Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
Friend to Friend
A few months ago, I was in the airport headed to New Jersey. It was a typical rush, rush, rush morning. Grab the bags, trudge through traffic, hunt for a parking space, follow the herd, wade through security, dash to the gate.
Folks aren’t usually very friendly in airports. Eyes look straight ahead. Purposed feet slap the floor. Overstuffed bags roll behind. It’s not that people are grumpy. They’re just “flatish.” (That’s a new word for today.)
On this particular morning, I looked just like everyone else: “flatish.” Before settling in at my gate, I decided to make one last trip to the restroom. I’m so glad I did. It was one of the most joy-filled places I had been in a long time.
Gretchen, the “hostess” for this privy, donned a silly little hat on her head with whimsical feathers waving about the top. If it wasn’t for the official attendant’s vest she was wearing, I might have thought she was on her way to Mardi Gras. With a spray bottle in one hand and a cloth in the other, Gretchen welcomed each “guest” into her “home.”
A woman in a green jacket exited a stall and Gretchen swooped in behind her.
Squirt, squirt, squirt with the disinfectant. Wipe, wipe, wipe with her cloth. “Right this way, madam,” she motioned to the next person in line, “This one is ready for you! Come right in!”
With all the poise of a valet opening the castle doors for a person of honor, Gretchen welcomed each woman as if she were the most important person in her day. I stood back and watched as this 5-foot-5-inch bundle of joy wiped off toilet seats and cheerfully invited her next guest into the pristine stalls.
Gretchen had an effervescent sense of joy…wiping toilet seats. It seemed to come from a deep-seated heart of contagious gratitude. And it spilled over to every single woman who left her station. Women entered weary and worn and left with a skip in their step and a smile on their face. Some even lingered…as if they wanted to soak in just a little bit more before facing the world.
Yes, gratitude is contagious, and so is grumpy grumbling. Someone complains, and the next thing you know you’ve joined in and are complaining right along with them.
How do you think that grumbling started with the children of Israel in the wilderness? I think it went like this. One person picked up her manna for the day and said, “You know, I’m sick of this manna.” Then someone else picked up his and said, “Come to think about it, I’m sick of it too.” Then a neighbor agreed, and it spread, and it spread, and it spread. Next thing you know 2 million people are grumbling and complaining. Then a sea of ingrates wandered around the desert for forty years.
Make no mistake about it. Our attitudes are contagious whether grumpy or grateful. Whether we complain or give thanks, others around us will tend to do the same.
Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV). How in the world can we rejoice always and give thanks in all things? Ah, the answer is sandwiched right in between…pray continually. That doesn’t mean we’re on our knees 24/7, but that we are in constant communion with God throughout our busy day. We enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise!
As I left the airport restroom, I noticed a tip jar resting on the counter filled with thanks. But I don’t think the “tips” were for wiping the germs away from the toilet seats, but for wiping the doldrums away from the ladies’ hearts. And for some strange reason, I just wanted to give Gretchen a hug.
She didn’t mind.
Gretchen reminded me just how contagious gratitude and joy can be. And how desperately I want to be a carrier. I hope you do too.
Heavenly Father, make me a woman of gratitude. I pray my heart will be infected with thankfulness and I will spread it to those around me. I pray the Holy Spirit will stop me from grumbling, and spur me to give thanks in all circumstances.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
List 10 things that you are grateful for other than Jesus and your family. I know you are thankful for those two. Let’s stretch. It doesn’t have to be big.
Once you have your list, click on comment and share your list.
More from the Girlfriends
How can I experience God’s majestic presence in the middle of my mundane days? A Sudden Glory shows you how. Open your eyes to see God, your ears to hear God, your soul to sense His love. Let’s experience God together!
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Gift of praying friends- beautiful sunsets – comfortable home – church – my dog – transportation – workers at my grocery store – food – coffee – beautiful flowers. Goodness all these besides the wonderful family, you should not be able to wipe the smile off my face. Thank you Sharon that you always make me think when I study your devotions. Blessings to you!
Friends and coworkers, birds singing in the morning, the feeling when I walk into my home- Just contentment and comfort, sunshine, and thankful for people like you who remind me every day to stay focused on God and his love for everything.
I’m so thankful for people God has put in my path to help them to know Jesus, sparing my life all the times I was in the hosp& the doctors didn’t think I’d make it, I’m thankful to be alive and will always remember that each day is a gift
Access to devotions
Access to a Bible believing church
A safe environment
Being a stay at home Mom
1. Beginning to see light through this tunnel of Anxiety.
3. Opportunity to share laughs with Coworkers
4. Good Health and strength
5. Nearing retirement in 3 years
7. Reliable automobile
8. Food in cabinets and frig
9. Wonderful Boss at work
I’m grateful for…My church family, sunrises and sunsets, rainy days, kind strangers, beautiful breathtaking scenery that God has created, laughter, music, being able to exercise and Gods word! Thank you Sharon for always starting my day off on a good note with your amazing thoughts and words on God’s words to us! Bless you!!
