Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Living Each Day With My Father: Thanksgiving

Blog-2015-004-FATHER-ThanksWhile I know having a thankful heart is key to living with the Father I had a very hard time with this chapter. I often look for a warm fuzzy feeling to go with being thankful. I expect to “feel” thankful. I rarely do. I am thankful. I appreciate many things but I rarely “feel” thankful. Something I am still sorting out.

Being thankful is a choice. I choose to be thankful regardless of feelings or circumstances, or even natural disposition. I have often tended to be the Eeyore.

  • I see what’s wrong instead of right.
  • I see how far there is to go instead of how far I’ve come.
  • I see the work and get tired.

I also can see the good in people in hard things and I choose to give thanks.

I thank Him in faith for the things He has promised.

A roadblock to my thankfulness was “but”. There were challenging people and situations where I would thank God for some aspect then follow with a “but”.

I imagine that is much like the apology “I’m sorry, but…”

Even as I am writing this I see more areas where I have kept the “but”. I first realized it in a hard relationship. I repented and let go of that “but”. Now I see I still have “buts” to clear out of other areas.

I’m thankful for my husband’s job but I wish he didn’t have to work away.

I’m thankful we are building our dream shop but I wish it would go faster.

If I really believe God is good and working ALL things for my good I have no reason for anything but thanksgiving.

Practical ideas

Choose to be thankful

If I forget about trying, hoping to “feel” thankful then I can see some practical ways I am working to cultivate a grateful heart.

When I or someone around me complains I find something about that same thing to be thankful for.

“It looks like rain.”

“I’m thankful, we need the rain.”

I choose to start my time with God thanking Him for something. Even on days that don’t seem too good He is always good and I can always start there. Some days I just stay there. He is good – always. I’m thankful!

Obsess

Something that helps me be truly thankful and overflow in praise is to meditate on God’s word. Meditating is like marinating your mind, soul, and spirit in something. It’s constantly thinking about something.

Do you obsess? I often do, about what someone said, what I said, what I wish I had said. God made us to obsess about Him. Find a scripture and obsess about it. Allow it to become more and more true to you.

How about Romans 8:28?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. – Rom 8:28 KJV

Like I said if I really believe and focus on the fact that ALL things – delays, frustrating behavior, difficult people – are working for my good I can be really thankful. Don’t take me wrong. I am not saying bad things happening are sent by God and we are to do nothing about them. We have authority, remember? God is always speaking and can show us if there is something we can do about a bad or hard situation. While we wait and listen we can always give thanks and rejoice. (Philippians 4:4-8)

Get rid of the “buts”

Listen to your thoughts this week as you give thanks. Is there are but tagging along? Repent, confess, ask forgiveness if need be. Ask God for His perspective.

Express thanks to people, too

Developing thankfulness and the habit of expressing it in one area will increase it in all areas. God can bless us through people. We can and should thank them for blessing us.

Record and take time to remember

What has God already done for you? This can start with things that are true for every believer. Salvation. Forgiving you. Restoring you to relationship with Himself. Eternal life. Grace.

Add things specific to your story. Has He healed you? Provided special blessings? Children? Spouse? Direction? God constantly told Israel to remember. They built altars and had feasts to remember the salvation of the LORD. Jesus told us to take communion to remember.

Be thankful His faithfulness in the past reassures us of His faithfulness in the future.

I have a very simple printable you can use to frame your day if it’s helpful. As I did mine I could feel stress leaving and peace growing. I often reread it during hard times of the day.

Blue printable

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Living each day with authority

Living Each Day with My Father: Authority

To live each day with our Father takes recognizing we have authority and learning how to use it.

I have by no means arrived here, or on any of these topics. I am learning and sharing along the way. I feel I need to do a little “teaching” on authority, maybe because I am still figuring it out for myself. Care to join me?

