A Thanksgiving Prayer for Your Loved Ones (Free Printable)

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Your Loved Ones (Free Printable)

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I am sharing a Thanksgiving prayer for your loved ones. Let someone know you are thinking of them and praying for them this Thanksgiving season!

You can download a free printable of this prayer right here!

Have a great day, and may you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness today!

For her:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give her a grateful spirit as she counts her blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind her how important she is to you. Help her to believe that her life holds sacred value. May she know in the very depths of her soul that You have entrusted her with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable her to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may she be a shining example of positivity and unity. May she sense Your love and Your presence going before her, guiding her with every step. 

May others see You in all she says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

 

For him:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give him a grateful spirit as he counts his blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind him how important he is to you. Help him to believe that his life holds sacred value. May he know in the very depths of his soul that You have entrusted him with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable him to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may he be a shining example of positivity and unity. May he sense Your love and Your presence going before him, guiding him with every step. 

May others see You in all he says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

Miles of Blessings

Miles of Blessings

When my alarm sounded that May morning, I strongly considered rolling over and going back to sleep. A quick check of the weather app on my phone confirmed that I, along with a few thousand other participants, would be competing in our respective races in the rain coupled with a brisk temperature that I usually avoid running in. However, I pep-talked myself out of my comfortable bed and made the hour-long drive to the event location, motivated by the rewards of checking off another running goal, the dryness, warmth, and variety of sugary treats found at the indoor finish line, and sipping a steaming cup of coffee on the drive home. 

When the 10k race began, I settled into my pace and eagerly anticipated the aforementioned rewards. Usually, the finish line is where my focus remains fixated, but on this particular day, God opened my eyes to blessings along the route.

The first blessing was being able to spend time in prayer as I ran. I prayed for endurance, thanked God for recent answers to prayer only He could orchestrate, lifted requests to Him, and listened for His voice. The second blessing was perseverance. He provided strength and stamina for each step through less-than-ideal conditions. The third blessing was the people God placed in my path. I appreciated the supportive fans who cheered for us, particularly the children who enthusiastically offered high-fives as participants passed.

If I had concentrated only on the finish, I would have missed miles of blessings along the way. The truth is, whether we are running a 10k or experiencing a challenging waiting season in life, we will fail to appreciate God-sent gifts along the journey if we aim all of our attention at attainment.

The blessings God provided while I ran can be found in life’s waiting seasons as well. Just as the 10k was a perfect time to enjoy the blessing of prayer, waiting seasons are also a perfect time to spend meaningful time in prayer, drawing us closer to God. Similar to how He blessed me with the gift of perseverance as I ran, He will also develop perseverance in us when we are sustaining a waiting season. Perseverance proves to us that His strength is all we need in the present and gives us confidence that it is all we need for our future. And the 10k blessing of appreciating the people God placed in my path can likewise be experienced during waiting seasons when we intentionally take our eyes off ourselves. Consequently, our relationships are enhanced, and we have more opportunities to display the love of Jesus to a world in desperate need of more of it.

While we wait for the blessing, let’s not miss the blessing in the wait. Next time we are in the midst of a waiting season, may we not become so focused on the finish that we miss out on the miles of blessings God lovingly provides along our route. 

Count It All?

Count It All?

I was cranky and crabby. I was full of self-pity and sadness. But Christmas was fast-approaching whether I was feeling festive or not.

I was so caught up in unanswered prayers that I had forgotten about the amazing number of answered prayers in my life.

It was time to make a list. Time to count my blessings.

The list flowed effortlessly right away. A relationship with Jesus topped the list. Family, friends and the numerous personality traits and gifts they bring to our lives filled figurative pages of that list. (Side note: As a new grandma, I could easily dedicate a chapter of blessings to our new grandson alone!) Experiences, sweet gestures, people who have impacted me, family vacations, church families, homes, jobs, physical health, caring communities, and the list continued…

After the obvious blessings were tallied, a Bible passage came to mind; “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

Count it all? All of it? Let me get this straight…On my list of blessings, I am supposed to count the trials? I quickly asked God, “Don’t You get that the point of this list is to get trials off of my mind?” (As if He sometimes doesn’t “get” things, and I have to explain…)

The more I thought about it, the more I realized, God “got it” just fine. He completely grasped the fact that I was thankful when things went my way, when my life looked the way I pictured it, and when I did not have to persevere through tests of faith. He also “got” that I was missing out on a major truth. Our trials produce a perseverance in us that help us become who God is trying to mold us into. And becoming that person that He created us to be (the person that uses their God-given abilities, gifts, and personality traits to show who He is, to a world that is in desperate need of Him) is why we are here on this earth.

