thanksgiving

  • Defeating Anxiety By Counting Your Blessings

    Ruth ThorogoodThis #soulh2o devo is coming as a result of my recording with my adventerous friend Ruth Thorogood!

    I’m so thankful for this girl!  

    Recording the Thanksgiving episode with her got me thinking about my need to get back into the habit of Counting My Blessings in an effort to defeating anxiety in my life.

    I vaguely remembered writing a devo about that  and saw that I sent it out exactly 2 years ago today!  How crazy is that! As I read it, I felt so strongly that I needed to resend out this devotion instead of the one I had written for this week. I thought if I had a hard time remembering it and I wrote it, that it would be pretty-much new to you too!  I’m late getting it out again but hoping I have things regulated with all the new on my plate since starting the Soul H2O Radio show real soon 🙂  Girls, I’m loving it and hope you are too.

    Praying you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend!


    Defeating Anxiety By Counting My Blessings

    This post was featured on Crystal Twaddell’s FRESH MARKET FRIDAY Linkup. Crystal Twaddell


    Gratitude journal
    This weekend, we Canadians will celebrate Thanksgiving.  Our houses will be filled with the delicious aromas of turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato mash and pumpkin pie.  I’m responsible for bringing the Green Bean Casserole and my Thankfulness Journal.

    COLLECTING THANKFULNESS

    Years before I tried to get people to share what they were thankful for around the table and that never worked, so I bought the book and began collecting the gratitude of my family and friends at Thanksgiving dinner.  This year I’ve stepped it up a notch and again began Counting My Blessings each morning.  This practice always helps change my outlook on life.

    Philippians 4:6-8

    In Philippians chapter four, Paul is writing to help people struggling with anxiety.  He says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  He then teaches how to keep this kind of peace in verse 8 by keeping our thoughts fixed on things worthy of praise.

    Science & Scripture

    I love when science backs up Scripture.  Recent studies have given fact to Paul’s theory on defeating anxiety with thanksgiving.

    In a Psychology Today magazine article called The Grateful Brain; The neuroscience of giving thanks”, Alex Korb, PhD tells how practicing thankfulness

    “has the power to reshape your  neural pathways….
    help you exercise more, sleep better and be happier…
    So gratitude had a direct effect on depression symptoms
    (the more gratitude, the less depression)
    and an indirect effect on anxiety
    (increased gratitude led to improved sleep, which led to lower anxiety).
    Either way, with gratitude you’re better off, and you get a good night’s sleep.”1

    In a scientific study of 293 adults with mental health issues, people were put into three groups. The first group received counselling. The second group went to counselling, but also had to journal about

    “their deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful experiences”.

    The third group

    “wrote letters expressing gratitude to others”

    along with counselling sessions. This last group incorporated gratitude writing in their health regimen

    “reported significantly better mental health“ by four weeks and still at twelve weeks.2

    God’s ways make sense.  He knows what works.

    So, start defeating anxiety in your life by daily Counting Your Blessings.

    Prayer

    Father...I’m thankful for Your Word.  
    It speaks right into my life with the same relevance to me as the people in Paul’s day.
    Defeat anxiety in my life
    as I express Thanksgiving to You and those around me. 
    Let me experience Your peace 
    when I focus my thoughts on Counting My Blessings and not my losses.
    In Jesus Name...Amen

    [tweetthis]Start defeating anxiety in your life by daily Counting Your Blessings[/tweetthis]

    If you think you may be struggling with clinical depression or anxiety, check out my MENTAL HEALTH page for some guidance and links to great resources.

    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women. 

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain Website Accessed: 2017-10-09
    2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10503307.2016.1169332?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=tpsr20 Website Accessed: 2017-10-09

     DRAWING FROM THE WELL-PINKY 

    1. Philippians 4:6-8
    2. Psalm 103:2
    3. Ephesians 5:20
    4. Psalm 118:1

    Blogger Prayers-Pinky BrownYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • FREE Coloring Page-THANKFUL For Trees


    Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and family!  At the bottom of this post I have a FREE downloadable coloring page for your lazy afternoon.  I’ve added a little competition to it, for those who want to participate 🙂

    Over the past month since we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada I have written a few posts with a grateful theme.

    First there was OVERSPRAY where I was thankful to God for an amazing wet-pet we had and who has reminded many of us to watch the OVERSPRAY of our lives.

    AMAZING PEOPLE, introduced you to my three closest friends and how thankful I am for friends who walk with you through the desert.  I encouraged you to join me in writing something to the AMAZING PEOPLE in your life and express your gratitude.

    THANKFUL FOR TREES taught us how trees reveal so much about God and His provision in our lives.  This devotion brought out a contest for the best fall tree colour picture.  The winner of that Contest was….drumroll please…Evelyn Wilson from Trenton, ON!!!  Evelyn posted these two fall tree photos taken at Ottawa Valley Camp (OVPC).  I was blessed to speak at this camp in June for the Single Mom’s Retreat.  The lake there is so beautiful!  i just want to sit in one of those Adirondack chairs by the colorful trees in the picture!  Ev knows that she was actually the runner-up but gets to wear the crown because the first-place winner didn’t reply to me after posting her amazing photo.  Anyhoo…CONGRATULATIONS Ev! I’ll be sending you a signed copy of my newly published SOUL H2O devotional book. Here are Evelyn’s

    EVERYONE’S WELCOME was sent out this Monday.  It talks about how we need to:

    We honor God when we adopt the ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ mission statement.

