A Grateful Heart
by Joanne Ellison

So often we say the words: “Have a grateful heart.” And yet when it comes down to it, it takes discipline to have a grateful heart. Most of us don’t want to be ungrateful, however it’s somehow easier to think about what we don’t have or what we do want. I recognized this years ago when I was walking with a friend and she told me about a book by Ann Voscamp, One Thousand Gifts. I highly recommend it. My friend and I decided to start a thanksgiving prayer journal and that began a journey for me into another dimension of gratefulness.

So this Thanksgiving I want to challenge all my Making Space for God friends to do the same. Starting now begin daily write down a list of those things for which you are grateful. Big or small things; it does not matter. What matters is a change of heart. After 30 days my heart changed. I was thankful for things I had not even given a second thought before. And you know what? My grateful heart spilled out onto others. I can’t say I live in that place of every day gratefulness, but I can say that from time to time when I am on my self-centered throne, I am reminded of what Scripture says about having a grateful heart:

I Chronicles 16:34: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

I Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace and be thankful.

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Friends, we give thanks to God for His goodness and for His love that endures forever. In giving thanks, peace will rule in our hearts.  Thanksgiving is not an option. It is part of the Christ-centered life.

So this Thanksgiving as you prepare your meal and enjoy your friends and family, remember that all we have comes from God and is offered back to him in a sacrifice of praise. So let’s begin a Thanksgiving journal together. I would love to hear from you how it goes. It is sure to change our hearts.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving as you make space for God cultivating a lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving.





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  1. Irene Rowe

    Thank you Joanne…I needed to hear this.
    I will start my “thankful”journal today!????☕️????????

  2. Tina

    Hi Joanne Ellison. This is Tina , Rosemary’s friend. I just want to say I am grateful for the Drawing Nearer To God Ministry, I am thankful for you and my/our dear friend, Rosemary who prays for me.
    I will start my “thankful journal” today as well. Thank you for teaching us and reminding me that Jesus Loves Me! Thankful for Drawing Nearer to God ministry, may The good Lord bless you! Love, Tina

    • joanneellison

      So great to hear from you Tina! Hoping that your prayer journal is going well. It is amazing how when we recall God’s faithfulness thankfulness begins to grow in our hearts.
      Have a blessed Christmas! Joanne


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