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Becoming a Woman of Thanksgiving
It can be a challenge to be thankful. After all, it often seems so much easier to complain. The bills are piling up, the boss wanted the project done yesterday and it is barely begun, the children want to be brought someplace and don't want to eat what is on the table for dinner, and the laundry isn't going to do itself! Any number of life's little annoyances can push us into complaining mode. Lamentation is a valid prayer. We are right to bring our cares and concerns to God, to offer up our stress. But thanksgiving is an important part of prayer also. We are often eager to petition God for our needs, but less likely to say "Thank you" when a prayer has been answered.
So, how then, do we become a woman of thanksgiving? Begin by looking around. Thank God for another day of life, the nature that surrounds us. Do you have a roof over your head, food on the table? Thank God for those. Are your children screaming through the house? Stop and thank God that they are healthy enough to run and play, and yes, even fight with each other! Any time when you feel a complaint bubbling to the surface, take a moment to breathe and survey the situation. Is there any silver lining hiding below the surface that could possibly be a reason for thanks? If so, thank God for that. When petitioning God for a need, always add a prayer of thanksgiving for the answer, whether it is the answer desired or not. Like any habit, with practice, becoming a woman of thanksgiving should become easier.
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is the editor of The Spiritual Woman Newsletter