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Jul 21 2017

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Are You Collecting Flowers of Gratitude or Weeds of Grumbling?

Flowers and weeds. They’re the same to a young child. They’re all beautiful. But as we grow, our tastes mature. Weeds are weeds. We prefer flowers. Flowers are a gift.

As I think about prayer, and praying the truth, I’m reminded that thoughts can be like weeds or flowers. We collect our thoughts which direct our beliefs. In joining Five Minute Friday, here are my five minutes on collect.

Collecting Flowers of Gratitude

Collecting Flowers of Gratitude

Go.

She collects flowers from a field. One after another, she plucks and puts them in her little hands. She fills her hands and returns home with her treasure. Lifting them up to me, she smiles and says, “Mom, these are for you.” I receive them for what they are, an expression of love. She’s so sweet, but I don’t have the heart to tell her. She’s given me weeds.

But I’m reminded anew of the weeds I collect. They aren’t flowers, they’re weedy thoughts. Grumbling thoughts. Ungrateful thoughts. Woe-is-me thoughts about my life. I collect them and give my handful of awful-life thoughts to God. These aren’t given as an expression of love to God. And thankfully, God is loving enough to tell me my thoughts are weeds and shows me a field of beautiful flowers. Flowers, if I chose to collect them, would fill my hands with beauty and fragrance. These are flowers of gratitude. And when I’ve collected my words of thanks upon thanks, this I can give to God. Yes, this bouquet of thanks is an expression of love. It brings me joy and honors the One who has blessed me so much.

Stop.

Praying the truth about our lives

When we choose to think about and express gratitude to God in prayer, we are praying the truth about our lives. Yes, life isn’t perfect. Yes, life hurts sometimes—or a lot. But the truth is that God is in control, and he is working his perfect plan of redemption in our lives. He is redeeming every moment, even the ones that look like unrecoverable, grievous loss. Even if that is the only thankful thought we can conjure—we must speak it boldly. Praying the truth turns our thoughts toward the eternal while giving us the grace and strength we need today.

Weedy thoughts

I look at the pile of dishes in my sink, and my thoughts run toward grumbling. I don’t wanna do the dishes. I start plucking those weeds so effortlessly. The sour seeds spread. Why do I have to do them? Why won’t anyone help? I’m always the one who sees the mess and have to do it alone. I’m never gonna… All of a sudden, my thoughts are consumed, and I’ve lost all joy and energy. It’s one sink of dishes—not really a big deal—and I’ve wrecked my day.

A gentle reminder towards truth

But the gentle voice of God speaks and reminds me of the truth. I have a pile of dishes because God has blessed me with a family, and we have full tummies. I can thank God for my family, for his provision of food, and the opportunity to serve them. This is the power of praying the truth about life.

The thoughts are the beginning but never stop at thinking thankful thoughts. Speak them. Proclaim them. God is good not just because of who he is, he is good because of what he does. Every, every, EVERY good thing comes from God (James 1:17).

Got something good in your life?

We all do. Let’s thank him. Let’s pray the truth about our lives in words of thanksgiving.

Sign up for the PARK Plan

The PARK Plan

If you’d like to find out how to pray the truth about your life, sign up for my PARK Plan email series. PARK is an acronym for Pray Ask Rest Keep. After you sign up, you’ll receive a weekly email taking you through each step of the PARK Plan.

Dandelion Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Bouquet Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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2 comments

  1. Melinda Hollis

    I love this. This is what I have tried to center my whole blog around, even though I don’t do well at it. But I’m tired of only seeing the weeds, and I’m ready to try to see the beautiful flowers of gratitude that God has given. Thank you for such a timely message.

    Hugs,
    Melinda
    (Your neighbor at FMF)

    1. Cheryl

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m tired of the weeds too, but they’re easy to pick.

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