I wish I could call Karen.
I’d love to sit with her on her couch, open our Bibles, and pray as we did so many times over the years.
Joy just oozed out of that precious woman. It truly did, and even as she lay dying.
She was my friend and my mentor. I love and trust Jesus more because of her.
And this morning, as my heart feels still heavier than I would like with the state of our country….
and as I already feel WEARY as I think about my very long work list and all the things still to do for my daughter’s Christmas wedding, and not to mention preparing for Christmas….
I forgot about Thanksgiving.
Yes, the holiday, but also the act of giving thanks, and what Karen taught me about gratitude and thanksgiving.
She continually challenged me to have a heart of gratitude. She kept saying there is POWER in that.
I remember she once challenged me to spend a particularly hard day prayerfully thanking God for my blessings without asking Him for a thing. It was eye-opening and spirit-lifting.
At first, I rattled off the blessings I could see; but then other things, deep things, unseen things, began to flood my mind. I couldn’t seem to thank God fast enough and my heart began to overflow with joy.
Karen intentionally lived every day with an attitude of gratitude. She even kept a “Thankful journal” and would add three things each morning, and three things each night that she was thankful for.
Karen was not a “Polly Anna”, she was just deliberate in her thankfulness.
As she deliberately tuned her heart to thank the Lord, I watched her walk in strength greater than her own. I saw it. Her joy was contagious and people were drawn to Jesus in her. I saw that, too!
She lived an attitude of gratitude, and because of that, she had an observable peace far greater than her circumstances.
And her circumstances had been so very, hard. Her preacher-husband had tragically died when he fell from a cliff on a camping trip with their boys. Her son was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter.
And Karen’s own cancer was hard and horrible. Her pain was real. She loved her family immensely and hurt at the thought of leaving them.
But as she daily thanked the Lord for His many blessings, I watched her joy eclipse all that pain.
And so, this morning, I’ll pray. And I’ll spend the day thanking the Lord for my blessings without end.
I’ll walk in the strength, hope and joy that a thankful heart brings.
And maybe, some of you, might try that too?
Let’s be deliberate to thank the Lord who has done, and is still doing, so very much for us!
Let’s praise His Name! And as we do, may others see the Jesus, they can trust, in us as well.