While all of Women of Faith was amazing, I was really inspired by Ann Voscamp and her speech. She has written a book called 1000 Gifts and I was equally inspired by that. In fact, I was so inspired that I feel like this should be shared with everyone I know. This blog is one attempt to do that. I will also be speaking at two churches on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and sharing with more people. What better time of year to share about counting your blessings and that Thanksgiving is not just a holiday; it is a way of life.
Not everyone who heard Ann speak was quite as inspired as I was. It took me reading part way through the book before I realized why. I think God taught me through the accident to "give thanks IN everything" not FOR everything, but IN everything. So, this concept of giving thanks every day is one I have been practicing for the past few years. I did not do it everyday and did not write down my blessings, however. Ann's book really spoke to me because it put into words what I have been living and experiencing for myself. Since I didn't do it daily, I can speak from experience that when you make it a point to give thanks, peace and joy fills your heart. When it is full of thanksgiving, there is no room for negative feelings like fear and doubt. It is not easy to do, but it really does work that way. When I have experienced moments of "being down" over the past few years, I realized I have not been daily giving thanks. This book put into words what God has been trying to teach me.
Perhaps the part that most stood out to me was the reference to the Last Supper. Luke 22:19 reads "And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'" Could this mean we were commanded to not only eat the bread, but also give thanks? How could I have missed that all my life? Giving thanks is so important to do DAILY not just one day or one month per year.
It is also important not just to give thanks when things are good. We shouldn't just count our blessings when blessings are easy to find. We need to practice looking for blessings when the world would say things are so terrible there are no blessings to be found. There are always blessings to be found. We just have to practice looking for them and giving thanks. Jesus gave thanks at the Last Supper just before His arrest and crucifixion knowing what was coming. If He can give thanks at that time, we can give thanks in our darkest days. Remember it is give thanks IN everything not FOR everything. It is possible and it is what we are supposed to do.
"Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle."--Ann Voscamp
I have been blessed by so many miracles, I definitely have so much to be thankful for. It is important to be thankful for things even in the midst of struggles, but then also remember to be thankful when the miracle comes.
Do you remember to give thanks IN everything?
When have you experienced "Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle"/
What do you do when blessings are hard to find?
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Thanksgiving for today:
58. My daughter being recognized for her writing skills
59 The creativity and bonding making lunches has created
60. Willingness to try new foods
61. Apologetics for kids
62. Library card catalog online
63. Black Raspberry Vanilla Body Wash
64. When a child is declared "normal" during IEP testing