Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks Be!

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."  ~G.B. Stern

I am grateful. And I choose gratefulness over pessimism. I choose the glass half full over the half empty. I choose merrymaking over misery.

This is my God-given right, and because of what God has done on my behalf, it is also my inheritance. I pooh-pooh the psychologists who say my happy factor is a function of genetics and in-bred temperament. They haven't seen my dark moments. My losses. My dead ends. Or the multiple times my heart was severed in two.

"Choose hope," says author Leigh McLeroy's friend in The Beautiful Ache. "It's entirely reasonable." 

Daily, we choose whether to curse the darkness or to be thankful for the light. Gratitude is a choice, one that we can make moment-to-moment, one that has the power to change us -- and in so doing, to advance God's Kingdom in ways we never dreamed possible.

People who know this have the power to change things, simply by allowing the Holy Spirit to redirect their thinking--and in so doing to redirect their heart.
  • the Apostle Paul wrote "Rejoice in the Lord always!" while in prison chains
  • Corrie Ten Boom and her sister thanked God for a tick-infested room at a Nazi concentration camp, because it allowed them to read the Bible in peace
  • Mary the mother of Jesus, shamed by her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, said her "spirit rejoiced in God my Savior"

These ones, and millions of others, know the end of the story. God wins! And because of the sweetness of His promises and His presence, I choose to focus on this week's gratitude-givers:
  • the unexpected anticipation of preaching my second sermon to a classroom of men tonight
  • the joy on the faces of the elderly to whom my husband and I served a Thanksgiving dinner last night
  • after that, the balmy weather that led us out of our living room into a beautiful nighttime stroll
  • the giving of thanks time at this week's Bible study for women in recovery
  • Thursday's thanksgiving meal with family, an enticement for us to remember what God has blessed us with so we can share
  • tucking my two nieces and my nephew in Friday night when they visit, and waking with them early for buckwheat pancakes 

What about you? Because of what Jesus has done on our behalf, our spirits can dwell secure, leaving our hearts free to soar in gratitude. Let's hear your "gratitude-givers" below.


  1. Such good reminders, Suzanne. I have found that the key to peace and joy in life is learning/practicing to say thank You in ALL things. I also encourage my children to do the same. I find I have many opportunities while traveling--so many things go "wrong."

    I have listed 21 of my gratitude givers in my latest Kindling blog: http://inkindle.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/a-week-of-giving-thanks/

  2. Suzanne, I love this post! Today's been a tough week (for no particular reason) and you've just reminded me about the choice of Hope and joy, rather than just waiting for those feelings to land on me. Thanks for doing that!

  3. Grateful for your comments, Jeedoo and Nicole. Hope the week after Thanksgiving contains just as much giving of thanks.