The Apostle Paul told us the secret to happiness in Philippians 4:6. He said that in order to find happiness and true peace we need to do three things: 1) do not worry; 2) pray about everything; and 3) thank God for everything.
I will admit that I have had an especially tough week. The conflict between my husband and teenage son was becoming unbearable. Every time I checked my work email (which is frequently!) there were another 10 messages, all appearing crucial that I respond to and involving important decisions about children. I reached a low point several days ago in which my prayers felt like begging "help me, help me, help me, help me God." I was praying, but I was still worrying....and I was having some trouble thanking God for the blessings in my life at that point!
Sometimes when desperation overwhelms me, I ask other people to pray for me. And they do. And I ask others for advice. And they give it from a neutral perspective. I am SO thankful for that. That is precisely what dragged me out of the muck of this week. I can feel people's prayers. I cherish their loving advice. I have always felt very strongly in the power of prayer. Thanks to God that we have this wonderful way of communication with Him!
So as I am recovering from the stress of the past few days I am preparing my heart for Thanksgiving. I have a 22 pound turkey to go in the oven, homemade apple pies that my kids helped me make yesterday, and family coming soon. Last night, at the encouragement of an email from Pastor Rick Warren, I wrote out a list of 15 things I am thankful for that were church-related only. Wow, did that set me straight. God has worked a miracle in my life through the past several years and what could I possibly be but THANKFUL, even in a storm, even in the rain. The truth of Paul's message is abundantly clear. The PEACE that comes from practicing these principles is simply magnificent.