Grateful, Thankful or Both?

While driving home from Albuquerque yesterday Dw read to me from a book he had been reading (and now I am reading also). It is called The Encore Church by Wayne Cordeiro. Wayne Cordeiro is a (very casual) yet personal friend of Dw’s. He pastors a huge church in Honolulu in our denomination. He is one of the kindest and most sincere men Dw has ever met.

Anyway, in the book Wayne talks about having an attitude of gratefulness versus thankfulness. Here’s what he said:
“We can either complain about what we do not have, or we can be grateful for what we have.

We have chosen the later.

Gratefulness differs from thankfulness. Of course, both are essential. But thankfulness can be defined as the cordial response to a favor done. It is the affirmation you give when things go your way. It is the reply to a gift or a promotion; it’s the hooray after a blessing.

Gratefulness, however, is different. It can only be developed intentionally. It begins with a spirit. It’s an attitude, a disposition that we carry whether or not things go our way. It’s being content before any gifts are given. It’s breathing a silent “thank you” regardless of what the circumstances are. It’s the hallelujah with no guarantee of a blessing. It is the confidence to accept whatever God brings.”

It really made me stop and think. The book touches on entitlement and how we can easily think we deserve this and that. Dw and I talked about it at length as I drove. We are committed to being known as ones who not only confidently finish the race but do so with a completely grateful and thankful heart.

These last few months have brought some incredible challenges to us as a family. It’s not that the last 30 years have been carefree or without life’s difficulties. It’s just that there appears to have been no break from the significant challenges that have come our way recently.

BUT, for the record, inspite of all the challenges: Our family is committed to say: We WILL be content. We WILL say “thank you” regardless of what the challenges are. We WILL praise Him in the midst of the storm, and yes, we WILL continue to learn to thank Him for the storms.

I think I might want to change Thankful Thursday to Grateful Thursday or maybe a combination of both. I want to remind anyone who should stumble upon A Place Called Simplicity that there is one thing we must all do: “be content before any gifts are given; breathing “thank you” regardless of what the circumstances; saying “hallelujah” with no guarantee of a blessing; being confident to accept whatever God brings…..Gratefulness is our hearts before the blessing.”

For starters this Grateful/Thankful Thursday I am so very Grateful that:

~ the Angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear Him

~ that I once-upon-a-time got to live in a log home (I lived my lifelong dream for 19 months.)

~ scripture is full of promises of the Lord’s provision to those who love Him and are obeying Him.

~ our son serves our country.~ God’s faithfulness spans from the beginning of time.~ these present struggles/trials are no surprise to God.~through the fire, the tumor, the casting, we will, Lord willing, look more like Him and truly Display His Splendor.~ the Lord is ultimately in control of our insurance company.

A few minutes ago I was working here in the kitchen and I turned to Isaiah, who was sitting nearby, alone, in his wheelchair, while everyone else was off playing or working somewhere. I said, “Isaiah! What are you thankful for?” Without even blinking or pausing he said, “My casts, my wheelchair and YOU!” Our sweet little treasure boy….he gets it!!

For almost four years he sat in China waiting for his forever family. Now as the weather warms up he is in casts from top of leg to toe in an attempt to correct his obvious deformities. But what is our precious little boy grateful for? The very things that keep him bound. He puts most children and adults to shame!! I can say that, because really, he wasn’t even with us until he was old enough to understand his handicap. We take absolutely no credit for his grateful heart. Gratefulness is indeed an attitude of the heart.
So what are you thankful and/or grateful for this Thursday?? Do tell!

40 thoughts on “Grateful, Thankful or Both?

  1. Great post!!

    I woke up today feeling thankful and energized….really sensing something good was going to happen in regards to our adoption. But as the rumors look grim (because the swine flu is messing things up), I asked myself….will you continue to be in a thankful (grateful) mood, even if things don’t turn out like you want by the end of the day? I chose YES….even before your post.

    Your sweet words confirmed what was stirring in my spirit.

    Thankful AND Grateful,

  2. I am thankful for my husband and my children. A friend of mine keeps saying that right now she is simply greatful that is “American poor and not Third world poor”. We have clean water, health care and education for children, enough food, a roof over our heads. Heck my children even have shoes to wear and clothing and books and toys. God has met our needs and even a bunch of our wants.

  3. I heard a song this morning on the radio. I am the worst person in the world to know the name of a song or who sings it so I can’t tell you what song it is. I caught part of the song though and it talked about how Satan can take everything away that you have but he can’t take God away from you.

    Linny I believe that God is building you a HUGE mansion (log of course)in heaven. I believe if God searched this world for a few true faithful followers he would find some in Durango Colorado.

    Your family amazes me more and more everyday!

    PS I had to laugh at your comment this morning. When I put that picture on my blog Monday of the DS cutie I was thinking about you and how you had said once before you would like to bring a child home with DS. I can’t believe though you have more toddlers going through your head at the time.

  4. What a beautiful post. Although we aren’t going through exactly what your family has gone through and is going through, we are in our own season of hardship. This is such a timely post, as I often struggle with being truly grateful. I am going to write out the quote from the book that you posted and hang in on my fridge as a daily reminder to live with gratefulness, not just thankfulness.

    I have been so encouraged and uplifted reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your life and faith with people that you don’t even know.


  5. I love this post. Again… God is working in and through you to speak into my life Miss Linn. Gratefulness… is something I will remember and live by. You guys are awesome and when I read what Isaiah said when you asked him about what he was grateful for… the tears started flowing. What a precious precious heart he has… he is such a blessing to my life. In so many ways. Love you, Jen

  6. So grateful for God’s Truth, His promises fulfilled, His faithfulness, even the struggles which allow us growth in Him. We are on the same page today, Linny; you just have such a way of putting it, my friend!
    Also grateful for your precious family.

