Are You Bear-ly Thankful? - Girlfriends in God - December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013
Are You Bear-ly Thankful?
Bobi Ann Allen

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our "Friday Friends." So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Bobi Ann Allen.

Today’s Truth

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28).

Friend to Friend

My 6 year-old-daughter, Kati Ann, loves the store, Build-A-Bear Workshop. At Build-A-Bear, customers have the opportunity of creating their own stuffed animal. Kati Ann bought her first Build-A-Bear with her own money. At the time, they signed her up to be in their Build-A-Bear “club” (or whatever they call it). Basically, she got signed up to be on their mailing list.

About a month or so later, Kati Ann went to the mailbox and there it was, the Build-A-Bear Newsletter! It’s more like a mini-catalog, but, regardless, Kati Ann was beside herself. For days she poured over that little catalog. She dreamed of her next Build-A-Bear and which outfit she would dress it in.

And then she said something that struck me. My daughter asked, “Mom, can we go to Build-A-Bear Workshop so I can thank them for sending me this newsletter?” My first thought was, “What? You want to thank them for sending you this junky mail? Are you kidding? Build-A-Bear Workshop was more than happy to send it. They’ll be getting more of our money because of that silly catalog.” Yet, I refrained and did not say any of what I was thinking. Instead, I scooped her up, smiled at her, and assured her we could.

And then God used Kati Ann’s words to whisper to my heart. Kati Ann saw reason for gratitude while my eyes saw junk. How often I carry on, going about my routine, believing I’m entitled to more than I have. So easily, I forget to acknowledge the abundance of God’s gifts in my life.

How can we make a lifestyle of Thanks-giving? Here are two thoughts:

1. Make a habit of giving God thanks for the intangible. Thank Him for a cloudless sky or the unintelligible chatter of a child. Make a practice of recognizing Him as the giver of the fragrance of fall or a phone call with a loved one. Learning to thank God for the seemingly little things trains us to make a lifestyle of giving thanks.

2. Acknowledging His provision for your life also acknowledges His presence in your life. His presence is what produces peace, joy, and contentment. Augustine claimed, ”Without exception…all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy.” Could it be that your level of joy is dependent most on your ability to give thanks for all that God has given? Instead of slowing to give thanks, we push ahead hoping to alleviate the disappointment in our lives, lives lacking joy and peace. Continual thanks leads to constant peace.

Thanks ——————–> Presence———————> Peace

God’s heart is good, and He is generous toward His children. Make a choice to be thankful.

Now It’s Your Turn

What can you thank God for today? Make a list of 5 things (without repeating any) every day this week that help you recognize God’s provision and favor in your life.

Question: When was the last time you were truly grateful? What sparked that moment? What reminds you to be thankful?

More from the Girlfriends

Texas native, Bobi Ann Allen’s first and most fun job is wife to her husband, Jared & mom to their delightfully silly kids, Kati Ann & Kie. Bobi Ann is privileged to serve as Women’s Ministry Director at Willowbrook Church in Huntsville, AL. She loves to laugh, spend time with her family and wear comfortable clothes. Her favorite moments are date nights with her husband and loving on her kids. You can read more from Bobi Ann on her blog and following her on Twitter @bobiann.

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Originally published Thursday, 26 December 2013.