Thankful Thursday

October 16, 2008 | My Jottings

I have to say, I’m loving Blogland. This little blog has turned out to be something that’s a creative outlet of sorts for me. Maybe posting a recipe for granola or a photo of a fall-colored maple tree aren’t exactly the most creative things you’ll ever encounter, but I’m enjoying myself. On WordPress, the program that this blog is written on and powered by, I can type up a rough draft of a future post and save it, returning to it later when I have more time or inspiration. I might come back to it weeks later when more ideas come to mind, and then end up publishing the post long after it has sat in the “saved drafts” section of my blog. Here are some saved drafts I’m working on, things I hope to write about and post on the blog as the months roll by:

The Quest for Beauty.  My Man Part 2.  Slaying the Dragon of SelfishnessWords Pack a WallopThe SAGs.  Once Upon a Toile.  A High-Maintenance Wife.  The Applause of Trees.  My Favorite Books.  The Writing on the WallOh, Opel! And of course I have posts begun about more cherished friends, and all my sweet grandchildren. I have many photos waiting for just the right post to appear in.

But today I’m introducing a weekly feature, and I hope it will be a blessing in more ways than one. It’s called Thankful Thursday.

On Thursdays, I will publish a post on something I’m thankful for, and invite you to share as well. I might say one word on Thankful Thursdays, or I might elaborate in a paragraph or two.

Many of you may remember this old song we’ve sung in church since we were small:

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done

When upon life’s billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged
Thinking all is lost

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear

Count your many blessings
Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold

Count your many blessings
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven
Nor your home on high

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done

So, amid the conflict
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged
God is over all

Count your many blessings
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey’s end

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

Words by Johnson Oatman, 1897

The melody and the words to this song can make its truths seem sweet and childish, almost irrelevant in the face of the problems most of us walk through today.  We might say, “Yes, yes, I know I should be thankful, and I ambut -” and then fill in your particular blank or blanks.

Well, I struggle with melancholy and almost always see things in a much darker light than is healthy for me. Not long ago I saw something as I was reading my Bible, and it was an epiphany of sorts. This is from Romans, chapter 1:

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.    22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…

I saw a progression here, in five parts. Keep looking at the above verses as you consider the five following points:

First, people can be believers, and know their wonderful God.

Second, for whatever reason, they can decide to not look to Him and continually thank Him for all He has done for them and all that He is.

Third, when living in this completely ungrateful manner, their thoughts become futile and destructive.

Fourth, taking this path, the believer’s foolish choices cause things in his/her life to start looking really bleak. And dark. Confusion and hopelessness would abound.

Fifth, the end result is that they don’t rely on the goodness, wisdom and power of God, but on their own foolish ways, which always means trouble. Sometimes serious trouble.

So, if you’ve followed this with me, choosing not to purposefully thank God can lead to a dark and dangerous place. Giving thanks can flow from a full and happy heart, and sometimes it can be a difficult discipline, the last thing we want to do.

So join me in sincerely giving thanks to God today, for at least one thing in your life. And don’t be afraid to actually make a comment on Thankful Thursdays to share with other readers what it is you’re giving thanks for!  Maybe someone else needs to read your words. Nothing is too trivial. One word is enough. Or you might want to elaborate in paragraphs.

It might seem trite, but if we look at those verses in the first chapter of Romans, we might see that deliberately remembering God and giving thanks protects us in ways we may have never previously considered.

Today I am thankful to God for the blessing of my seven grandchildren.  Their love is priceless to me.

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Comments

  1. Ann says:

    Julie,
    Here’s another thing to be grateful for – your gift of writing! You truly have a gift of writing and I encourage you to explore submitting articles for publication. I am especially touched by today’s blog as I have fallen prey to negative thinking and have been struggling with gratitude. I joke that I feel like I’m living under the blast of a fire hose and, in truth, am overwhelmed by the responsibility and multitude of tasks requiring my daily attention. It’s tough being a single-mother, working full time in a 70-80 hour / week job. Many things fall through the cracks of my life and yet I’m still here and my children are happy and healthy and loving and achieving great things. I am starting a new habit of morning meditation along with my prayers to center myself at the start of each day in the perfect harmony of God’s highest good. I believe that God answers prayers and speaks to us in many ways. Your “Thankful Thursday” message is another reminder to me of the importance of staying heart-centered in love and gratitude.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Ann

  2. Tauni says:

    Hi Jules,
    As you are aware, there has been many a season in my life where trauma would follow trauma. A couple of times the season would last for several years. Almost 25 years ago during one of my most difficult times, I began a practice I continue today. I will literally and intentionally count blessings as I fall to sleep, and when I wake up I will do it again. For many of those difficult days, doing that enabled me to function between the waking up and the going to sleep. At first it was difficult. But it forced me to really ponder my day. God used this to show me that even in the darkest of times blessings abound. That my days were not necessarily as dark as I thought. In other words, I got a reality check! I was able to realize after a while that blessings happen all day long, a kind word, a smile, a helpful hand and I was able to be thankful then too. Thank you for reminding me there are always blessings to be thankful for, even in the darkest of times. I am thankful for you my dear friend!

  3. Ginny the computer challenged friend says:

    Tomorrow is Thursday so I am going to get this in before the rush…
    I am thankful that I am still walking with the LORD. In the past, I have had multiple times when it would smack me in my thoughts that maybe all of “this” isn’t real, just a game some Big Guy is playing, all for nothing and about nothing, maybe the goofy stuff the others have turned to IS the REAL thing…and then the Choice was set before me once again…Believe by Faith. I now know that it would be stupid to entertain those thoughts let alone ponder them…it would be like chewing on rat poison pellets just to see if they really work. The evidence is stacked way too high in HIS favor…and what freedom comes with Faith!

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