Monday, November 24, 2014

thankful thoughts

Well, friends, it has been quite some time since I sat down to write in this little space. I still write just about every day in my journals and planners, but this space has been neglected. I don't know if I could say that I was burnt out, but I got close. I loved being a part of Blogtember, and I wanted so badly to fulfill each day of Write 31 Days, but things just got crazy, and I was no longer writing because I wanted to, but because I felt like I had to. And that is not beneficial for anyone, least of all me. I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath, just dying to know what all has been going on in my neck of the woods. 

Let me tell you that I am so thankful for this season, friends-literally and figuratively. I love fall so very much. Watching the leaves turn and enjoying cooler temperatures is something that I look forward to each year as we say goodbye to the oppressive heat of summer. Knowing that the cooler temps are ushering in a season of sweet celebration with Thanksgiving and Christmas makes everything even better. 

This fall, I've had the privilege of studying James with a group of women from my church. James is a short book with so much conviction and power in every verse. There are so many lessons to be taken from the words penned by Jesus' brother. The Lord has been showing me just how important it is to be thankful in all things. In the first chapter of James, he writes that we must rejoice in our trials, saying that we should  "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} 

If everything were perfect all the time, we would fail to recognize our need for a Savior. And so He gives us these trials that we hate but must endure in order to draw us closer to Him. If the desire of our heart is to be made like him, then we will thank Him in the trials and in the blessings. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." {Emphasis mine} That last phrase just keeps on running through my mind- it is the will of God for us to be thankful. He desires that we have grateful hearts at all times. So let's fulfill His will, not only on Thanksgiving, but each day. 

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