Preparing to be Thankful

by Phyllis Sather on November 22, 2010


How do you prepare to be thankful? Or do you?

Here are a few ways that I prepare myself to be thankful this busy season.

Remind yourself what God has done for you

In Scripture different people recited the things God had done for them or was to them. We tend to forget His goodness, so we need to remind ourselves of who He is and what He does for us.

Psalm 118: 1-5 is a good example:

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth forever.
Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth forever
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth forever.
Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth forever.
I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.”

Notice how many times the psalmist repeats the same thing. Often we forget or just can’t imagine or believe God’s goodness toward us.

Just read through most Psalms and you will find many ways to thank the Lord.

Sing songs and worship God

Another way to prepare our hearts to be thankful is to sing songs of praise to Him. I don’t sing well, but I can make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord. Sometimes I just page through a hymnal reading the verses until something speaks to me. I enjoy the old hymns best because there is usually some meat to them, but some of the newer praise songs will do as well.

Practice gratefulness

You can also practice gratefulness. I recently heard someone counseling a couple whose young son had died. It had been several years since his death, but they were still struggling to overcome their grief. The counselor suggested they begin to thank the Lord for the years they had with their son and the things they were able to do with him during his lifetime.

This is a rather extreme situation, but many of us can relate in one way or another to a loss or disappointment. Instead of looking at what we’ve lost, we need to look at what we’ve had or what we still have – what the Lord has been more than gracious to give us, rather than what He has taken away.

Job says it well in Job 1:21–22
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

In our human frailty we tend to forget far too easily.

I recently read about a homeschool mom who had a DONE box where her children would put all their finished school work and projects. When any of them would be tempted to think they were not accomplishing anything they could look in the box and actually see their accomplishments. We should all have a box like this, even if it’s only a mental one, that we can show to our enemy when he tempts us to give in to discouragement.

Here is another article I wrote about thankfulness that I thought you might enjoy.

The Thankful Heart

Here is a link for Silverbox Creative Studio. They have a beautiful printable available to make chains or napkin rings. I’ve printed them and intend to enter my guest’s names and use them for napkin rings. You can even print them in a color to match your table setting.

Isn’t this the cutest ornament you’ve ever seen? Its called snowflakes and ice sicles. Available now at

Finding Joy in the Journey,


I would love to have the opportunity to keep in touch with you. Please sign up to be notified of new entries and to receive my Free E-zine. (Your address will not be shared)

Sign me up!

Phyllis Sather

Proclaiming God’s Faithfulness at:
Contact me at:

Please take a moment to share...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someoneShare on RedditPrint this page

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis November 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

So good to hear from you! I couldn’t agree more – I constantly have to watch my self-talk and listen to what I’m saying to my self.

I recently wrote an article for TEACH titled, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” that I think you would enjoy. Perhaps I’ll try to post it soon.

We will be home for Thanksgiving – I am the matriarch in this family – hard to believe, but I am the oldest woman, so I do most of the holidays. We really enjoy having people in our home and the girls are so much help that it makes it easy. We plan ahead – same as you probably do.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Phyllis

Wendy Gunn November 23, 2010 at 7:51 AM

Hi Phyllis!
How true! We really do need to prepare our hearts for thankfulness. I have found it helpful to remind myself as I wake up in the morning of how many things I have to be grateful for, and I lay and pray thanks for a few minutes. When things get busy, I have a tendency to complain and get bitter in my thoughts–you know, “If so-and-so would only act differently…” or “if this and that wouldn’t have happened” and “I’m never going to get it all done!!” I have found it helps me to stop right away and begin to thank the Lord for TODAY! Someone once said that we assume that the future days are going to be and they’re going to be better! They reminded me that they could get a lot worse and that these could be “the good old days”! But this could also be our last day–thank the Lord for it and salvation, and His presence, and whatever health you have and for the ability to do all that work which is piling up and thank Him for those people that you get to serve, etc. etc etc–you get the idea! The mind is powerful, but I can steer it to think about right and good things, can’t I? Are you having a houseful on Thanksgiving? We’ll be at my mom’s. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And keep warm and safe!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: