Laurie at Women Taking A Stand is hosting at the well this week, and her topic is "Having A Thankful Heart." With this INCRedible topic, I'd suggest going by to read what Laurie has to say on it. She has the spiritual gift of teaching, and I go regularly to her blog to be fed spiritually and to learn the deep stuff of God's Word.
I would've love to put together something well-packaged for this great topic, but since I'm low on time, I'm just going to answer her discussion questions as if she and I were having a conversation. Would you like to do the same? If so go by Laurie's blog to sign up.
It is easy to give thanks when everything is going well. But how easy is it to give thanks when we are low in the valley?
So TRUE! Honestly, I find it easier to give thanks than to live thanks, you know? I say it and sing it with my mouth, but my moods and actions often communicate a whole different message. The desire of my heart is to be able to say it and mean it at the same time, whether in the high, low or in-between.
How do you give thanks during difficult times?
When I’m going through a difficult time, I HAVE to be honest with the Lord and myself. I admit that I’m feeling yucky, down, depressed, attacked, whatever the emotion, and I ask Him to help me with it, taking the opportunity to thank Him in advance for how He will act and what He will do in the situation. I also ask Him to give me a new attitude and a new perspective—those that are His instead of mine which is limited and human. One other thing I do is to thank Him for His divine character and the sacrifices He made for me. Somehow when I focus on God’s mercies, my heart becomes God-focused instead of me-focused. All of a sudden, I’ll remember all of the other ways He has brought me (and others) through the muddy waters. My heartfelt cries are then exchanged for honest gratitude.
Share with your readers a testimony of how God brought you thru a difficult time.
Oh, wow, there are too many to count. Honestly. One in particular I feel led to share is how the Lord brought me/our family through a self-sacrificing time. Talk about sanctification. When Brian’s father got terminal brain cancer, we were devastated. At the same time, we began to take care of his granddad in our home, all while continuing to homeschool the kids three days a week, Brian helping his step mother care for his dad, while continuing to run his company. My mother in IL got very ill during this same time frame, and I was trying to work in trips to see her. Then she passed away. Granddad’s health with Parkinson’s, and I dare say grief over his only son dying a horrible death, began to deteriorate. He passed away after 20 months of living with us, then Brian’s dad just months after that.
Lemme just tell you, we are STILL recuperating. But there is no WAY we could’ve made it through that time without our faith. In many ways our marriage strengthened. We were forced to work through issues in our marriage that had lurked for many years underneath the surface. Our entire family comforted one another, while at the same time remembering all the ways God had provided for us through it all…big things, small things, mysterious things. Too many blessings to count.
I remember one day in particular. The kids were fighting, Granddad was sitting in the living room with the TV blaring, we had a TON of homework to do, my housework was piled up to the max, and I really thought I might come undone for good. I fell to my knees weeping, locked behind my bedroom door. I ignored the dog barking and the knocks of concern and just sobbed as quietly as I could. And prayed. Begged. With those tears, God poured out His peace. Out came the stress, and in came His supernatural, overwhelming flood of comfort from the Holy Spirit. No major revelation came, no verse came to mind, no song came to my lips. Just silent comfort.
And I’m still thanking Him for that.
Psalm 77:11-12 (NIV)
" I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds."
In the Key of HE,