Gratitude, Perspective

Gratitude: What Gratitude Does

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We were tromping through a dump in Manila when I first understood how much abundance I possess.

I was on my first far-away missions trip, and that day was eye-opening. In groups of two-three, we visited with the residents who lived there.

Yes, people lived in the dump. Where rancid water puddled on the unpaved roads. Where young children dug in the high mounds of trash, searching for copper to sell. Where the danger of the methane gas and the instability of those mounds could lead to death with one misstep.

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God, Gratitude, Mothering, Perspective

Gratitude: What We Have and Have Not

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve said before . . . it’s been a year. I’m choosing to focus on gratitude this month. As I’ve pondered what I want to share, the above quote stood out to me.

I have received much from the Lord this year:

When I tore my ACL, I had a great surgeon to help fix me up. And superb physical therapists to exercise me back to full mobility.

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Family Relationships, Gratitude, Mothering

Gratitude: Training Our Children to Have Grateful Hearts

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This all started with a picture . . .

Though we’ve tried hard to prevent that sense of entitlement in our boys, they’ve have fallen prey to the “I deserve this” mentality. We have never bought them stuff just because they wanted it, never impulsively purchased a candy bar in the check out aisle.

We’ve worked hard to help our boys see nothing truly belongs to us. All that we have (and we have a lot) has been given to us by our good God.

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Gratitude, Joy, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy

A Voskamp Thanksgiving and joy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Today, I had planned to share some tips for dealing with busyness for this holiday season.

I think it’s more important we take time and consider Thanksgiving. Both the holiday and the attitude. So, that  post will be up next week.

I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, and it’s a choice. When we choose thankfulness, joy is the result in our hearts. We see the good things God has placed in our lives. When we take the time and make the effort to say, “Thank you,”  we not only show Him appreciation, we build up a storehouse of joy within us.

It’s not always easy to choose thanksgiving in our circumstances. Some people have lost loved ones this year. Others are dealing with terminal illness. Divorce. Prodigal children. Heartbreak. Job loss. And perhaps the thought of “putting on a happy face” absolutely drains you.

Maybe, taking a few minutes to write down things you can be thankful for will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed. It won’t change your circumstances. But, choosing to give thanks will lift your heart, and begin letting joy back into those dark places.

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As we Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of our country, may we also choose thankfulness in the midst of our circumstances.

What about you? What’s one thing you are thankful for right now? How can I pray for you over the next week?

I’ve linked up with Holly Barrett‘s and (for today) Angela Parlin’s sites this week. Check out some other wonderful blogs!

God, Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Gratitude: Makes Life Rich

 

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By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

With this being the week we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, I thought it fitting to keep the post a little shorter and to meditate on gratitude.

Many thoughts filter around the internet about being thankful. This one from Dietrich Bonhoeffer stirs my spirit.

We have been given much. How often do we take time to 1) think about the many small gifts that enter into our day and 2) take time to acknowledge them with a thankful heart?

Whether the gratitude is for . . .

—each breath we take

—a car that runs

—a person who truly loves us—even when we’re unlovely

—a blue sky after a storm

—the beauty left behind after snow falls

—pets that are unfailingly loyal

—the hug of a child, or spouse, or friend

—food on the table

—a roof over our heads

—unseen protection

—God’s grace strengthening us

. . . we should be purposeful in acknowledging each gift.

We give of ourselves to those around us. This is good. But, let’s also take time to thank our Father for the many, many gifts He gives each day.

Whether we have a lot or we have little in terms of material goods, we have been given much by our Father. When we take time to thank Him for what He’s given, our lives become rich.

When we choose gratitude, I believe peace is a byproduct of this practice.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, my hope is that you can truly enter into a place of giving thanks for what you have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What about you? What is one gift—big or small—you are thankful for? Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you care to share?

Expectations, Gratitude, Life, Perspective, Plan, Plans: My Plans and Jesus' Plans

Plans: My Plans and Jesus’ Plans

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By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

**Confession: I wrote this piece about a year ago, but I still find myself thinking about the truths I learned. So, I’m sharing it with you. 🙂

So, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself today. As I push forward hard to get things done before my favorite writing conference of the year—American Christian Fiction Writers conference—nothing is going as I planned.

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Affirmation, Gratitude, Mothering, Relationship, Thank You: Two Meaningful Words, Uncategorized

Thank You: Two Meaningful Words

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I read a story over the weekend and watched the accompanying video. And it got me thinking. About gratitude.

About thankfulness.

November is a natural time to focus on Thanksgiving. But how much “thanking” do I do during the rest of the year?

As Hubby and I attempt to instill in our boys the beauty of gratitude, I find myself wondering how much I practice this discipline in daily living.

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Gratitude, Mothering, Relationship, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Traditions Five Kernels of Corn

Thanksgiving Traditions: Five Kernels of Corn

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Some of my favorite girlhood memories revolve around holidays like Thanksgiving. My mom always woke well before the sun on Thanksgiving morning. She prepared the turkey and slid it into the oven to slow cook all day long. By 2:00 in the afternoon, the aroma of the roasting bird made my mouth water! My parents always invited friends and family to join us around our makeshift table. Food and laughter were plentiful.

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Gratitude, Gratitude A Treasure Worth Seeking, Perspective

Gratitude: A Treasure Worth Seeking

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Have you ever considered gratitude to be a treasure? Something to seek after with all the intentionality of searching for the greatest treasure you could imagine?

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God, Gratitude, Gratitude in a relationship with God, Gratitude Thanking God For the Small Things

Gratitude: Thanking God For the Small Things

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“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Have you ever prayed for something big? I mean, the “it’s probably not going to happen because it’s so big” big?

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