  7. Once again I am thankful for you Linny. Your posts always stretch us and help us grow. You are an inspiration and I’m proud to call you friend.

    That little guy has the sweetest smile and such a tender heart. Oh to be like him!!

  8. This is such a wonderful reminder and so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing with us all!
    I hope it is OK, I linked to this from my blog…and I hope it is OK that I called it Grateful/Thankful Thursday?

  9. Linny, thank you for posting what our faithful God is speaking to your heart. Thank you for explaining the difference between grateful and thankful. 🙂 I am thankful for you and your heart that yearns for God. And can I just say that I LOVE Isaiah?!?! What a sweetie (and I am so thrilled to know that he remembers me!!)

  10. Linny –

    Thanks for your post today. Kevin and I are REALLY struggling with this new adoption because Ch*na has now said they will only let us lock in a child with more severe disabilities/and or a much older child. Neither situation will work for us at this point. I have spent all day praying and looking into other options, but the one thing I keep coming back to is that God is bigger, way bigger than anything humans can do. So even if Ch*na doesn’t look good right now, God is already knowing how this journey will end.

    Your post about being grateful even when not assured of the answer you want hit home. That is what we need to do – thank God for the journey so far without knowing how it is going to end!! It is His anyway!!

    Love in Christ
    Janet and Kevin

  11. Your post was beautiful. Whenever I think of being thankful for all things, I think of Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. If you have read it, then you know what I mean by being thankful for the fleas. If you haven’t read it and get a chance to, you will be moved beyond understanding by that part of the book. With inspiration from you, Corrie Ten Boom and, of course, Jesus Christ, I will try to live a more grateful life.

  12. You are a blessing to me, even in your time of doubt and worry. How can that be? Only because of Jesus! Thank you for your courage and inspiration and for sharing it with all of us! Your family remains in my prayers. Stacey in WI

  13. You are an amazing family. I am humbled by your love and giving to others. You could choose to complain and live in pity and instead you have chosen to be grateful. I am grateful for family and our wonderful Heavenly Father that gives us so many blessings and the opportunity to run into people like you!

  14. I am thankful for YOU! I am really trying to understand Job and the relation to your circumstance. Thank you for your ‘troubles’ as it has led me to further study of the Bible.

    Mary McG
    in TN

  15. I read your posts from “behind gteh scenes” all the time and you and your family are an inspiration for all of us. We are lifting you up in prayer for your sweet Autumn and for all that you have gone through in the past few months. God is using you to touch so many people and bring us all into a deeper relationship with our Lord.
    I am always blessed when I come here.

  16. Oh my goodness….Isaiah! I love that boy! What a tremendous blessing he is to you I’m sure, and now to all of us. : )

    Thankful that you are thankful. It’s sad when people you care about are hurting, and I am so glad you feel the Lord in all of this. (And about the log home…who’s to say you won’t live in another one?)

  17. What a good word. I am also striving to have a grateful heart in all circumstances – what a difference it makes! I love Isaiah’s words – he is such a little messenger from the Lord! I am so grateful for him! Love to your family. Looking forward to hearing what the doctors came up with in ABQ. Love to each one of you.

  18. You GO, Isaiah! What a boy you are! You look so handsome and happy in this photo! It looks like you chose green for your casts… that’s the same color my son, Jacob chose for his!

  19. Oh, my Linny! I have been so busy and didn’t realize how difficult your days have continued to grow. I can only think 2 things:
    #1–What you said, “This did not take God by surprise.”
    But, better than that
    #2–As Jesus said to Peter before his temptation, our Almighty Savior has prayed for you before each storm.

    I will continue to pray for you, my friend, my sister, my encourager.

    Our son, Caleb, signed up for the Navy this week, and he plans to join the SEALS. I am only beginning to learn how a mama can be proud and worried at the same time.

    Ellie, too, has taught me many lessons in gratefulness including the time in her cast from the waist down, the night she gave me a crown and said, “Because you take care of the baby.”

    May the light of Jesus continue to shine more brightly in your hearts that He may be glorified!

    Love and prayers,

  20. Linny,

    I am ALWAYS so blessed by your posts…please know that you and your blog are one thing that Im grateful for!

    I have a Thankful Thursday myself. I have done it a time or two, and really want to make more of an effort to make it a weekly post. So come on by and say Hi!

    Pink a.k.a. Terry

  21. I just want to scoop him up and hug this precious little soul!!!! Please tell him how utterly cool the blue color he picked out is!!!

  22. I will be grateful each day for all the Lord has blessed us w/ or w/out… I just did a slightly similar post sort of … my hubby has been working 7 days for over a year now to meet our family’s needs and we are in the process of adopting our 3rd child from Uganda and we get the looks of craziness because of our lack of financial overflow and I ask people why it is ok for millions to work tirelessly their entire lives for so little and at times nothing to eat, but in the U.S. we feel this is to much … I am proud of my hubby …

    Thanks for sharing … i have been praying for you all …Isaiah’s sweet smile tells it all …


  23. What a blessing you guys are !!!!!!! My 5 yr old says “Is today thankful thursday?” It has really caught on here. But I am grateful for your blog its teaching me so much.
    Melissa in Ky

  24. Thank you Linn (and Isaiah!) for your very timely words. It is so easy to get bogged down by daily life and frustrations even without the crisis’. Thank you for the reminder to take my eyes off of the problem and put them back on my savior. I am thankful/grateful for the encouragement that I get each time I come here and I am especially grateful for God adopting me into His family!!! Everything else is gravy 🙂

  25. Oh Linnie,

    I have SO much to be thankful for. This is a great post. I loved how your sweet little man “gets it”. So sad when so many people don’t.

    Right now, I’m thankful for your heart and for sharing it with so many.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>