In Life’s “Tough”, How Do You Give Thanks?

Enter his Gates from Psalm 100:4 written at the top of a picture with an autumn tree and clear sky
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“Prepare me, Lord.” The ending days of Dad’s life were coming. The rockslide was imminent, a slippery slope for certain. I didn’t want Dad to go. I needed God. Maybe you have felt that stomach-churning realization as well?

The prayer was whispered in August. Just last week, I realized God answered that prayer. Maybe he has answered your prayers for preparation, too?

Find the thanksgiving.

Writing Dad’s obituary wasn’t something I “wanted” to do. But it was right. God prepared me, and it ended with joy amid the pain.

Find it.

Offer it.

Opportunity is there: thanksgiving.

That’s what my spirit sensed the Holy Spirit counseling after last week’s post.

I’m no golden child. There have been many forgotten attempts, thanksgiving left to tumble over life’s cliff. Maybe you understand? It happened with this post. It contained some good, but it was an ounce shy of shouting his thanks. And thanks was deserved (for God) and needed (for me).

But when life gets hard, dare we pack thanksgiving? Is it really fair God asks us to find thanks in the midst of an exploding mountain raining down? Marital unfaithfulness, death, hurt, slander, a wayward child ~ how is thanks found in their midst? Isn’t sulking or feeling sad, mad, anything but thankful, better?

No.

With thanksgiving, life's treacherous terrain becomes scalable. Our God is faithful. Give him thanks. Click To Tweet

It sits at the entrance to his presence. Dare we not go because we carry life’s heaviness instead? Do we sulk and sit outside when love awaits? Which is better?

Wisdom calls to choose well, to link hands with God Almighty. To offer thanks.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving…give thanks to him…his faithfulness continues through all generations. It’s a beautiful thing. Our God is, isn’t he?

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

PS 100:4 NIV

Thanksgiving is essential. Even as we traverse life’s “tough”.  Because of traversing life’s tough. It’s how we enter his gates. It draws us into his presence, our attention to his, like a child running into their awaiting father’s loving, faithful arms.

What’s your thanksgiving, my friend?

Like a diamond under earth’s surface, have you uncovered and generously offered thanks’ worth?

Do you write it? Think it through? Maybe it’s a prayer whispered to God alone?

How do you find thanksgiving amid life’s “tough”?

After writing last week’s post, more thoughts poured. Thanksgiving was the focus. Maybe it’ll be yours too.

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How does your list go?

Would you share them in the comments below or on Facebook? It’s a joy to hear from you, linking arms in thanksgiving while running this spiritual race. Our faithful God is worthy.

My list goes like this:

Thank you, Lord, for preparing me. You answered my prayer.

Thank you for Heaven, for the certainty that Dad stands in your presence now. Jesus, I’m so grateful for you.

Thank you for 31 more years with Dad than was thought. 

Thank you for his strength, for his leadership, for his guidance, for His creation.

Thank you for the laughter and celebration of Dad’s life. 

Thank you for a family that came together as a team in the midst of trial, a mom who is strong.

Thank you for a supportive husband and children, for my husband’s boss who willingly helped us navigate life several states apart. 

Thank you for Dad’s legacy, for a life well-lived. 

Thank you for hearing my prayer and coming to my aid.

Thank you for preparing my hands to write, my heart to dwell.

Yes, Lord. Thank you. You are worthy of praise, even in the midst of life’s “tough”. I will trust you. Amen.

And, Friend? I’m thankful for you. Praise His holy name for your creation. It’s my prayer that you will purposefully enter his gates with thanksgiving. Our God is faithful. To him be the glory.


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23 Comments

  1. What a testimony to the grace of God when we let Him help us to find the good in a dark time and then give thanks for it. I’ve just been reading in Daniel 6 where Daniel learns about the king’s new rule and his own sure outcome: the lion’s den. I had never noticed before that he gives thanks in his prayer. I sure can’t see much to give thanks for in that situation, but he was faithful and God allowed him to see the good and to give thanks.
    This is my prayer this thanksgiving.

  2. Listing our gratitudes lifts us above our grief, lets us handle it with reverence and tears and all kinds of emotions, and ushers us right back to the One who is giving us the grace for each moment.

    Yes, yes.

  3. I love this, Kristi: “Wisdom calls to choose well, to link hands with God Almighty. To offer thanks.” Because when we link hands with God and offer Him thanks, He lifts the burden and fills us with His presence.

    Every morning I write down three things I’m thankful for. There are morning I’m not feeling so grateful and I struggle. But writing them down shifts my focus and softens my heart … reminding me all the blessings I have to say thanks for … and the Giver of all the good things in my life.

    Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

  4. Kristi,
    Sometimes it is so so so difficult to find the Thanksgiving, but it’s there… if we intentionally search. Your testimony is great in the thanksgiving you found in the midst of grief. Thank you for this beautiful blessing today!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  5. Kristi,
    I was touched by the personal story your shared here and your openness to share at such a deep level. I recently posted a bit about my own dad who would have had his 105th birthday this past Friday. He died in 1995 and I am grateful for what the Lord continues to bring to mind and remind me of regarding the way He used him to bless my life with so many evidences of the Lord being modeled.
    God bless you richly!
    Pam

  6. I’m thankful for your amazing words, Kristi, and humble and obedient heart. I’m thankful that my father’s stroke only affected his peripheral vision which may clear up, and wasn’t more serious. And I’m thankful for my hubby and kids who love my quirks and forget my failures 😉
    Beautiful post, gurlie! Glad I stopped by from #TellHisStory xo

  7. Thank you for these precious words. And especially for:
    “It sits at the entrance to his presence. Dare we not go because we carry life’s heaviness instead? Do we sulk and sit outside when love awaits? Which is better?” Such convicting truth.

    I am so sorry for your deep loss. Thanking God for His deep abiding Presence in your journey of grief. My Mum passed away from cancer last year. You have encouraged me to again consider the gifts of grace unwrapped during her illness, in her passing and in the mourning.

    You asked us to share how we give thanks in the hard? In the deep down hard I put praise and worship songs on and sing them out loud. A favourite right now is “Come Sit Down” by Big Daddy Weave.

    Your post has convicted me to speak out my thanks for His Presence, to praise Him for being with me in the hard, in the grief, in the struggles. Thank you. (Visiting from #TellHisStory).

    1. Love those worship songs, Anna. As for your mother’s passing ~ I’m so sorry. Praising Him alongside you, my sister in Christ.

  8. Thank you God for hearing my cry looking for your will regarding my relationship. Thank you for the answer. I was sad but know you have my best interest at heart. Thank you for being my father. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always wanting what’s best for me.

  9. I appreciate your sharing your thanks with us, Kristi. God has shown me in the last 4 months, when we’ve gone through some hard things, how there is always something to be thankful for and it turns your outlook around when you see it. We had 2 medical crises, and I was awed by the kindness and helpfulness of those God put in our path. Awesome.

  10. Kristi, you are such a blessing and I thank you for sharing your heart as you navigate these waters after your dad’s passing. This is an area I committed to growth a couple of years ago after reading 1000 Gifts. If Jesus gave thanks the night before he was crucified, surely I can give thanks in the hard times too? At least I try, and I definitely have a long way to go. Sending hugs your way tonight friend.