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Thankfulness Changes Lives Empty Thankfulness Changes Lives

Post  Admin on Tue 01 Apr 2014, 5:38 pm

Thankfulness Changes Lives
Karen Ehman

"I thank my God every time I remember you."
Philippians 1:3
(NIV)

A winter Saturday afternoon found me cleaning our basement storage room. 
There were boxes of papers to sort, bins of holiday decorations to shuffle 
and other assorted items to realign neatly on the shelves. I'd estimated it 
would take me an hour or so to tidy up the space. Except I hadn't factored 
in one thing.

Memories.
The items I straightened and stacked weren't spectacular; they were common 
articles found in many basements and garages. But the fragrance of precious
memories clung to them. Memories of events that changed my life. Memories of 
people who touched my heart. My pace slowed significantly.

I gently folded the ivory lace dress my daughter wore for her baby 
dedication at church over two decades ago. My mother bought it for her and 
continues
to think of her grandchildren, picking up special trinkets and treats for 
them. She has a knack for making others feel loved.

I thank my God every time I remember my mom.

A hand-sewn stuffed bunny rabbit sat perched on a corner shelf. My college 
roommate Kelly lovingly crafted it for one of my children when they were 
young.
For over 30 years, Kelly has been a thoughtful friend who never forgets my 
birthday and faithfully prays for my family.

I thank my God every time I remember my friend Kelly.

I found an old key on a greyed leather keychain. Turning the keychain over I 
saw a simple word scrawled across the back: pool. Our former neighbor, a 
widow
and retired school teacher, had a built-in swimming pool and we did not. 
Without children or grandkids nearby, she gave us a key so our young family 
could
take a dip any time we wished.

I thank my God every time I remember Mrs. B.

Memories surrounded me as I sorted through yearbooks and photo albums. Old 
friends. Precious relatives. Former church members and coworkers. Pieces of
my past. So many of these dear folks played a part in my life. Remembering 
them brought a smile to my face and a few salty tears to my eyes.

I whispered a prayer of sincere thankfulness for all of those people who 
helped shape my life. Their encouragement, advice and sometimes mere 
presence
were blessings to me. God even used the relationship bumps to help mold my 
character and teach me life lessons.

In today's key verse, Paul writes to the believers at the church in Philippi 
declaring, "I thank my God every time I remember you." Just calling to mind
the image of these loved ones gave the apostle reason to be grateful to God. 
But Paul didn't only thank God, Paul also told his friends of his 
thankfulness.

Could we do the same today? To not only thank God for those in our lives but 
also let them know how grateful we are for them? Dare we divert from our 
daily
routine to take a moment or two to shoot off an email, make a phone call, or 
even send a hand-written note to someone we thank God for each time we 
remember
them?

Gratefulness brings contentment and contentment brings peace—peace in 
knowing all the pieces of our lives string together to make us who we are 
today.

Grab a pen or pick up your phone. Someone is waiting to hear how thankful 
you are for them. It might just make their day. And yours.

Dear Lord, help me to take time today to not only thank You for the many 
special people in my life but to joyfully tell them as well. In Jesus' Name, 
Amen.
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