gratitude · summertime

Pictures of Summer

Perhaps you’ve heard the line, “When this you see, think of me.” What do you see that automatically takes you to summer? Maybe it’s the 100 degrees on the thermometer outside your window accompanied by 100% humidity, but I mean the good pictures, the things that make your heart happy!

It IS hot right now, but there are too many good things we can’t overlook. I’m asking the Lord to give me a heart of thanks in both this season of the year and in our world. That means we need eyes that look for the blessings and a mouth to speak it.

So here are a few of my summer blessings in picture form today!

Summer chalkboard drawings
Homemade ice cream!
Morning walks in the country

What blessings of summer are you seeing with your thankful heart today?

Refresh your attitude by choosing to give thanks – even when it’s hot as blazes!

gratitude · Thanksgiving

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

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It was Saturday afternoon and I drove into the city to the local rehabilitation center.  Two church members are there recovering and I was going to visit and remind them of our love for them and prayers on their behalf.  After spending time with both patients, I walked out into the sun-filled day, very aware of the blessing of using my two legs to Continue reading “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”

Godly Character Traits

The Beauty of a Thank You Note

I recently saw a picture of myself from the 90’s and it made me laugh out loud.  The fashion statement in those days was the addition of shoulder pads.  They made my small frame look like I was trying out for some football team.   Not pretty.


Some things like shoulder pads go out of style, but some things never do – like a thankful heart.  Gratitude is always attractive!  The means to display gratitude is another thing that will never be passe’ and it comes in the form of a Thank you Note.  Thank you notes are a special touch to demonstrate your gratitude for an act of kindness or a gesture of generosity.

That being said, let’s talk a little about when and how to write one.

When should we write a thank you card?

  • When you receive a gift.
    • Birthday
    • Christmas
    • Wedding/Baby Shower
    • Wedding Gift
    • Graduation
    • You get the idea…we get gifts often, and so a thank you needs to be sent…often.
  • When you have been a guest in someone’s home
    • For a meal
    • As an overnight guest
  • When someone has done a kind gesture
    • Helped when you were sick
    • Encouraged you
    • Done a task for you

What should a thank you note say?

  • What the person did
  • Why it meant something special to you
  • How it will be used (if it was a gift)
  • That you are grateful

It doesn’t have to be long, just include the essentials listed above, and do it promptly.  The saying that has stuck with me is,

Swift gratitude is the sweetest!

If you wait until 6 months after your wedding to send Aunt Betty a thank you for the place setting of your china, it’s not going to be received as warmly as it would have a couple weeks after your honeymoon.  So being prompt is key.

I receive lots of sweet thank you’s and it always means so much.  Just that the person would stop to write out their gratitude means a lot.  It’s a social skill that will never grow out of style.  Let’s all try to put on thankfulness and see how it embellishes our personal style far better than those 1990 shoulder pads did!

Are you an avid thank you note writer?  When was the last time you received one?


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Christian Life

Forgiven Much; Love Much

On our wedding day, the clear June skies of the daytime turned to the typical evening summer pop-up storm.  After our seven O’clock ceremony was over and vows had been exchanged, we were to proceed to the fellowship hall, which was in another building connected to the church sanctuary by a sidewalk with a slight covering. The South Carolina winds had blown the rain steadily and forcefully, and the sidewalk had become a bit of a river.  My brand new husband saw the situation and realized that my wedding gown was in danger of disaster.  Without skipping a beat, he swooped me up in his arms and carried me safely to the dry floor of the fellowship hall!  A romanticist at heart would look at that scenario and say, “Now that’s sacrifice!”  They wouldn’t be far from the truth, but I believe sacrifice has a little more at risk.

Image result for image of woman pouring ointment on Jesus feet

Take a look at the woman in Luke 7:36-50, she came to pour out ointment on Jesus’ feet, spite the risk of the fears we mentioned earlier.  As she began to pour out the ointment, she began to weep, realizing the huge debt of her sin, and that this Man had forgiven her – of. it. all.
She had a dark past, full of stories and men, and ruined lives, I’m sure, but it was GONE.  Her tears thundered at His feet in gratitude, and her hair became the towel in which they were dried.

This story reminds us of a couple huge truths:

  1. Any sin is debt and we’re all sinners.  We are all guilty before a holy God.  We owe a debt we cannot pay, so Jesus stepped in and paid for it ALL with His blood.
  2. There is no sin too great for God to forgive.  None.  Every sin is covered, even those committed over and over.
  3. We now owe a debt of gratitude to our Savior.  With our sins covered, that debt is cleared, but how will we show our gratefulness?  With sacrifice.

“One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving”
― Amy Carmichael

Jesus tells the Pharisee that she, who had been forgiven much, loves much.  We see that by her demonstration at Jesus’ feet.
How much do you and I really love Jesus?  Are we willing to give even when it will cost us?  Oh, we may be happy to serve when it’s convenient, or easy or something we love to do, but what if it gets us out of our comfort zone?  What if it’s dirty?  What if it’s risky? Are we willing to pour it all out?  That is the true demonstration of how much we love.

As we consider all that Christ has covered for each of us, may we be willing to give and serve Him in a way that is sacrificial because we love Him SO MUCH.

How are you regularly demonstrating sacrificial love for Christ?  How do others know that you love Him so much?

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