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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Giving Thanks is Powerful!

The enormous Sheraton ballroom, downtown Kansas City, filled with Salvation Army leaders and patrons. I and my husband were graciously invited to their elegant luncheon with guest speaker, Laura Bush. An attractive 20ish year-old woman sat beside me at the round table covered with a white crisp table cloth and a sparkle of fresh flowers.

She and I chatted before a Salvation Army officer gave thanks for the food. Then we dived into our fresh lettuce salad. I couldn’t help notice Mindy’s unusual behavior. Between bites she was writing feverously in a small journal.

Since I’m curious, OK… nosy, I leaned toward her and boldly asked, “What are you writing?” Mindy obliged with a stimulating answer.

“I’m writing what I’m thankful for. About a year ago I was challenged to think more positively, to write 5 things each day I’m thankful for. Each one has to be different.” 

Mindy’s purse size diary contained a treasure of thankful thoughts. I figured one year’s worth would amount to a heaping 1,825 beautiful nuggets!

“For example,” Mindy said, pointing with her fork, “I love glazed pecans. I’m thankful they’re in my salad.”

Wanting to hear more about Mindy’s “project” I later messaged her. “How has this changed your life?”
“Since I’m always looking for things to be grateful for; I don’t complain as much. Sometimes I see someone less fortunate, someone missing an arm or in a wheelchair, and it makes me grateful for the things I take for granted every day. When I’m doing my hair, I think about how hard it would be if I didn’t have both hands/arms.         
Typing used to be a strenuous and difficult process. Right now, I’m thinking about how fast I type. I prefer it to writing by hand! That wouldn’t be possible without my fingers.

Since I can’t repeat anything I’m grateful for, I have to think out of the box. I’m also thankful Panera has Wi-Fi so I can type this while waiting for my friend. Dozens of things happen like this every day. I love that I’m more aware!”

It’s true. Showers of blessings touch our lives every day. Some we recognize, many we miss. For me, I’m not intentionally aware. Or I complain.

 We’re not alone! It seems most everyone has a gripe or complaint or feels used.
Yes, our gripes might be justified, and wrongs need to be exposed. But, if our complaints are legitimate, let’s watch that they don’t blossom into a complaining spirit.
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do everything without complaining or arguing,” (Philippians 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

“Thank you, Lord, for helping Mindy to set a good example of practicing an intentional attitude of gratitude.”  

Today, I’ll not forget my blessings.  I’ll slow down, watch and listen closely. Writing my sincere, heartfelt thanks begins…
1.             The aroma of hot coffee.
2.           Laughter and love at Camille and Lana’s dance recital.
3.           Bible study with my neighbors.
4.           Air conditioning on this warm, muggy day.
5.           Friends like you, connecting with me at Quiet Waters!

Will you take the challenge? Will you make powerful deposits each day, giving purposeful, heartfelt thanks?



  1. And we are thankful for you Pam and Mindy for sharing and teaching us how not to forget God's Blessing(s).

  2. Nice reminder, Pam. Psalm 92 is a good reminder too.
    Keep up your great ministry..

    1. Thank you, Stewart! God bless you. John and I appreciate your friendship.

    2. Thanks Pam for the great blog! This is exactly what the book called One Thousand Gifts is about. I think the author's name's Anne VosKamp? It's a little hard to follow her style of writing...

  3. Thank YOU, Carmen. Yes, I'm familiar with Ann V.'s blog. I used to read them a lot but as you said, kind of hard to follow sometimes. Guess I get mentally lazy. :) Have a great week!

  4. That's a great idea Pam, I've started gratitude lists many time but always slack off. Maybe doing it whenever you think of something would made it more ingrained in your mind. For instance, even being grateful for a good parking space (which rarely happens). There are so many things that happen every hour of every day. God bless!

    1. Yes, first thing in the morning, my thankful journal receives my attention. It's a good way to rein in my thoughts, starting with thankfulness. God bless you with strength and perseverance!