"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."--Colossians 4:2 The more that I have been thinking and exploring this theme of thanksgiving, the more I am seeing how much I need to learn. This has been work!

As it is the weekend, I wanted to keep it short and sweet today. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten past the "discipline" stage of thanksgiving. Until it becomes a part of me, it's probably going to always be a conscious effort. If you're in the same boat, then take heart. I'm totally with you.

Last week, I read this in an article. It said: "If you don't make a way to ingrain the intentions into the habit of life, even the best intentions can get swept away into the flow of life." (Kristen Shockley, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Fall 2011)

This has been a challenge in these busy days. Today, we are celebrating Janna's 15th birthday, as well as wrapping up Matthew's volleyball season with a game and a potluck (which ended up moving to our house!). I am also preparing for a marriage retreat that I'll be leading with my husband, with a speaking engagement right before we leave and one the week after! With the uncertainty around our house situation, there has definitely been a lot on our minds.

I don't know about you, but when life reaches a fevered pitch and all I'm doing is just jumping from one activity, project or deadline to another, I usually live on a less-than-desirable mode of survival. Unless I force myself to stop, I don't. I'm not saying that's a good thing, at least not for me. Because usually in the process, I also forget about the things that are most important to me in the effort to just get everything done.

As moms, there are many things that call for attention. Child #1 needs that permission slip filled out and turned in. Child #2 needs help with his homework. Child #3 just needs some attention or his diaper changed! On top of that, there's the committees we're on, the work projects we need to complete. And we haven't even talked about just getting dinner on the table!

And yet, Paul tells us that we need to devote ourselves to prayer. To devote ourselves to something means that we need to make a concerted effort, expending all my energies towards that goal. And what are we to devote ourselves to? Being watchful and thankful in prayer. Every possible opportunity I have, am I always keeping my spirit open to the Lord's movement? Am I watching in anticipation to see what He is going to do next...and thanking Him for it?

Every evening, my goal is to write down the things that I am thankful for and spend some time in prayer and thanksgiving. Of the past 4 nights, I have did this...once. It's hard to start a good habit! I have a lot to learn. It's a good thing the Lord is patient!

What am I thankful for today?

...celebrating fifteen years with my daughter

...the smell of cinnamon from our cinnamon roll pancakes that filled the home with a wonderful scent

...seeing my son giving his all in his volleyball game

...hearing the laughter of three teenage girls extra hour of sleep

...warm slippers on a cold day

...the anticipation of a day at church tomorrow

...the peace and presence of the Lord in the midst of it all

You are good to me, Lord. Thank You for the blessings You have showered on me today. Please keep my eyes open and teach me how to take every opportunity to build the habit of thanksgiving and praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.