A wise teacher once told me, “Be thankful for a normal day.” She’d been through some extremely difficult times, and she’d learned to appreciate the days when nothing serious was happening—when she wasn’t in the midst of a storm. I’ve tried to remember that over the years. I’ve heard to be thankful when the laundry is piled high, because you have clothes, and when the dishes are dirty, because you have food. To be thankful when politicians argue, because, in our country, they can.
And that’s all so true.
But what I’ve also tried to learn, as I’ve grown older, is to be thankful for something—anything—when I am in the storm. When it is not a normal day.
All of us have challenging times, whether over health or finances or family or jobs. It’s so hard to get off the hamster wheel of anxiety during those times. Fear tries to shackle us.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) says:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When anxiety or depression locks us down, clutches our chests, steals our breath, the writer of Philippians instructs us to pray with thanksgiving. That’s incredibly difficult. Impossible, even, without God.
But I believe that tactic works, because we are in a battle, and thankfulness can be a weapon.
So when we’re in the storm and under the harshest trials, can we find something to give thanks for? A sunset, a pillow, a friend’s call, a roof, a butterfly, a pet, running water…forgiveness, mercy, freedom. If we really try to count our blessings, like that old hymn says, we may find comfort and remember that God is in control.
It would be pretty boring writing without you, my friends, on this journey!
I am thankful for you!
Blessings to you and your loved ones this Thanksgiving!
What are you thankful for this year?
You can leave a comment below :)
P.S. If you feel like reading over the holidays, here are some Christian or clean novels at free or 99 cents Nov. 28-Dec. 2. Click this link to find them and enjoy!
Link to books
My husband isn't crazy about traveling, but he married into a family who is always dreaming of their next trip. Somehow we talked about it enough-aka drove him crazy-and he agreed to go to Ireland last summer. We were blessed with great weather, because normally it rains there a lot! The Irish people also claimed they were having a heatwave--notice this Mississippi girl's layers, ha!
We had a wonderful time on the Rick Steve's Heart of Ireland tour, traveling from Shannon to Dublin over the eight days (plus a couple of days on the beginning and end of the tour).
Some great sites we experienced were Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Adare Village, Dingle, the Great Blasket Centre, Kilkenny Castle, Glendalough, the Brú na Bóinne archaeology site! And so much more!
Of course, my story brain took over, and I had to set a novel there! If you've read The Art of Rivers, you briefly met Star Youngblood. If you haven't read The Art of Rivers, no worries, you'll get to know her very well in this new novel!
A little about Star Rising:
Star Youngblood has always been a fighter–a necessity after her mother married a monster of a man. Now, she’s finally on the path to the stable life she’s always wanted. Her employer, Priscilla Kelly, is a sweet woman ravaged by rheumatoid arthritis, and Star will do anything to help her. Even if that means going toe to toe with Mrs. Kelly’s neglectful son.
After being betrayed on the mission field and devastated by the tragic death of his father, Paul Kelly gave up on God. He lives life on his own terms, biding his time as a corporate pilot until he can save enough money to begin his own flight school closer to home. His mother is all he has left, and he wants to be near her. He just didn’t expect her health to decline so quickly. When he discovers his mother has taken in a stray—a woman he’s not at all sure can be trusted—his protective instincts kick into high gear. Paul’s handled a lot of turbulence, but he’s never gone up against a force like Star.
As Paul and Star strive to protect his mother in their own ways, they soon find their hearts are at the greatest risk.
I just put this novel up to preorder on Amazon! I hope you're as excited about it as I am!!
What's on your bucket list?
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson