Thankful hearts are good medicine

As much as I love the month of October, November is even better, in my opinion. Here in Washington you won't get the amazing fall weather {necessarily} but we still have Thanksgiving Day all around us and the month is generally a month for everyone to think about what they're most thankful for.
This is our 3rd November here and in our short experience, November can be the stormiest, winteriest month out of them all. January is the most gloomy {with those awful gray clouds all the time} but November usually brings with it crazy amounts of storms and cold weather.
Remember last year we got all that snow? That was in November :)

I wish we could display this attitude of thankfulness every month out of the year, but I guess you can't have it all. That's what Heaven is for.

I want my first November post to be about giving thanks, to set the tone for the month here.
I sometimes sit down and write out "thankful" lists, especially when I'm having difficult, self centered, complaining days. Seems to help get my heart and mind in the right spot; focused back on God and His goodness.

These are things I'm thankful for... but pray to become increasingly more thankful for. This list would be titled my more 'sober' list. I plan to do plenty more throughout the month.

1.) God's love and mercy and grace. All of His amazing attributes that make Him who He is.
I'm thankful that I am able to go to Him anytime, any place, with any matter. I'm thankful that He loves ME and died for ME and helps me to daily battle the sins that plague me. His grace overwhelms me in ways that leave me completely thankful.

2.) For my husband. This topic always brings me to tears because I am daily thankful for the man God created for me. God knew exactly what I would need in a husband and gave me that in Jason.

3.) For my kids. Even the ones I won't meet in this life. I'm thankful how God has used and is using each one of them to teach me more about my indwelling sin, but more importantly, about how great God is. I love the way God created family and designed it to be such a blessing for us. And I most especially love the way He shows through parent/child relationships what His relationship with us is like.

4.) For faithful, Christ focused, hard working Pastors, teachers and church leaders. Not just in my church, but in churches all over. I'm so thankful for these men who take on a job that in today's world is not an easy one to take on. I'm thankful for how they pour their lives out for the lost and who show such good examples of what a life of ongoing repentance and grace looks like.

5.) For family. I'm thankful for both our families and the way God uses each person in our lives.
This time of year is especially hard to be away from family, but its also a great time of year to write down ways we're thankful for each individual family member. Maybe send a note and let them know... even if they live close by :)

6.) For friends. One thing about moving more than one time in your life and moving to different areas is, you get to meet lots of great people! I have friends that go way back to my early childhood, in the home I was born and raised in for 14 years. Then friends, like Jason, who I met in my early teens and then friends I've met since becoming an adult. Then we moved to a whole new state, so its a whole new state full of friends! God is so good to bless us with not just family, but friends.
I have a handfull {so to speak} of pretty amazing friends all over the US and am blessed to know these people.

7.) My freedom. And the gift of living in a free country. Its not as "free" as I'd sometimes like, but I know compared to so many places around the world, we are such blessed people we don't even know it. I think the word "spoiled" fits better here.

8.) Ongoing sanctification. Thank you, Lord, for not stopping at salvation!
I find myself telling some of my friends here, "if only you knew me back then!"
Areas where I've grown in grace and ways that God has changed me, are steady reminders that I am His work in progress. I'm so thankful that God is a God who sanctifies and purifies. Really glad He didn't stop the day I asked him into my heart.

9.) Did I mention my husband? Oh, yes... doubly thankful for him ;-)

10.) My health. I have prayer lists that I go over through the week; praying for certain topics on certains days. On Tuesdays I am overwhelmed with my "pray for those with health issues" list. It seems to grow by the day :(

I don't want to end this on a sad note, so I'll just say here that I hope you all have a wonderful first week of November - the month where we especially remember to give thanks!

4 {comments}:

Gina said...

Thanks for getting November off to a great start! :-)

Tara said...

aw i love these! you have such a good and pure heart.

Nicola S. said...

Love the first post of November.

Sunny said...

What a great post, Stef! A nice reminder for me to count my own blessings... it was a very difficult night with the kiddos, and the day isn't shaping up much better so far. Gotta turn it around and focus on how grateful I am to have them. <3


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