Gratitude in All Things

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

Sometimes life just gets hard. The week before school started, my son had heart surgery, my mom that just moved in with us was diagnosed with cancer, and my father-in-law became so ill my husband had to fly out to Oregon to be with his family. Yet within all of this, I had peace. God is in control.

God calls us to have a grateful heart. One year I was blessed to be able to visit a school in a poverty stricken portion of Ethiopia. The teachers had a classroom stuffed with 80 students. The room was equipped with four clay walls and benches. That's all. Oh - and one very small chalkboard with simple paper for classroom information. Many students walk 2 1/2 hours to get to school (one way) and they carry their prized possession...if they are lucky to have one...a textbook. (See pictures above) The joy that exuded from the classroom was clear. Students were filled to the brim with gratitude. They were so thankful to be able to receive an education. The classroom often pushed the limits of 80 students so others would stand outside, all day, and peer in through the window just to be able to hear the teacher and take part in learning. I remember the culture shock returning to our American school - a school full of every thing imaginable as far as educational supplies - yet lacking in gratitude.

"Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the JOY of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness." Billy Graham

Whenever life gets hard, or whenever I am feeling upset or concerned, I count my blessings. Sometimes it's as simple as, "Thank you for this comfy chair I am sitting in. Thank you that my dogs greet me each night. Thank you for glasses." I literally start thinking of absolutely everything I can be thankful for. I pray. I give my burdens to the Lord for HIM to carry. He fills me with His peace. Joy returns.

This little girls walks 2 hours and 30 minutes each WAY and each day just to get to school. She LOVES her textbook!

A simple classroom.

2 comments

  1. I too have traveled out of thr country multiple times and have seen this and thank the Lord foe the little things also like my glasses or even a bed to sleep on. I will keep you in prayer through your current conditions of life and am glad to know that you have the Lords shalom in your heart through the storm.-Brandon Roots

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  2. You must have been a fly on our wall at the close of last week! A spirit of complaining rose up in our home and we are still working with the children to address the issues related to this specific type of negativity. Tonight I read your post to them and showed them the pictures. We had a good discussion and prayer time about what we are thankful for at school and at home and about God. We also spent a few minutes praying for you and your family. Thankful for peace and praying it will continue.
    Your post was a great innoculation! Thank you!

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