixing your toilet. I know you need it done, but we have an emergency situation here at work…”

Sigh…. Mumbling under breath. Answer — YES.

Phone summons again: “Mom, I left my lunch at home, can you bring it to me? Maybe you could leave a little earlier than usual to pick me up?”

YES.

Phone summons again. Should I pick it up?

YES.

“Hi beautiful. It’s me again. Say, we’ve both been so busy lately. I really miss spending one on one time with you. Wanna get all dolled up and go out to dinner with me tonight? I just want you to know how much I love you.”

Breathe in breathe out Helo. You can make time to get all dolled up. Answer your beloved husband, right now. “I love you too, handsome. YES, dinner sounds delightful.”

Now the YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. tsunami is making me want to put tape over my mouth. I need an implosion guard. God are you listening?

Helo, listen to me, it is now 11 o’clock in the morning. Thank you for walking the treadmill. Thank you for saying YES to those around you. Now you need to take a shower, eat breakfast, and take care of you. Don’t you agree?

I DON’T KNOW. Because that was me talking to myself and sometimes I don’t know how to answer yes to me.

And the YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. summons doesn’t feel like it’s going to stop. It’s got a grip on me.

Time to start thinking now. The pensive kind. Pensively thinking. Yeah, but Helo, isn’t it a blessing to get to say yes all the time?

NO!

Wow I finally shouted-out, “NO!” Hallelujah! And it’s not even lunch time. But I will say “no” to that ice-cream in the freezer. Hmmmmm… maybe not. WAIT. Focus Helo.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful to get to say YES. Getting to love, help others, and meet deadlines is a blessing. Getting to be busy is joyful. Most of the time. But sometimes you and I need to interrupt the YES downpour with God’s umbrella. Time out. Time out with God. Time to talk with God and ask Him, “God, What do You want me to do with today?”

All those YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. rain responses can cloud your Director’s wisdom and keep it from showering over you.

Pray over what you need to say YES to and let God answer.

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It is okay to say NO to others. Sometimes NO means not yet or not ever. Or it might mean that that someone who asked you for your “yes” may need find someone else to fill in their “yes” gap. You cannot be everything to everyone. Only God can do that.

But it is not okay to say NO to God. Refusal is a choice that you and I can freely make. We can freely refuse His wisdom and direction. But our wisdom is never better than His. Saying YES to God all the time infuses us with direction, strength, discernment, and peace. Now this is authentic wisdom.

Our Father knows how to enable us to accomplish what He wants us to even if we are afraid of the pending result. Always. Trusting Him with our all isn’t always easy. Faith requires letting go and letting God. But who better is there to lift our troubles up to? Answer: No one but God.

Time to trust Him.

Trust His answer.

Trust Him with everything, because God is all you need.

Now how do you do that?

RECOGNIZE THAT GOD RULES. He is sovereign, because He already knows what will happen in advance before it even occurs. It is safe to say that He is the One you should go to first. God reigns above all. “Even from eternity, I am He, And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13). Answer: No one, because there is only one God.

KEEP TRUSTING. Trusting God to direct us means sometimes putting a halt to our own agenda or agendas imposed upon us. God’s purpose for us is defined by the One who is wise. His wisdom can not be foiled or derailed unless we let the enemy take the wheel. You know what, friend? That rascal doesn’t know how to drive anyhow, so don’t let him take the wheel. Ask God to take it.

“I know that You can do all things, and no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”          (Job 42:2).

KEEP BELIEVING. Keep your focus on God and keep believing. Do not let the enemy distract you, even though he wants to. Don’t pay any attention to that rascal. Instead, seek God. Beloved, reflect upon Hebrews 11:6, where it is written, “For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” He knows how to embrace you. He knows how to comfort you. He knows how to direct you. LET HIM!

STAY COURAGEOUS. Recognize the one who knows how to lead your battles.”Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Let your faith roar like a lion and don’t let your fears trample God’s promises. Always remember He will never leave nor forsake you.

WAIT PATIENTLY. This isn’t always easy because much like people around you want YES right away, you often want a YES right away answer from God. I admit, at times, I do. Beloved, focus and find comfort in knowing that “God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 64:4).

PRAY. Enough said.

SPEND TIME IN HIS DIRECTION MANUAL. Crave it and you’ll see how much you need it. Why? Because the Bible is the best life instruction manual ever written. Meditate upon His words. “You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed.” (Joshua 1:8).

And if you are thinking, Helo, I want to say NO to some of the bold directives above; think again. Say NO to the chatter around you. Say YES to God right now. And if you think you are too busy, stop what you’re doing and you won’t be too busy after all.

Putting God first is the best YES decision you’ll ever make.

I need to do the same and listen to Him tell me right now, HELO, IT IS TIME TO GO NOW, STOP CLICKING THE KEYBOARD AND NO, THIS BLOG DOESN’T NEED MORE WORDS ANY LONGER. IT IS FINISHED. YOU’VE GIVEN THE READER ENOUGH TO THINK ABOUT — FOR NOW.

YES Father.

Hope in Him,
Helo