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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)

TITLE: Give Thanks? For What?
By Lizzy Ainsworth


Give thanks for what?

The slugs are eating my garden. I left my phone at home. The dishes are piled up in both sinks. They are facts in my life. They discourage me. I just look at life and it all says pain, struggle, work. I do not look at my tasks, my mistakes, my mess with joy, just discontentment and I realise my attitude is wrong.

Some people voice these complaints; a groan, a growl, a scream at someone else for not sharing the weight, a long list of expletives. The yoke rubs the wrong way. Do we not realise that we wear it wrong?

Usually they are just in my head, not voiced, just causing a frustrated simmer of resentment at my life. They are still in my heart, piercing holes of discontent, the sharp of the nail tearing at any who come near, usually those I love most. Puss leaks out, staining my day.

How do I enjoy life? Christ surely did not die for me to have this. I search for a joy in places that are barren and in my searching miss each moment that ticks on.

I have not learnt from the Words of the Book on my desk. It lays open and I feel spiritual but have the words hammered out the nail and healed the sores?

‘Praise the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits.’

I am saved, redeemed, child of God.
Thanks, but sometimes those things are far away in a misty sky in the early morn before life screams with interruptions of pain in an imperfect world.

What is in our heart will come out of our mouth, a stream of pure water or a stream of murky confusion and complaint. How does it change from one to another?

The Words are sinking in and I realise what I must do to change the stream, to wear the yoke right, to hammer out the nails of discontent. I must encourage my soul, and so along with many others in I begin my list of ‘One Thousand Gifts’. It is a dare to live fully right where I am.

1. Thank you that the slugs are only eating the bok choy.
2. That I have a phone to lose
3. That I have plenty of food to dirty dishes with
4. For the beauty of an unfurling rose bud
As we start can our view help but change? We can encourage ourselves and the water slowly purifies and as it flows a clear stream, it will encourage those around us.

References: Psalm 103:2
‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. This dare to live fully right where you are has quickly become a New York bestseller as God transforms a pig farmers wife from depressed to gladly blessed. www.aholyexperience.com

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This article has been read 298 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/01/12
This is a great lesson. I saw an email that reminded me of this piece. How true you are, our attitude makes such a difference. In all things Give thanks. It's not always easy but it is always right.
C D Swanson 03/01/12
Perfect! I loved this whole piece. The message that your brought forward is one that most Christians lose sight of.

Always give thanks and glory to the Lord, for everything! You cleary demonstrated the need for that in this well written piece as you turned it around in the end.

Great job. Thank you.

God Bless you~
Edmond Ng 03/05/12
Like the MC in your story, King David went through a time of complete discouragement, but at the end of it all he acknowledged "But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me" (Psalm 13). Like David and the MC of your story, are we able to do the same and find encouragement in God because we trust in His lovingkindness?

Dear Lord, teach us not to question why, but calmly understand that You know the plans You have for us, plans for welfare, not for calamity, to give us a future and a hope.

Thanks for sharing this. God bless.

Leola Ogle 03/06/12
Our attitude determines so many things in our lives. We need to learn to encourage ourselves and focus on the positives and not the negatives. Good job with this entry! God bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/12
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level three!