Thankful Heart

I love Thanksgiving weekend. I love the season of autumn where Thanksgiving is found on our calendar. Falling leaves, pumpkins, apples, crisp, cool air, trees that are vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, turkey dinners and the gathering of family and friends- it’s all so stunningly beautiful! A holiday that makes us recount and remember the many blessings in our lives?- yes!!

It is too easy to become numb to the beauty of this life that we GET to live here on earth. We are so blessed. And oftentimes because of the fast pace of our lives and the hurry that accompanies our days, we just forget. Psalms 103:2 says “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” I don’t want to forget; I want to remind myself of all of the gifts my God gives over and over, each new day- one of the expressions of His love to me. Every breath we breathe is a gift to be thankful for- do not forget, my soul!

So, everyday, I try to record His many gifts. This simple, daily act reminds me and makes me AWAKE and AWARE of God’s goodness to me, His love, his undeserving favor to me. It’s like a treasure hunt through my days- a morning fall mist- thank you God! A beautiful sky scattered with clouds- thank you God! A morning cup of steaming coffee in my hands, a grocery cart full of food, my daughter’s morning hug, my husband’s hand in mine…..thank you God! This act of remembering and recording brings me such joy in the midst of the routines of the everyday.

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”   I Thessalonians 5:18.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances. Really God? ALL circumstances?? This is hard because not every day is perfect and my circumstances are not always what I WANT to be thankful for.

But, what I’m learning is that if you search and look for the gifts, the moments that may feel hidden or hard to find in that undesirable place, you will gain some perspective- there is always something to be thankful for. Everywhere there are reminders of God’s faithfulness to me. He is good to me, He really is. I just might have to look above my present situation to see it.

We’ve been singing a song in church the last couple weeks and the lyrics have spoken so deeply to my heart. “It may seem like I’m surrounded, but, I’m surrounded by You.” In the midst of my difficulties, my “storms”, the TRUTH is that I’m surrounded by God. I’m surrounded by His beauty that I see in a tree’s leaves turning colors, His blessings in the laughter of my kids, His goodness found in a warm bowl of soup around the table with friends. That is truth, regardless of how my situation may look and I am so thankful.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” Psalms 106:1. Yes, He is so very good to me.


Tonya Janzen

-Worship & Creative Arts Director