Simple Gratitude

My plans for “Thanksgiving” had loomed large before me this fall. Appointments with Specialists with the accompanying tests and procedures did little to alleviate the weakness that had become all too familiar.

How could I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and more importantly, how could I celebrate the gift of being thankful when I felt so worn down from a year of trials?

Into this questioning, I won a Giveaway over at The Merry Kettle and Quill, a site for encouragement and inspiration for bringing creativity into the everyday. The journal and washi tape arrived in my mail on a day when my energy was at an all-time low, having just finished yet another Doctor’s appointment.  But it accomplished it’s intended purpose, as the small journal felt like a fire of longing as I held it.

I want to create, but I have no strength for making anything.

This little journal seemed to speak to me, to call out that it was ok not to have a grand scheme for creating. I thought I heard it say:

Just open me. Write a word.

And yet, I closed it tightly and left it staring up at me, as I rested from the weight of the day. Days passed and it still sat staring at me, where I had left it on the table with my other stacked journals. But something changed later that night.

My husband saw a small scrap of paper under my chair, and he reached down to see what it was.  A single word had been cut out from a magazine for an evening of Art-Journaling several weeks ago before my strength had taken another plummet. It must have fallen and hidden itself there, just waiting for the right opportunity to join in the cry from the new journal.

Pick me up! I am a good word! Only one word to glue onto the page, listen to what I have to say!

And I knew where my Thanksgiving celebration needed to start. Simply, with just one word, glued into just one little journal, waiting to see what God would speak each day to me.




The word was “GIVING.” The simple act of giving thanks is all my Lord asks of me. And He will fill my moments of weakness with blessing as I lift my eyes to see all that has been given to me.


I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16 NIV


Sitting with the journal spread open on my lap, some days the pages can venture a few flourishes.  Other days my weak hands and shaky lap seem host to a page of scribbles and uneven letters.




I will run in the way of your commandments
    when you enlarge my heart!  Psalm 119:32 ESV


But always, the gift of giving thanks is returned to me with a lifting up of my heart and a whisper from my Lord:

Call to me. Just one little word. And I will show you all the beauty I have set around you.


And He has been making a way for us to connect with our family after all.  In small ways that are still so meaningful, there have been phone calls, meet-ups at a restaurant, and times together with each one–ways that bring such joy to my heart.

Have you found a way to bring Thanksgiving home to your heart? I would love to hear about your traditions, old or new, in the comments below!


**Thank you to all who have prayed for my sister-in-law. Her surgery to remove the tumor went well, and the surgeon said there was no cancer in the underlying lymph nodes. Praise God for the good report! Prayers for her ongoing recovery are still very much appreciated.


May I pray with you today?


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for knowing how much we need to give thanks. It is the essence of our heart, created by You, to give. But we can only give, as we first look up to You and give thanks, because everything we have, and everything we can share has only been given by You first of all.  You are such a good, good Father to us. We are so blessed by the abundance of your presence in our lives. Help us to choose the simple way: to look up to You and say “Thank You,” in the moments of our day.

In the name of Your son, Jesus, the greatest gift of all,







And I am so very blessed to offer to you, all my readers, a gift for this coming Christmas Season.  Two years ago, my friend Ifeoma Samuel invited me to join her in writing a special month-long celebration of Christmas Family Devotions. And this year, she has so graciously compiled them into a beautiful book for download. You will find 25 short Devotions that are easy to read with your family during Advent. There are enriching activities that you and your family can join in with, helping to bring the joy and meaning of this Season more clearly into your lives.


Christmas is God’s gift of grace to us. And I pray that the gift of this e-book would be another way to share in that grace together. I will be offering this book here, available for free download to you my readers during the months of November and December. I am so grateful for each one of you.





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39 thoughts on “Simple Gratitude

  1. Its too long..I was waiting for your new post Bettie 🙂
    I always loves to read your honest words. Yeah, each day is a thank giving, each hour is a thank giving and each minute is a thank giving in our life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God bless you in this season of giving thanks, dear friend. Sometimes, it can be so hard to offer praise when we are walking through such hard places, but it is such a release of blessing when we press through and lift our thanksgiving and praise to God. I hope you are blessed with a wonderful, peace-filled, pain-free Thanksgiving Day, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God bless you also in this season of giving thanks, dear Cheryl! I appreciate your prayers so much. I have another nerve block this week, so there will be a few very hard days of pain, but then hopefully some pain relief! I am so thankful that He does bring a “release of blessing when we press through and lift our thanksgiving and praise to God.” He really does help us to press through! Love and hugs to you in your new home this first Thanksgiving there!


