A Year in Homemaking: the Discipline of Thankfulness {Week 34}

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The idea of thankfulness has been a focused goal of mine for the past few years. I’ve been convicted in the past of a lack of thankfulness and tried to repent but it was at best a temporary effort, not a lifestyle change. I read a delightful book regarding the concept of focused, continual thanksgiving and it made a huge impact on me. Not only was I convicted of times of not being thankful but I became excited about learning to become thankful in everything all the time.

1 thessalonians 5 18As most of you know being thankful is a commandment, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are commanded to give thanks in all circumstances. And just before that we are told, in verse 16, to rejoice always. These two commandments seem inextricably linked to me in that I don’t know how I can rejoice without a thankful heart.

Ok, so we’re told to be thankful and rejoice always… I’m not sure about you but this seems to be a tall order for me at times. For instance, when my kids were little, potty training was one of those times! I absolutely loved being a momma, with the exception of potty training. I seriously could have given my kids to someone, anyone, and had them take that heinous job for me. Another time that was very difficult for me to have a thankful heart was when my parents died, most likely without knowing our Lord. Life is full of times that it is very difficult to be thankful and to rejoice.

But our faithful Father has given us a way to be thankful and even to rejoice always. He is so good to us, never giving us commandments that are impossible to keep, always telling us how to keep His commandments even when it is awfully difficult to do so. When life is miserable and there is nothing in our circumstances that we can think of to be thankful for our loving Father has given us a whole bible full of things to be thankful for! If we choose to obey Him and look in His word for things to be  thankful for rather than dwelling on the garbage of life, we find His abundant love for us in the form of Him sending His Son to take our punishment for our sin, we find that He has adopted us into His family, we find that He has given us His power to overcome sin and obey Him and much more! If this doesn’t fill your heart with thankfulness and joy I don’t know what will. Please don’t get me wrong, you will still be sad. There are still times that I am filled with sadness when I think of my parents but I don’t have to stay there and neither do you. We can, with God’s help, put off those thoughts and put on thoughts of Him and His amazing love for us!

It’s our choice to obey or not, but with disobedience comes consequences. The consequences of dwelling on the sadness and garbage of life may include making yourself miserable, being a person your husband and friends don’t want to be around, being a wretched example for your children, robbing yourself of the joy that our Lord wants us to have, and being a poor witness.

It is my prayer that you purpose to be thankful so that you can bring Him glory. If you want, I can write about some ways that I’ve made thankfulness a delightful, consistent part of my life, and ways that I battle complaining. Just let me know in the comments if this would be helpful for you. 

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