As James says, perseverance through difficult times will produce a life that is “lacking in nothing.” A person who is living that type of life counts it all when they compose a blessing list.

From now on, when I approach God with a prayer request, I refuse to allow an attitude of, “Look at what I’m lacking, Lord” to be my theme. My new goal is to recognize the truth that I already have all I need, and that I can choose to find joy in trials.

As the song says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

And surprise me He did. Once I began counting, He lengthened my list and mended my mindset.

Friend, if you are looking at what you are lacking in life, I encourage you to instead start making your blessing list. Soon you will discover you are “lacking in nothing.”

Count your many blessings. Count them all!

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus

Originally posted on devotableapp.com

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A Beautiful Blessing

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Have you ever received an encouraging message at the exact moment you needed it? It happened to me recently. This particular day, I was allowing my negative emotions dictate how I felt about not only the day, but also how I felt about myself. I have always struggled with putting too much stock in unkind comments or comments that I interpreted as unkind. Those comments cause a feeling of rejection in me…which is a trait that happens to be on my list of “I-totally-need-to-work-on-that” qualities.

Filled with an unhealthy dose of self-pity, I walked outside to retrieve our mail. In our mailbox was a handwritten note from a dear friend. (By the way, how many people actually handwrite notes nowadays? How cool is that?) On the outside of the card was a beautiful print. The beauty of the words on the inside of that card had an immediate effect on how I was feeling on the inside!

It was a sincere note of gratitude to me and to God for our friendship. I walked back in the house with a new outlook. I guess you now know how changeable my emotions can be! I’ll be honest: sudden mood changes seem to be a part of my wiring. (Okay, add that to the aforementioned list.) Well-timed, beautiful words took my focus off of feeling sorry for myself and put it back where it belonged: on God and how much He loves us.

When it comes to my mind to thank someone or to share words of admiration with someone, I try not to delay! When you sense a prodding to extend gracious words to others, I encourage you to grab a card and start writing, grab a phone and start texting, or grab a chair and start visiting face-to-face. A conversation that seems fleeting or inconsequential to us might be the same words that replay in their mind when they are in need of a boost in their morale.

I am certain you can think of times in your life when someone has said (or typed or written) beautiful words to you at just the right time. One of the many wonderful attributes of our Holy Spirit is His impeccable timing; He nudges us to extend encouragement to others right when they need it the most.

Proverbs 25:11 brings beautiful images to mind. The Message version says, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” In the New King James version, it reads, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” The right words said at the right time to the right person can certainly be thought of as beautiful, just as a custom-made piece of jewelry or golden apples in settings of silver would.

Let us join together in praying that we become more sensitive to our Holy Spirit’s prompting to encourage others with uplifting messages. What a blessing to add beauty to the lives of others!

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25

(This post appeared on LiftUpYourDay.com today. Check that site out for daily encouragement!)

 

Only One Said, “Thank You”

When our children are small and they receive a gift or some sort of treat, what do we almost always hear ourselves say? When my children were little and were standing there with a new treasure, I remember saying, “What do we tell them?” or “What do we say?” to avoid any awkward, empty silence that should be filled with a sincere, “Thank you.”

The story of the ten lepers in the Bible has always aroused my curiosity. I remember the flannel-graph version when I was a child sitting in a Sunday School room in a small, red rounded-back children’s chair. I remember reading a devotion based on it when I was older. And I remember just recently being reminded of this story found in Luke 17, when a long-time prayer in my life was answered and I went about my day without even murmuring a quick, “Thank you” to God.

When my prayer request was granted in a wonderful way, I felt relief, excitement, and joy. Somehow, however, my mind skimmed right over thankfulness.  When I realized I had forgotten to thank God, the picture of the ten lepers jumped right into my mind.  Out of ten completely healed and restored men, only one came back and knelt at Jesus’ feet in gratitude for healing him of this horrible, life-changing disease.

The Message version says, “He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank Him enough.” The Living Bible version says, “He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust,” and the New International Version says, “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” Genuine appreciation is definitely sensed when the one receiving a gift is face-down, kneeling at your feet!

In Luke 17:17, Jesus asks where the other nine healed men are. He speaks about it with grace; in the only way Jesus would. If I were Jesus, I would most likely be saying, “Did that just happen? I miraculously made those men whole again. Did nine of them seriously go on their merry way without even a wave or a smile in my direction?”

There is a humility and a sincerity that is expressed in the simple two-word phrase that we work so hard to try to teach our children to say without reminders. “Thank you,” may seem like two simple words, but the impact made by those two words is not simple.

