”I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:30

From time to time it\’s nice to get away from our daily routine. In
autumn, a drive through the mountains to enjoy the spectacular range of
color the Lord has created can be restorative.

Recently I made such a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my family.
The weather cooperated with temperatures in the seventies and a slight
breeze. Just right. Right?

Wrong! It looked as if everyone who goes to Gatlinburg showed up that
weekend. You couldn\’t move your car down the main street more than a
few feet at a time, or edge more than two feet through a store without
running into someone or something- usually a stroller. Ouch!

To add insult to the injuries, the hotels could charge premium rates
because of the demand. We checked in and after shopping, we came back
to find, yep, you guessed it – no place to park.

Although I remained thankful the Lord gave us a safe trip and the means
to go, a relaxing trip turned into an exercise in patience. I found
myself tempted to forget about being grateful and become as impatient
and rude as some of the travelers.

Thankfulness is an attitude. The American Heritage Dictionary says
thankfulness is “to be aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful
and to be expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.” Isn\’t it better
to smile at someone than frown, and much better to speak kinds words
than lash out in anger?

When we have to wait in line to pay for something, rather than be
impatient, why not use that time to thank God for our money? When we
have to wait a whopping twenty minutes to be seated in a restaurant,
let\’s breathe a prayer of thanks that God provides us with another
meal. We are so blessed we forget about the millions of people in the
world who have no idea where their next meal will come from.

At my church, we sing a chorus called ‘Give Thanks with a Grateful
Heart\’. When our hearts are grateful, we make up our minds to be
thankful- no matter what the circumstances. As Paul said in 1
Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will
of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I had to come home to relax, but I\’m thankful I got away for those few
days. I\’m also grateful my heels have healed up. Those strollers hurt!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the beauty of this world, and for
Your many blessings. I pray I\’ll be grateful in spite of and in the
midst of life\’s circumstances. You\’re so good to me. Thank You, Lord.
In Jesus\’ Name I pray, Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).