Pink and blue sky
Sign of rain
1. That I am the beloved daughter of the Most High God
2. For the amazing God fearing Husbands God blessed me with (2 passed)
3. For the blessings of loving children and family
4. Always being my rock in times of adversity
5. Allowing me to learn to give my worries to God
6. Walking with me on my cancer journey
7. Being able to live in religious freedom and share my faith with others
8. Ability to work with the financial budget I have
9. Beautiful place that I live in, nature
10. The love and joy that I have in my heart
Everything i am thankful for comes from God and His abundant mercies and blessings. He is the reason I am so thankful for everything.
Warm Blue Blanket
Birds of all different varieties
My “go-to” girlfriends
My love for creativity
Smiles of others
Chocolate and sweets
Chips and Dip
Puppies and kittens
To hear my son get up and ready for work
To be able to see my kids
Hear my grandson laugh
To be able to pay my electric bill
1)My church 2)Friends 3)Dogs 4) Home
5)car 6)job 7)health 8)I’m loved by many 9)Lake Michigan is only a 10 minute drive away and the scenery is breathtaking 10) Praise songs and hymns
2. Sun light
5. My job
6.I can see, walk, talk
7. A house and the money to make the deposit
9. For my car
10. For the internet
I am grateful for
The place I volunteer at and the staff here.
A dry comfortable place to sleep and rest.
The health I do have
Most importantly that God cares
Sitting quietly next to my husband
American flags blowing in the breeze
Comforts in my life and occasional thorns in my side
Planting in the dirt
Forwarding these messages to others
My small groups of Jesus followers
A job and colleagues I loved
Ability to exercise
1. For this day 2. Dogs 3. Great friends 4. Living so close to my elderly father 5. Summer 6. Our amazing pastor/ church 7. Devotional ministries 8. Health 9. Laughter 10. Activities I love – Christian music, boating, golfing and laughter
I’m thankful for my Godly husband, my good health, my church family, my sons, my grandchildren, a roof over my head, my job, all the food and water that I need!🥰
Grateful for: health, my salvation, eyes to see and ears to hear, the joy of a grandson’s upcoming wedding, friends who love and encourage me, God’s Word that instructs me, sisters to laugh with, green grass and blooming flowers, a godly heritage, a faithful husband, and a million other blessings!!!
1.Being able to work
3.My four legged dog friends Jax and Sophie
5.To worship freely
7.My home paid for
8.My Koinonia Sisters
10. God’s creation
Morning devotions in my inbox to encourage me
A working laptop
The beauty of Spring/Summer
Wonderful Christian friends
A nurturing church and pastor
My husband of 46 years
Knott Avenue Christian Church;my home church for close to 30 yrs. The same church that I attended with my now adult children and grandchildren. The church where we celebrated the life of my children’s father. So grateful to be a part of a congregation who has been my foundation for my Christian walk.
Single Parent raising two children now adults with their own families.grace of God and Provisions of which I can never explain. Gratitude for God’s open doors enabling me to raise my children on my own.
Deliverance from a rebellious girl (in the 60’s and 70’s). Healing from drug abuse and a lifestyle similar to the “woman at the well.
My career 30+yrs
Retirement in the next two years
My Home where I feel safe and comfortable
Morning coffee with God as the SON rises and glistens through the trees around me.
My recent obsession to collect vinyl records and play them on my modernized Victorola turntable.
Perseverance through Blind Faith in the darkness and anxiety through the seasons of my life. The lessons learned and “hidden treasures” found in the midst of trials.
Living at the beach
A boyfriend who thinks I am important
Ability to travel
Gorgeous new day
Spider webs in the sunlight
Cardinals that appear out of nowhere
Great grounds keeper
Being able to help family members
6th birthday of Nicu twins
Special cups for coffee
Love the challenge “besides Jesus and family”😂
1. Life and health
2. Freedom to choose how I live and with whom.
3. The opportunity to connect with students in reciprocal relationships. I encourage them-they encourage me as part of the “academic process.”
4. My children are thriving and pursuing their dreams.
5. Perspective that offers hope in tough spots
5. Shelter with well functioning plumbing
7. To be employed and do work I chose
8. Flexibility that’s been available as a result of Covid. I have been able to spend time and be available to my family in ways I wouldn’t have been otherwise.
9. Early experiences and the way in which they have shaped who I am.
10. The opportunity to live in short driving distance from the beach.
I’m thankful for the Bible, the warmth of the sun, the ability to knit, my home, beautiful flowers, music, laughter, the large selection of food in the grocery store, all the wonderful things God has provided for us.
the beautiful flowers
The wind chimes jingling in the wind
My wonderful companion Starbucks, our chocolate lab
Being able to get out of bed today
this present moment in history and in God’s presence
Friends near and far
My phone which enables me to keep close to folks
My church family and community who love and accept me
The joy of just sitting on my porch
Great mechanics that help us when our cars don’t work…. So blessed!