I am sure that you can think of a time when you felt especially validated after someone took the time to thank you for something you did or said. I am also sure that you can think of a time that you felt your kindness was taken advantage of when there was no ‘thank you’ offered.

If gratitude has been absent in your life, it is never too late to count your blessings and give thanks to others and most importantly to the ‘Ultimate Blesser’!  God is so very worthy of hearing a sincere, heart-felt “Thank You” from us. Let us take our cue from the one healed leper who knelt at His feet and could not ‘thank Him enough.’

Lord, we realize that all good gifts come from You. We thank You and we praise Your holy name. May we never take the blessings You give us for granted. Even more importantly, may we never take You for granted. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

4th post on Momspuration.com

This is a while after the fact,  but you can still head on over to momspuration.com and check out my blog post that was posted on May 9th!

It is titled, “Setting the Tone,” and here is an excerpt:

In 1820, Fanny Crosby was born. At the age of six, because of a doctor’s mistake, she became blind. The difficult circumstances that were thrust upon her could have caused her to be bitter and to complain about what she did not have. However, this woman of God wrote over 8000 hymns and is quoted as saying, “It seemed in­tend­ed by the bless­ed prov­i­dence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dis­pen­sa­tion. If per­fect earth­ly sight were of­fered me to­mor­row I would not ac­cept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been dis­tract­ed by the beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing things about me.” How is that for a positive perspective? Instead of complaining, she wrote praises to God. And instead of praising Him in spite of her blindness, she actually praised Him for it. She forever blessed the world by sharing her praise of her Heavenly Father in hymns such as, “Blessed Assurance” and “Near the Cross.”

Check out Kristen Mitchell’s site, momspuration.com! You will be encouraged! As always, I would love to hear from you!

Too Weary or Worried to Worship?

Too Weary or Worried to Worship?

Do you ever walk into your church service begrudgingly? Maybe your week didn’t go as planned, or you just received bad news, or you are engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle with a person or condition in your life.

Do you ever choose to stay in bed instead of walking through those sanctuary doors? Maybe avoiding the potential unwelcome greetings or “hey, how are yous” seems more inviting than facing them and having to possibly come up with a phony reply or worse yet, answer honestly!

Many Sundays, I am the worship leader in our church. I am expected to help ‘usher’ the congregants to the throne of the King of the Kings in a time of worship and song. Sometimes I am not ‘feeling it.’ There, I said it. Sometimes I have had a bad week, or I or one of my family members have suffered a huge disappointment. And openly worshipping God is not number one on my priority list. There, I said that too.

I realize that I sound like I sometimes worship God based on my life circumstances instead of basing it on Who He is. That would be true at times. It is also something I am working hard to remedy.

I shared the following on my Gwen Thielges Writing and Music Facebook page a few months ago: “Something I’ve experienced through leading music in our church: When things are going ‘right’ in my life, and I go to church with praise on my tongue, it’s easy to be in front and encourage a congregation to lift up the name of Jesus in song. When things are not so much ‘right’ in my life…it’s hard. But it is always, always rewarding. It never fails that God speaks to me through the worship time on those tough mornings and gets my heart prepared for the rest of the service. He reminds me of His faithfulness, His plan, and the fact that He sees me and hears me. And most of all, I’m reminded of His love. If God cares that some insignificant-feeling, middle-aged mama in North Dakota is feeling down…then my friend, He cares about and loves us all! And He wants us to know that we know that we know that we are loved beyond description. I just want to encourage you this morning to sing a song of praise whether you ‘feel’ like it or not. You’ll be blessed. God WILL show up.”

May I encourage you to do better with this than I do? I am not saying we should worship God even when we do not ‘feel’ like it just because He will show up. I am saying we should worship God even when we do not ‘feel’ like it simply because He is worthy of our worship, adoration, and gratefulness no matter what!

He has a master design for our lives. Our disappointments, battles, and scars somehow add to the beauty of the tapestry He is weaving in our lives – something that can only be done by a God as awesome as our God is. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” What a promise to remind us that He is working in the lives of those who love Him through all the details. It is a reminder that we can trust Him through the difficult times for results that bring glory to Him. We can trust Him enough to say, “I choose to put my eyes on You, God, rather than on my life’s circumstances.” When our eyes are on Him, we can’t help but notice that we are in the presence of a God who deserves enthusiastic, extravagant worship.

Let us remember that worshipping our Heavenly Father is an all-the-time opportunity, not just a 20-minute Sunday morning opportunity right before the sermon. Psalm 29:2 says, “Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”

May our lives show Jeremiah 29:13 to be true, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Come, let us seek Him with our whole hearts and worship Him through the weariness and worry. He is worthy. Bonus: He WILL show up!