Brief history of authority

Power and authority are closely connected and often used interchangeably. The definitions in the original languages include the meanings of both.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18 KJV

The word power in this verse includes the meaning “the power of authority” and “one who possesses authority” (Strong’s)

  • God gave it to Adam – Genesis 1:26-31
  • Adam forfeited it by partnering with Satan and disobeying God – Genesis 3:6, 1 Timothy 2:14
  • Satan had authority – Luke 4:6, 2 Corinthians 4:4
  • Jesus restored authority to Heaven when He was raised from the dead – Ephesians 1:20-22,
  • God gave us authority – Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:6; Matthew 28:18-20

What are we are supposed to do with this authority? What do we have authority over?

  • All things – Ephesians 1:22
  • The world – 1 John 4:4
  • Thoughts – 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • Speech – Colossians 4:6, Ephesians 4:29
  • Emotions – Colossians 3:8-14
  • Mountains – Matthew 17:20
  • Satan and his realm – James 4:7, Matthew 10:1, 12:28

I have much to learn in all these areas. I want you to be aware of them and begin to use your authority. I want to focus on our authority over ourselves, our thoughts, and our choices.

Ways of exercising authority

Blessing my day

Something I started doing recently is blessing my day. I was listening to a message by Joyce Meyer. She said something to the effect of taking authority over your day by blessing it and everything in it. Blessing is more than a saying, more than “I wish you the best.” Our words of blessing carry power and the authority for God to move in the situation we have blessed.

Pleading the blood of Jesus

Pleading the blood may sound strange. Think of a court of law. A defendant is brought before the judge and asked how they plead. They can say guilty or not guilty. Because of Jesus we can say “I plead the blood of Jesus.” Jesus sacrifice makes us righteous fully adopted children of the Most High God! That carries some major authority. Everything God made available to Jesus is available to us. We are co-heirs with Jesus.

Declare my authority

I state my authority, reminding myself and Satan daily that he has no right to me or anything concerning me. I am under the blood of Jesus. My property, finances, family, everything concerning me is under the blood. Jesus provided for it to be safe from the thief.

Over my emotions

I frequently have to take authority over my emotions. Emotions are real. They are not always true and they are even less often a good basis for decisions. I am learning to feel and understand my emotions and what caused them without letting them run my life. Notice I said learning. I still struggle and fail in moments and situations. I will keep learning. I will keep asking.

Application

Is there an area you need to exercise the authority Jesus has given you?

How will using your authority change your perspective?

What scriptures are you standing on for assurance of your authority?

How will you practically take authority over this area?

Blue printable

Write out your day with your Father.

Download printable in orange

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I encourage you to keep it where you can read it during your day. Some days I take a picture with my phone so I can take it with me.

Living Each Day With My Father Posts:

Introduction

Focus

Authority (You’re here)

Thanksgiving

Hope

Encouragement

Rest

To live each day with my Father I need focus.

Living Each Day with My Father: Focus

Where is my heart set?

What gets my attention?

I can, and do, focus on so many things. I home school my three children. Two of them will be in high school this year. I can certainly focus on the fact that I better make sure I am doing it right. We are building a building that is WAY beyond my ability. We need more of everything than we have on our own, more money, more time, more skill, more labor.

I can focus on my home that isn’t finished and is never clean enough. Really I could just leave that at never clean. It does get cleaned on occasion and it is not overall disgusting to me anyway. I’m a firm believer in dirt never hurting anyone. Anyway, I could focus on that.

I could focus on my clothes that don’t fit quite right, my body that lumps in the wrong places, my blog that too often get neglected, and my platform “they” say I have to build. Then there’s ministry and politics and relationships…The list is endless.

What you have been focused on? Include the good and the bad. What has been occupying most of your thoughts and emotional energy?

What do I want my focus to be? The short answer: God. I think of verses that say things like:

Set your hearts on things above, seek first the kingdom, Bless the Lord, rejoice, and give thanks.

So how do I change my focus?

Short answer?

Focus on something else.

I know very obvious and not very helpful. It’s true though. Right now you are focused on the words in this post. Look up at the ceiling and you are no longer focused on the words on your screen.

