Monday, February 28, 2011

Feeling Thankful

A couple weeks ago, I had a very good work morning. It had been one of those rare experiences where I flew through everything on my to-do list, wound up with way more time to edit than I thought I would, and edits went smoothly. As I sat down to lunch, I expressed to God that I was thankful for my writing time that morning.

And - as clear as if my husband walked in the room and said it to me - I heard the words, "When was the last time you told me thank you?"

First, I must say, I'm always stunned by how God speaks directly ... yet doesn't shame me. When I look at those words in black and white, they sound almost cold, angry. But they didn't feel that way. They felt like a loving nudge at my heart.

I marveled at the truth of those words for the rest of the day. When had I last thanked God for the time He'd given me to write? You know what I normally do? Complain that I don't have more. Complain that I'm not getting the time to write that I'd like.

A whole list of complaints sprung to mind. I complain when I don't get the time to play with my kids that I'd like, when I have to spend mornings running errands with them instead of playing pretend with my 3-year-old. I complain when I don't have much time to read. Or when it's time to do laundry or dishes.

And it occurred to me, what on earth would motivate God to provide me with more time for writing, more time for playing with my kids, when I can't even appreciate the time He's given me? If my daughter were to complain about all her toys being "not good enough," would that make me want to buy her new toys? Of course not. It would tell me she has a few lessons to learn.

So I'm working on being thankful. Not just saying I'm thankful because it's what I'm supposed to do, but making an effort to think through my blessings and letting my heart fill with gratitude as I do this. When I clean, I tell God I'm thankful to have a house to clean. When I work on taxes, I tell Him I'm grateful He's allowed me to do what I love for a living. When I do laundry, I tell God how grateful I am that He's provided so many nice clothes for me and my family.

And I find giving thanks with a grateful heart has done something to me on the inside, made me a more joyous, content person. Always? Of course not. But progress is being made.

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out


Sierra said...

Hey, I'm with you on the dishes :P
I definitely wish a lot, that there were more hours in a day so that I could get more stuff done.Yesterday my whole family went to a park and we took pictures, went on a hike, ate out and had a ton of fun. I wasn't able to do Math or a whole lot of reading or writing done, but I got a lot of exercise and got to spend time taking pictures and out in God's Creation. It was totally worth it. Getting ready to brainstorm for the prompt :)

Stephanie Morrill said...

Sierra, that sounds like so much fun. And while it doesn't help mark things off your to-do list, downtime is very important!

Stefania said...

Check out It's one of my favorite websites and I've found that writing there once a day helps me be more aware of all my blessings throughout the day. :)

Stephanie Morrill said...

What a wonderful idea, Stefania! Thanks for passing that site along.