October 09, 2023


Devotion for the week...

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. I shared this quilt last month (it was the Stash Artists pattern for September), and I have loved looking at it every day since.
Grateful quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I have to admit, though, I have also found it rather challenging at times. Seeing the word 'grateful' multiple times a day has made me realize how often I feel annoyed, frustrated, or irritated instead. While those are perfectly normal feelings, they're also not much fun, so I've been trying to flip the switch and remind myself to find something to be grateful for in that moment.

Paul wrote "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Notice Paul didn't say to be thankful for all circumstances. We don't have to be thankful for the hard things, the sad things, or even the annoying and frustrating things. We are admonished to find a way to be thankful even in those circumstances, though!

Here's a small example: one of the childcare littles has had a runny nose for a couple of weeks. She's not sick, her nose is just running constantly, and I'm forever having to wipe it, which has definitely had me irritated at times. Walking past the quilt right after wiping her nose yet again and feeling annoyed about it, I caught myself and asked what I could be grateful for in that moment. Well, she's telling me when she needs a tissue, not wiping it on her clothes; she's not sick, so she can't make me sick; she's happy and pleasant, not whining; I have a job...I still wasn't grateful for her runny nose, but there were things I could be grateful for, and that felt a lot better than being annoyed.

Obviously, there are bigger problems than a child with a runny nose. It's amazing how this same principle can apply even to those bigger problems, though. I've heard people talk about the amazing care they received while in hospital, and how grateful they were for the doctors and nurses. People who are grieving express gratitude for the friends and family who gather in support. During the worst parts of the Covid pandemic, we were all grateful for the essential workers who kept showing up to do their jobs, and for the technology that allowed us to stay connected even as we kept our distance. No one is thankful for health challenges, the death of a loved one, or a global pandemic, but even in the midst of those things there are reasons to be thankful. 
Being thankful can't change the circumstances, but it can help us get through them | DevotedQuilter.com
Being thankful in all circumstances doesn't change the circumstances. It won't make grieving good, or make medical treatments fun. Being thankful changes our focus, letting us see the good happening alongside the bad. It also reminds us that we are never alone, as our expressions of gratitude remind us that God is right there with us through it all. No, being thankful can't change the circumstances, but it can help us get through them.


  1. This devotion, Leanne, is full of profound wisdom. You are SO right! It's easy to feel grateful when life seems good (no one has a runny nose). But when trials confront us, it's even more important to find nuggets of good to make us grateful which in turn lifts our spirits. I must always remember Who is watches over me, and wants only good things for me. God is incredibly faithful, even when I am not. Thank you God.

  2. Two weeks ago my car was totaled in an accident. I'm 77, never been in such an accident and when the airbags went off I was concussed and thought the car was on fire (the powdery stuff looked like smoke). Praise God, no broken bones despite massive bruising and no passenger--they would have killed. I am not glad this happened, and to be honest, I struggled with "why God?" But I am now at a point that I know He will use this because He never wastes.our experiences! I am not thankful for, but I can be thankful in. And had I died, I belong to Jesus and I know He will welcome me home.


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