Oh, What a Year! - Encouragement Café - January 12, 2016

Oh, What a Year!

Café Menu for Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Today’s Special is:  Choosing to be Obedient Despite My Feelings

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Samantha Jackel

Main Ingredient:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV


It was a warm and balmy summer’s night, I was in the city with my family, welcoming in the New Year with anticipation – 2014!

My year started with a phone call telling me that I had been nominated and was a finalist for Victorian (a State within Australia) Mother of the Year 2014.  I was shocked, surprised and overwhelmed that I was nominated, let alone being a finalist.

A few months later I sat at the announcement ceremony, listening intently to the stories of the other finalists, I felt an overwhelming feeling of awkwardness to even be seated with such incredible people let alone be placed on the same stage as them.

When the announcement of the winner was made, I heard my name!  I was completely convinced that I was not going to win so I was shocked.  How ironic that I won Mother of the Year for Victoria when I, myself, had not been mothered!

That was the beginning of my year.  What followed were interviews for newspaper articles, magazine shoots, interviews, television appearances.  Not only was I recognized as Mother of the Year for Victoria but my itinerant ministry started to take-off.  I was being asked to speak at different events and women’s retreats.  It was a good year, one of the best - that was 2014, then came 2015!

2015 - Started with the first three months being some of the most difficult.  A situation unfolded that we had to be careful, prayerful and show an abundance of grace through.  Challenging situations continued to interrupt our lives.  Where was the blessing from 2014?

Don’t get me wrong... there were good things that happened in 2015, but then another few incidents would cast a dark shadow over our joy.  Without doubt this has been one of the toughest years of my life.

Mid-year I felt the Lord speak to me about thankfulness and that I needed to choose to give thanks in all things – ouch!  I decided from that point on, that each morning before getting out of bed I would choose to give thanks.

Lord, I choose to thank You for all that happens in my day today, the good and the bad, l will give You thanks.

Each night as I climb into bed, I choose to thank Him for the day and all that the day consisted of.  I realize giving thanks does not depend on how we feel, but it is rather an act of obedience to His Word.

Take Out:

As we welcome in 2016 let's have hearts of thankfulness for the year that has passed and choose to be thankful for the year that is about to begin... and all that it consists of, whether good or bad.  Choose to see His hand weaved through our lives in every situation we encounter.


Father God, we choose to give You thanks today for all that You are going to do within this day.  We ask Lord that You would help us to keep our focus on You and not on the circumstances that are laid before us... we are choosing to see Your hand in all things.

© 2016 by Samantha Jackel.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 12 January 2016.