  3. I am amazed and thankful for all the different ways God sends messages. From a piece of paper on the floor to birds in the sky to butterflies in the bushes and so many more ways, God is always showing His love. Have a blessed day and Happy Thanksgiving dear friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, amen, Melissa! He does find such ways to bring us His beauty–even through a little lizard named Licky! 🙂 I pray that you will be blessed as you continue to share the joy of His loving! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving also, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, isn’t God so good to make sure that we listen to His guiding? And you are so right, that giving thanks really does bring such good to us too! I pray that you have a Blessed Thanksgiving week, dear sister! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Bettie, these words of yours drew tears because God has been asking me to focus on His beauty more and more as our family has had to face some not-so-beautiful stuff this year: “Call to me. Just one little word. And I will show you all the beauty I have set around you.”
    Often you come to my mind, dear friend. I don’t have near as much pain to deal with as you do, but when it keeps me awake, I think of you and pray for you and others I know who are suffering. xo
    The ACTS acronym has been helping me tap into thanksgiving when I pray each evening with my husband. I tend to be exhausted by bedtime, but the adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication prompts always rejuvenate me enough to engage joyfully. God is so good that He even help us in praying.
    Thanksgiving Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Wendy, I appreciate your prayers and thoughts so much. It amazes me how the Lord weaves and connects our lives within His Body, even though we are miles away from each other. It is truly another beautiful gift of His Spirit. Thank you for reminding me of the ACTS acronym to help in praying even when our minds are exhausted. You are so right that He even brings the help that we need to pray and thank Him. My prayers are with you too, in the painful and hard places you are walking through. Blessings and love to you dear sister!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, Lynn! Thank you for your precious comments. I love this: “And I am so very thankful that He lifts you exactly as He knows your needs.” He does know exactly how to lift us! I pray for a blessed and beautiful week for you.


  5. I’m so glad your sister-in-law was given a good report, Bettie. I pray she may continue to gain strength. You, too! I long to be more thankful from the heart. Every moment. God’s whisper to you is so encouraging – “Call to me. Just one little word. And I will show you all the beauty I have set around you.” Thank you! Love and blessings of a restful, peace-filled Thanksgiving to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Thank you so much for all of your precious pryers. I know that my sister-in-law has appreciated them as well. God is just so full of beauty for us, even in the midst of our hardest trials. I join you in praying for a thankful heart, and I pray for a restful, and peace-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons for you too, Dear Sister! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dearest Bettie,
    Once again you have written such a beautiful piece that I know comes straight from your heart. You are a blessing and encouragement to me, and I appreciate your words and your friendship, prayers and love. May God continue to show us in big and little ways how much He loves us and how much we have to be thankful for. May we recognize even the smallest gifts that come through each day. Much love with hugs and many blessings to you, my dear sister! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      I am just so grateful for all of the precious ways that God has allowed us to share encouragement and prayers for each other. Your friendship is such a blessing tome also. I am praying for a beautiful Thanksgiving for you and your whole family. May the peace of the Lord cover you! Much love, hugs and blessings to you my dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So thankful that your sister-in-law’s surgery went well! Amen! Continuing to pray for complete healing now.

    I love that “giving” was the word under your chair. God is good! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Bettie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your continued prayers, Lisa! God really is so good. And, yes, wasn’t that a sweet “gift” from Him, to find the word “giving?” I pray that He will bless you with sweet gifts also. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to you!


  8. Good morning my brave sister. Bettie, your vulnerability is brave, your trust in Him is brave. I thank Him for pouring into your frustrated, weary soul. I thank Him for answering prayers of zero cancer for your sister in law. I thank Him for surrounding you with meaning-full relationships both online and in your family. Praise God. Love, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      What a precious outpouring of gifts of thanks you have shared! I join with you in every one of those words of thanks. Our God is just so good, pouring out His blessings over us. I pray that you will be blessed with such a joyous time of Thanksgiving with your family. And may the Lord continue to use your brave and vulnerable words that you share with so many.


      1. Oh my sister I receive and believe these words you have offered. Our actual holiday will be quiet as Jason has to work. We will go as a family to his parents over the weekend. So much thanks to celebrate. May God bless you and your husband with joy, be it with the taste of good food or tender fleeting moments of His glory.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Bettie, I love how the Lord invites you to look for signs of beauty in the midst of pain and struggle. Oh how I need this reminder in the hard when it’s often difficult to remember to look up to God “Call to me. Just one little word. And I will show you all the beauty I have set around you.” Indeed He does! It’s such an encouragement to hear how He answers you with small but perfectly-formed-for-your-soul little love letters and calming thoughts. Giving is such a great expression of the generous, compassionate heart of God. And He gives abundantly to us as we read and absorb the wisdom in your words. I’m rejoicing with you at the news of your sister-in-law’s post-operative results, and praying for further healing to come.
    May this Thanksgiving Day bring you joy as you rest and recover from seeing your family and reflect on your faith journey thus far. May the pain recede noticeably and grant you some needful sleep and breathing space between treatments. There is hope to be found in the waiting, as the approaching Advent season reminds us. No challenging circumstance we go through can ever cut us off from God’s overseeing presence or His ability to bless us beyond our imagination. That is clearly apparent in your uplifting weekly testimony here, dear friend. Love you! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Joy, I am so glad that the Lord touched you here–we so often seem to be moving in the same winds of His direction. He really does know how to help us in these slow and struggling days. Isn’t it amazing that He knows exactly the littlest detail to lift our eyes up to Him? I appreciate all of your prayers so much! That word “waiting” is being spoken to me again, in new ways, so your prayer is so appropriate, such a gift from God. I pray that He will grant pain relief and replenishing rest to you also. May this Advent Season speak of that glorious light that is coming for us. And may you feel His peace so much! Sending love and hugs across the pond! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Bettie, I LOVE that God spoke to you through a giveaway! What a beautiful post on your determination to continue to worship and praise God despite all you endure. You encourage so many others by continuing to live your life for Him.

    I continue to pray for for your healing……….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendi,
      Isn’t God so good to find ways to bring His gifts into the smallest moments of our days? Thank you for all of your encouragement also, dear sister. I am so grateful that we can pray for each other on this journey together. Love and Blessings for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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