Heart Choices: Give Thanks -->

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Give Thanks

Give thanks.  I want to have an attitude of gratitude.  I want to live my life on the lookout for what's good and pure and lovely.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

There's plenty in life that can get me down.
  • I see people hurting  
  • I see injustice  
  • There are wars and rumors of war
  • There have been drastic changes in my lifestyle
Early this morning, I went hiking in the mountains.  I was prepared with my backpack containing my camera and plenty of water.  My plan was to go back into my old neighborhood and hike up 'my mountain'.  This mountain was located behind my house and I used to almost jog up and down it every day.  I prayed many a prayer while hiking that mountain.  I'd get to the top and look out at the city of Phoenix.  I would spot special places including my church.

I've been reading in my Bible about making a point of remembering what God has done in my life.  I thought if only I could just hike back up 'my mountain', I could look out and thank Him for many answers to prayer.

It's a gated community but I knew where there was a space I could easily walk through.  However, I hadn't realized that since I moved they installed cameras. As I approached the gate a faint buzzer began sounding. I decided it wasn't worth attempting to go in only to be embarrassed by security exiting me out.  So I hiked adjacent to the gated community.

It was early as the sun hadn't risen in the sky.  I wanted to get exercise (which I did) but I also had another agenda.  I wanted to remember how far the Lord has brought me over the last four years.  I found a large rock and sat down enjoying my view of the city of Phoenix as the sun was rising.

I prayed and thanked God for always being with me and providing me with His strength.  Yes, there have been many changes in my life.  Changes that I would not have chosen.  Changes that I didn't anticipate.

If my life had continued the way it had, I may have lived in a very comfortable and beautiful  environment. I may have had lots of money to travel and buy whatever I liked.  I would have been able to visit family more often.  I would have been able to not work full time and continue with my volunteer work.

But then the Lord showed me how far I've come.

If nothing had changed:

  •  I would never have met many of the people I now get to work with and call ...friends.
  • I would not have the pleasure of being greeted each morning by the sounds of little children calling "Hi Miss Debbie".  
  • I would not have grown closer to my husband.
  • I would not have realized how loosely we are to hold on to things of this world.
And so I ...give thanks.

#924 Good health
#925 Strong legs to hike
#926 Beautiful views of Phoenix as I hiked in the desert
#927 Lots of water to drink
#928 Good friends
#929 Lots of children to love
#930 A cute condo to live in
#931 The best next door neighbor
#932 A close relationship with my husband Greg
#933 Learning to depend on the Lord
#934 So thankful for the strength He provides for me each day

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

I'm also linking up with Joan of The Beauty in His Grip for Sharing His Beauty.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Beautiful pictures!! Lovely post :)

  2. Dear Debbie
    We always see in retrospect how our Pappa uses Ll that happens in our lives for our good and His glore even though at the time it might not seem pleasant .
    Blessings XX

  3. Debbie, just beautiful. Your heart, His will and the way He leads so faithfully. So glad He is leading you along the best paths. The safe and most fruitful ones! Without exiting you out...;) Hugs!

  4. Beautiful post Debbie. I've thought recently about starting a gratitude journal.... It's easy for look at that which we wish we had when we don't stop to give thanks for that which we do. You are a wonderful example in the faith my Friend. PS ~ Living here in Indy looks VERY different to your landscape.... So fun to see the pictures. :-)

  5. I know as you sat on top of that mountain this morning thanking God for all the good things that have happened in your life recently that you were a sweet aroma to Him and He was very thankful for having a child with such an understanding of gratitude and how important it is in our lives....

  6. What a beautiful post Debbie. I see it in your life, the changes that God has brought, and we have not even met, but our hearts sure have!

    I am a follower and a fan of your list of 1000... you are nearly there, and the list continues.
    Love you!


  7. lovely testimony of how you've seen God in all the changes.

    visiting today from Ann's.

  8. Beautiful post by a beautiful person whose heart is in the right place - peace and prayers

  9. A really beautiful post, Debbie. I have been blessed reading of the good things that have come to you these past few years.

  10. This post brought tears to my eyes. I love your heart and I bet our Father loved His time with you this morning thanking Him for so much. What a list! What a reward for all the trust you placed in the Lord over the years.

  11. He works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I am learning that He has always been with me, even through hardship. His blessings abound everywhere! Thank you for sharing.

  12. How awesome that you returned to "your mountain" for a time of deep reflection and thankfulness Debbie; lovely pics! It's so easy to thank God for our everyday blessings, but it takes our genuine faith and trust to thank Him in ALL things and for ALL circumstances! There is just something that takes place in our hearts when thankfulness, which is another word for graciousness too, is a part of our lives. :)

    Wishing you blessings and joy this week!

  13. Thanks for this beautiful post, Debbie! How wonderful that you live in such a gorgeous place. And how inspiring that you continue to count the many blessings in your life. It reminds me to do the same. :)

  14. The song "Give Thanks" came to mind as I was reading your post this early morning sister...What a beautiful view from where you've been but even more so with the life's true values you had discovered from all those refining process that come your way...I believe through trials, that's how He wean us from the things of this world. Like my demotion...Though against man's laws, became an advantage and a huge blessing...For in His law, He does turn everything into good "for those who love Him..." Now when someone says, "it's a nice paying job..." I have a different perspective. I usually respond, "We can't brag about anything...Because in reality, there's nothing stable in this place..."

    Only in Jesus...

    I remember seeing those huge cacti when we went to Phoenix long time ago...What long, lonely roads passing by the dessert...Despite, beauty abounds... Have a great Tuesday!

  15. So nicely said. I'm sorry you couldn't get to "your spot" but it's great that you were still able to find your moment.

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