Changing life long thought patterns is not that easy. However it really is that simple. Each and every time you think about or focus on something you don’t want to focus on refocus on something else. Eventually you will have created the new habit of focusing on the right thing.

Some practical ideas for refocusing

  • I find scripture and what God has to say about what to focus on.
  • I refocus by reading encouraging words, quotes, scriptures.
  • I have pictures around my home that God has used to speak to me, pictures that speak to my destiny and His promises.
  • I sing. Knowing hymns and solid scriptural songs is an easy way for me to refocus.
  • Sometimes I refocus by going in a room by myself and telling Satan to leave me alone. I take authority over anything that is not of God in my home or my environment and release the opposite. If there is tension I tell it to go and release peace.
  • I like to write. It is a great way for me to process what I am experiencing. I can identify lies, patterns, and connections I miss if I don’t write. I can also record the truth God reveals so I can go back to it when I need to refocus.
  • An accountability partner can be a great help to. This doesn’t have to be intense or time-consuming. It can be as simple as letting your friends know you have a new focus and you want them to ask you how you are doing. Give them permission to respectfully point out when you miss your new focus.

My day with my Father

Since God gave me this idea I try to write out my day with Father in the morning. That sounds strange. Here’s what I mean. I want to live each day with my Father to do that I need Focus, Authority, Thanksgiving, Hope, Encouragement, and Rest. So I write a sentence, word or phrase for each word.

Some days He speaks to me:

Focus: I love you. I am working. You are enough.

Authority: Bless the day. Walk in authority.

Thanksgiving: Praise me all day.

Hope: in, Me. I am faithful & true – Always.

Encouragement: I am pleased.

Rest: I am here. Ask. Listen. Obey.

Some days it is my thoughts to Him:

Focus: You are good and bigger than any hurt.

Authority: I control my thoughts and choose prayer praise.

Thanksgiving: I thank you for Brian and my kids, for hard relationships.

Hope: God you alone are my hope.

Encouragement: With you all things are possible.

Rest: I rest in Your goodness and love!

Some days it is a declaration:

Focus: I am loved and accepted.

Authority: I have authority in Jesus name.

Thanksgiving:  I am blessed beyond measure.

Hope: God is working in and through me.

Encouragement: It will be worth it.

Rest: God is for me. Who can be against me?

Write out your day with your Father.

Blue printable

Download printable in orange

Download printable in blue

Download printable in green

I encourage you to keep it where you can read it during your day. Some days I take a picture with my phone so I can take it with me.

Living Each Day With My Father Posts:

Introduction

Focus (You’re here)

Authority

Thanksgiving

Hope

Encouragement

Rest

Living Each Day with My Father

I’ve had a lot of hard days lately. Many more than I care to admit.  Keeping my thinking in line with truth has been a major challenge.

First I feel or think something ugly.
Then I beat myself up because-
  • I know better.
  • I’ve dealt with this.
  • I didn’t think I was like that.

Then it gets really good because I can beat myself up for beating myself up.

Sound familiar?

I hope not, but I suspect for some it does. Not you? Great! Maybe reading will help you understand a friend who falls into this dreadful, downward spiraling trap.

Reaching out for help wasn’t helping. Looking through too many dirty lenses to see help or truth perhaps?

There’s confusion.
 Why am I feeling this way? Why do I keep thinking that? Why am I here again? I thought I dealt with this. I had a strategy, what was it? Why can’t I change? What am I missing?
There’s condemnation. 
You’ve been teaching people, challenging people to walk victorious and look at you! You should know better. You DO know better. Look at what a mess you are.
There’s hopelessness.
This will never change. I will never change.
Through that stack of dirty lenses and massive cloud of lies I came upon an idea I want to hang onto. Maybe you can hang on to it too.

I live each day with my Father.

I live each day with focus, authority, thanksgiving, hope, encouragement, and rest.

Identity in the Father
Focus, Authority, Thanksgiving, Hope, Encouragement, Rest
Focus:
 Where have I set my attention? my affections?
Authority:
Remember Jesus has given me all authority in His name
Thanksgiving:
Reflect and acknowledge the goodness of God, the greatness of His character
Hope:
Where is my hope? People? Things? Desired outcomes? God alone.
Encouragement:
Asking Father to speak. He is always encouraging.
Rest:
In His presence is joy, peace and rest.

