— by Kit Coons —
I am, by nature, a thankful person. I have been taught, and taken to heart, the scripture to thank God in everything.
And there have been many “everythings” in my life: challenges on the mission field … the dream of children … cancer … the loss of those I love. My list goes on, as does yours.
For Christmas last year I was given the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her writing style made me read slowly and savor each word. The giving thanks of which she wrote rang true.
So I decided to look for a gift in each day and “frame it” by keeping a list—a list of one thousand gifts. This was a new perspective for me on giving thanks.
In the past, whenever something challenging would come into my life, I would (as an act of faith) thank God for it. I would literally whisper, “Thank you, Lord.” This was my offering of trust in an all-knowing God.
As I started the gift list Ann described, I realized that something was happening in my heart. Thanking God for these everyday gifts began to change me. My daily joy increased and I began to even pray for my husband, Drew, differently.
Drew asked me to pray for specific areas he wants to change. However, as I prayed I was constantly reminded of his weaknesses. And ever so subtly that focus began to color my thoughts of him.
After I read One Thousand Gifts, I realized that I needed to refocus my prayers and thank God for the things my husband does well. As I did this, again my thoughts began to change.
My first reaction in a negative situation is still to whisper thanks to God as an act of trust. But now those challenges are outweighed by the growing list of everyday gifts that I keep on my kitchen counter.
To be thankful in the challenges of life is the biblical thing to do, but to be full of thanks for the everyday gifts is indeed joy.
Post © 2014 Kit Coons. All rights reserved. Read more from Kit at http://kitcoons.blogspot.com.
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