The Gift of Thankfulness

All I hear is incessant noise. Even the piles of papers, the dishes and the laundry are "noise" to me. They demand, like the clamoring of a hungry toddler - relentless, unceasing. My heart sinks at the scene while my anger rises and my tongue snaps at an unoffending child. The tongue, the tail of the heart, uncontrollable for a brief moment, reveals the ugliness inside of me. I stop, stunned by my own lack of control (as if it should surprise me) and try to reorient the raging emotions that spill over. In the pause, while the internal wrestling goes on, I hear a familiar voice whisper gently to my soul:
"Breathe in this moment, breathe in the scent of your child's hair, breathe in the sun casting golden across the kitchen table, breathe in the wind chasing lost leaves across the yard…."

I breathe, my chest rising and falling in a different rhythm than the one I just knew. I breathe again, my mind stills, I start to notice all that was overlooked and I mentally form the list. God, thank you….
For the sky, so blue.
For the pine trees, strong like sentinels.
For the family of birds that fly across the sky – careless. You provide for them.
For hot tea.
For big brown eyes gazing up at me.
For birds singing their songs of life…..

I breathe in His gifts to me and I breathe out the words of thankfulness that chart a new course in my heart. I know the angst will creep up on me again, waiting to strangle the joy out of my life; but always, waiting to be noticed, are the gifts, one on top of another, cascading down from heaven. His grace to me, to you, is unending and as we give thanks, the gates open into His presence (ps. 100:4).

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (ps 107:1)

Practical Steps to the Art of Thankfulness:

1) Keep a written list of thanks. A beautiful printable is available for November at:
2) For children: this year from Thanksgiving through Christmas we are planning to have slips of paper to write on our thanks every day. We will make them into a paper chain to string through the house.
3) Remember how you FEEL when you give thanks. The way my heart lifts when I am thankful helps me push beyond my deep seated negativity which can be hard to drive out sometimes.
4) Look for God in the small, often overlooked things. As I started my list of thanks it was the little things that I had previously ignored that I began to recognize as gifts and it changed my perspective and emotional space when I saw God giving me love in lots of little details.
5) Read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, I have learnt so much from her life of giving thanks. She is a homeschooling mom of 6 kids and has been on a journey of having a heart fully alive in the midst of where you are at. A great book.


Gayle said…
Thanks for this Kirsty. What a lovely honest writing! Love your way with words. I miss you.

Popular Posts