No matter the circumstance remembering, choosing, to abide with the Father makes it better.

Nothing changes when I remember I am seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Yet everything changes when I remember.

Nothing changes in my circumstances because I draw close to Him. It doesn’t have to.

I change when I draw close to Him. I find peace. I find rest. I remember He is bigger than it all. I remember He is good, beyond my understanding, beyond my seeing. He is working, always for my good. He has called me to rest. (Matthew 11:28)

I’ll explain each of these keys and how I am learning to use them to frame my day in future posts.

I have a very simple printable you can use to frame your day if it’s helpful. As I did mine I could feel stress leaving and peace growing. I often reread it during hard times of the day.

Blue printable

Download printable in orange

Download printable in blue

Download printable in green

How do you spend the day with your Heavenly Father?

Preparing for the Foundation

Breaking Ground
The first of the over-burden being moved.

Friday we began the removal of the overburden from the shop building site.

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Overburden is the dirt, plants and roots covering the subsoil or gravel.

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All the burden has to go to make way for the plan to come about. For our building, for our lives. After the overburden there was digging.

Digging out the clay
The clay ran far deeper than we were hoping. It’s gone now 🙂

There was a large pocket of clay right in the middle of one edge of the foundation. Clay is pliable, very influenced by circumstances of the environment – moisture, heat, cold. It had to go.

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A foundation must be unmoving throughout. A solid concrete foundation will not hold up to the conditions of Alaska, extreme temperatures, wind, and earthquakes, if it is not on completely solid ground.

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By God’s grace He is my firm foundation. The solid rock on which He is building the foundation of my life and destiny.

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A friend came to visit and see the work we were doing. She raved about the wonderful logs that build the upstairs of my home, the flowering trees at the edge of my yard, and my beautiful old piano.

Logs upstairsMorning sun on my trees IMG_1320

I recognized a pocket of clay susceptible to circumstances of the environment, a hesitancy to be fully grateful.

I am thankful. I have been working on being thankful for what I have instead of bemoaning what I do not have for nearly 20 years. I thought I had overcome.

In my heart to her every praise was the hesitancy, the complaining.

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“The logs are wonderful but they need so much work. I don’t get to live in that part of the house to enjoy them.”

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“The trees are wonderful but the rest of the yard needs so much work. There are so many more trees I want to have planted.”

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“The piano is beautiful but it needs work. I never make time to play it.”

A hole in my soul filled with clay. It has to go for the foundation to be strengthened.

Give Thanks in the Digging

May I endure the digging with grace to my Father’s glory.

Is there anywhere the Father wants to excavate so He can shore up your foundation?

Happy Thanlsgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I really wanted to have another post about rest done for today. Right now I just don’t seem to have the time or frame of mind for the writing I want to do. I also neglected to begin recording the things we are thankful for as I usually do in November. So today I’m taking a few minutes to record some of the blessings in my life.
God: My Father, Savior, constant companion and friend. His goodness and love are beyond my understanding, yet I continue to benefit from them every moment.
Family: My husband who adores me. His love and acceptance of me astound me.
My children who are growing in height and maturity are truly a blessing to me.
Time with family near and far meeting.
A namesake (new niece – GuriAnne Mukkove) the first ever for me.
A warm solid house in the midst of winds.
Plenty of food stored in my house.
Fun new toys to make my life easier.
Friends to share their life’s journey even when they’re hard.
Friends appreciate help and see Jesus in me.

Customers:Families who share their joys of using my books together.
The freedom to worship and think to choose to be thankful and rejoice always.
I have pictures in my mind I’d love to take and share with you of many of these blessings… maybe next year.
 
 I hope you and your family have time, take time, to be thankful this Thanksgiving and always.
 Happy Thanksgiving!
Watch on the 26th for an exciting collection of Christmas encouragement and give away!