Health, birds chirping, hair curlers, medication and therapy, women’s Bible group, daily walks on the beach, being adopted, ancestry.com, unsweetened iced tea, learning with and for my students.
The sound of birds chirping
A warm home
The ability to reason
Our quiet street
Devotion time in the morning
Being a homemaker
A working car
I M thankful for reasonably good health
My.church, my Bible, my apartment , and my cats and. Wonderful restaurant at breakfast today.
I am thankful for Jesus’s Gems, my women’s bible group, a roof over my head, enough to “make ends meet”, going out to dinner twice a month,
that every ailment I have has a treatment, the days my back doesn’t hurt, snow falling when I’m inside, on-line church services, my cat, and family and friends who love me.
My fur baby
my church and kids I serve
applicable devotions to use/apply/worship
a reliable car
food in my pantry
1.Grandson got married to beautiful Christian girl. Got to see all 5 of my children from different states, my son and his wife stayed 4 days post wedding. My nephews wives father died,in the morning she took him our to eat, went on a walk outdoors, he hugged and said he loved her, his last words to her, he joined his wife the love of his live upin heaven.my lilacs are blooming aroma is wonderful. Step daughter has covid was vaccinated.It was nationa wine day, went to winerys with son and daughter-in-law, laughed and had a good time. Dorothy my daughter did a video at my grandson’s wedding dis beautiful job. Thankful for God’s word.Flowers has started to bloom, For provisions of food, warmth,,green grass. To beable to listen to Christian music.thankful to girl friends ministry and their sharing God,s love, their stories,and teaching, sharing God ‘s word.Amen
1. Indoor plumbing
2. My life and good health
3. Medicine and not taking my husband during his illness
4. Our 5 sences like: “Sight” and all the lovely things we can see, i.e., flowers, smiles, sky, stars, lakes, birds…”Smell” fresh baked bread or fresh mowed grass…”Hearing” a baby’s laugh, voice of a loved one… “Taste” & “Touch”
5. My home and its furnishings
6. Love: Wonderful people and the joy they bring to our lives, along with the great things they invent and how they share with others: friends, neighbors, medical staff, teachers, engineers, inventors…
7. Electricity and all the wonderful things it allows us to do, i.e., laundry, read, surf the internet :)…
8. Answered and unanswered prayer
9. Holy Spirit’s guidance, protection and for protecting me from me
10. GRACE: Thank you for all I have, am and will be and for allowing me to be thankful
I’m thankful for my friends
For Flowers (just sent to my friend who’s husband died unexpectedly 3 days ago)
For my cat sitting on my lap keeping me warm
For Girlfriends in God devotions!
For a hot shower
For good health
For the crochet group I attend
For a new job I start next week
For God’s provision in my life
For God’s love He showers on me
Thank You, Jesus, for…
2. The smell of freshly cut grass; the look of nicely mown lawns
3. Sitting on the porch in the evening, watching the sun set and the cars go by
4. Watching my nephew play t-ball
5. Having the opportunity to work and make money
6. Exciting days but also ordinary days
7. How therapeutic it feels to tidy and organize
8. Your faithfulness — whether I’m at my best or at my worst
9. Both Your strength and Your tenderness
10. Being so steady; I’m so thankful that God doesn’t panic
1. I was very sick with Covid a few months ago. I thought I was going to die and I was very scared. I’m grateful I got better (it was God’s work I’m sure).
2. I have a job
3. The new roof we just got on our house that we needed for many years. God made that possible.
4. The birds at my bird feeder are a most beautiful sight.
5. My horse (Junior). He is a life long dream come true. Thank you, Father.
6. My ability to know God is always there even when I’m frustrated and sometimes feel He is not there.
7. Sometimes I can feel God’s disapproval on a mistake I’m about to make.
8. I suffer from back pain, but I am still able to walk and work.
9. To be able to hear the laughter of children and babies.
10. I am grateful I can bend my knees each night at my bedside in my home and talk to God.
1) MY NAME KAREN “CARING”
2) MY KINDNESS
3) MY BEAUTY
4) MY HUMBLENESS
5) MY CULTURE “NATIVE AMERICAN”
6) MY HOME
7) MY LANGUAGE “KERS” “PRAYERS”
8) MY VEHICLE
9) MY FOOD “NOURISHING”
10) MY HEALTH ❤️
1. God’s direction/protection/conviction daily
2. Good health
3. My fur babies (4) cats
4. Being able to be retired along with my husband and enjoy it.
5. All my needs being met and sometimes getting things I want.
6. My awesome church family
7. The gift of encouragement
8. Good friends
9. Lessons learned and the opportunity to share with someone else that experiences what I did.
10. Opportunities to be a blessing to others.
Natural beauty of the world
Time with distant family
Gift of Prayer
My relationship with God
Gift of choice