hope sign

hope sign

Monday, February 17, 2014

Renewing our Thankfulness

The beauty of winter

I find that I have to be deliberately thankful at times.  Looking around, reminding myself that I have so much to be thankful for.  So easily, in the hard days of winter, when life seems bleak and we're stuck inside for way too long, we become lethargic, bitter little people.  Complaining is our conversation.  We complain about the weather, the house (because we are spending every waking moment inside), our family, the government, the country, the TV shows...complain, complain, complain.  Believe me, I know of what I speak.  I am all too familiar with the unthankful heart.  Falling into that trap is all too easy, especially when we feel justified.  

What is funny to me, is that we dare anyone to contradict us or find a silver lining.  How dare they dismiss my feelings, I have the right to feel what I feel.  Most of the time, people aren't trying to dismiss your feelings, they are trying to give you hope and a new perspective to make you feel better.  But when we are in the middle of such a state of mind, we are not in a position to see clearly.  So we get angry at the one(s) trying to help and become more cut off and isolated in our "funk".  It can happen over the weather or the TV...anything.

"V" is for VanDyke

I have seen this take place and destroy families.  People who love each other can become strangers and not even realize it is happening until it is too late.  I have to watch myself.  What I say, how I react to things others say to me or about me.  I have to remember that I am not infallible, you are not infallible. We were all created in the image of God.  

To love you, to love me, is to love God.  

New life encased in ice...when the ice thaws, WATCH OUT!!!  It's gonna
be beautiful.

When we let unthankfulness creep in, we are allowing a seed to be sown in our lives and the lives of others.  This could be a seed of hopelessness, bitterness, unthankfulness, brokenness, hate, mistrust, isolation, sickness, discord, discontentment, lies, dishonor...sin.  We have to guard our hearts daily renewing our minds.  Everything starts in the mind.  Every action starts with a thought.  Usually, it's more than just one thought.  We let things fester in our minds and before we know it, we have let something grow into our heart and we start walking it out.  That is why the scripture tells us to be careful. 

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2

New Living Translation (NLT)

 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:8-9

The Message (MSG)

Scripture is constantly telling us to renew our minds, think on the good things.  Filling our minds with His thoughts, it's protection for us.  It's hard to put damaging thoughts into our heads if our heads are already full of the goodness of God...

love, joy, peace.  

Love this...so cool

Let me encourage you again, look around and see what you can find to be thankful for.  I know all I have to do is open my eyes to find so many things to be thankful for.  Even looking outside at the snow, the ice covered trees, the bone chilling cold, I can be thankful.  Truthfully, I do think the snow makes everything beautiful...until it turns brown/black/gray and ugly.  I don't even need to open my eyes to be thankful.  I can think about my grandson, Henry, my two grandchildren on the way, my god children, my husband, my children, my family...the list goes on and one. 

Beauty, even in the winter,
cold, hard days.  

Thanks, Thanks, 

I give you Thanks,
For all you've done.
I am so blessed
My soul is at rest
I give you Thanks.

by Marshall Hall

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