The Courage To Be Thankful

This week is Thanksgiving. We pray that your hearts and your plates are full. 

If you have been to my house in the last 5 yrs, this tree is in our living room. It has hearts for Valentines day, birds and eggs for Spring, flags for 4th of July, ornaments for Christmas, and leaves for fall.

During the fall, I call it my thankful tree. 

I write short phrases on the leaves to help me remember the things that God has done in my life. I read the leaves as I pull them out of the box to set up the tree each year. I can’t help but marvel at the love and sovereignty of God as I reflect on each of them.

When my kids pull a leaf off of the tree and ask me what it means, I get to share a special moment with them.

“Mom, what does “Freedom” mean?”

My response is the story of a young Jewish woman that I met years ago at the mall. As she and I were talking, my heart began to feel heavy for her. There was a smile on her face but a burden on her heart.

God gave me the right words to encourage her. I shared things that I shouldn’t have known. Only to find out that she had called a counselor that very morning because she was considering suicide.

She asked me how I knew the things I said to her. I told her that I knew a counselor, who knew the depths of her heart, and loved her right where she was.

I acknowledged the differences in our faith. Yet, she was open to hearing about the freedom that comes through Jesus, and the great counselor, The Holy Spirit. It was an amazing day that is now captured on that one leaf that says, “Freedom”.

Today as I grab my Sharpie to write on my leaf for 2019, I write, “The Courage to Take a Chance”. God has given me many moments this year where He has confirmed that taking a chance is something to embrace, not to fear.

Having faith that God has a plan even when you don’t see the whole picture, takes courage.

The courage to fail, the courage to succeed, the courage to begin the adventure before you know the ending.

You can have that kind of courage because you know that He is WITH you every step of the way. Even when you make a wrong turn, He is fully capable of rerouting your path. Having confidence in this; gives you the courage to take the chance and the next step forward. 

So here I am, with enough courage to take the next ‘right step’ in the direction that God is leading me.

Next year, when I unpack this tree, I can’t wait to see what comes to mind as I read my leaf for 2019, “The Courage To Take a Chance”.

Next week, I will share more with you about those next steps. Life with God is an adventure!

What are you thankful for?

My friend Lisa has great ideas on how we can express our thankfulness this Thanksgiving. Check out her activity ideas here.

As you prepare this Thanksgiving to have guests, to be a guest, or simply relax and enjoy the day, may you… 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. Psalm 100:4

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