    To help your Thanksgiving day be more enjoyable, or just to add a little relaxing into your day.  Download this Coloring Page drawn by amazing hubby Todd onto your computer and print it off.

    Click on Picture to Download the Coloring Page.

    screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-2-04-46-pm

    CONTEST

    I just love contests and I hope you do too!  I will send this Thankful bracelet and a signed copy of my newly published SOUL H2O devotional book to one of the girls who color their Thankful For The Trees page and post the finished page on social media.  Make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #SoulH2O so I see your post and enter you into the contest.
    FACEBOOK:  Sherry Stahl – Author/Speaker/Blogger      TWITTER & INSTAGRAM:  @sherry_stahl

    thankful-bracelet

     

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Everyone’s Welcome

    Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism, but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.                                                          Acts 10:34-35

    My family tends to live by the ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ mission statement.  You just never know who may be there for dinner.  My parents never want anyone to eat alone.   You might get there for Thanksgiving and find extra chairs at the table with an explanation of how the people are facing hard times or why they wouldn’t have a family to eat with.  Mom and dad have been known to take people in when they’re down on their luck or just in town for a few days.  My sister Lori and I used to joke about our ‘brother Chris’ who stayed with our parents and shared many a family meal.

    The words ‘Welcome’ and ‘everyone’ struck me as I was reading these verses in Acts. I think everyone knows what it feels like to be the outsider at some point in their life, to be the one not picked for the team, to eat alone.  God never planned for us to have experiences like this.  It’s not the way God loves and it’s not the way He wants His children to love; especially not the children in His church.  God’s eyes are not just on the “chosen few”.  Psalms 33:13-15 talks about how God watches over all mankind.  Believers can’t have the ‘just my four and no more’ attitude.

    [tweetthis]We honor God when we adopt the ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ mission statement. [/tweetthis]

    It’s funny how God’s timing works, but the weekend this devotion is going out, I’m staying at a friend’s home in Winnipeg where I was speaking at some amazing Women’s events. So, why not follow their lead?  Be like my family or Betty and Bruce; set an extra chair or two at your table this week and let the world know, Everyone’s Welcome!

    Prayer

    Father…I ask you to expand my heart and let it be like yours.  Help me not live trying to stay safe, and closed off to others.  Don’t let me show favoritism to one, over another.  May the door of my heart swing wide open, welcoming everyone in.   In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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  • Thankful For Trees

    Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.  The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.…Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.”
    Genesis 1:11-12; 2:9    NIV

    I’m Thankful For Trees because trees produce apples and, apples are my favorite snack; next to licorice, jujubes and dark chocolate.   When I was a kid I could eat a whole bag of Macintosh apples after school.  It was hard to keep enough apples around for me.  If we didn’t move so often my parents could’ve planted an apple tree and saved some money!

    [tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true”]I believe God gave us trees as a picture revealing truth about His character and how He is our provider.[/tweetthis]

    Genesis starts off telling us trees are for beauty.  There is no more beautiful a scenery, none more, “pleasing to the sight” than an autumn forest.  Trees provide shade from the beating sun. The leaves and bark trap airborne toxins and purify them; filtering out the carbon, producing clean oxygen for us to breathe.  Their fruit produces food for people, birds and animals.  Isaiah talks about how God created trees to be cut down to provide wood for us to make furniture and provide fuel for fire.  Fire from wood produces heat to keep us warm, drawing friends together while it cooks our food.  Trees are visual reminders of the changing seasons. I hope you re-read this paragraph and think of all the ways God provides for us, just through trees.  I pray you never look at trees the same again. 1

    thankful

    So get outside and enjoy the colorful fall trees.  Break out the camera and take some photos of the changing leaves.  Warm yourself by a campfire and enjoy the heat while you visit with friends eating s’mores.  Know that God created these majestic creations for your use.  Be careful not to worship them or place them in greater value than God says, but always remember to stay, Thankful For Trees!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank You the trees.  Help me to never overlook them again, but view them as reminders that You are my provider.  Your provision is constant like the fruit of a tree.  Help me to live thankful for You and Thankful For Trees.  In Jesus Name…Amen  

    1           Genesis 1:11-12, 2; Isaiah 44:4, 14-15; Isaiah 60:13; Psalm 52:8

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    faebook-logoHop on over to my Facebook group and add your fall scenery picture under this Blog Post Link to win a signed copy of my new book Soul H2O BOOK*
    *See Facebook Post For Contest Details

     

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  • Amazing People

    I thank my God every time I remember you.”
     Philippians 1:3 NIV

    On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was blessed to spend time with so many people I love.  I know that Thanksgiving was started by the early settlers to thank God for the abundant harvest of food He provided for them, and although I LOVE food, this year my heart is overwhelmed in thankfulness for all of the amazing people in my life.  Friends and family are what makes my heart full this year.

    I realized just how blessed I am when I was able to spend time with two of my closest friends Lise and Wendy.  There’s four of us in this friendship group and we missed having Rachelle there, but it’s hard for us to coordinate everyone getting together since we don’t all live in the same country anymore.  These girls have been my prayer partners for the past few decades (Oh how I wish I could say we met in preschool right now).  We’ve been there for each other through thick and thin: praying, fasting, eating, laughing…lots of laughing, parenting, challenging, encouraging and cheering each other on to follow hard after God.

    [tweetthis remove_url=”true”]I never would have made it through my desert times without these girls…[/tweetthis]

    I wouldn’t strive so much to reach for my dreams if it wasn’t for these beautiful women.

    I feel a real affinity with Paul’s words in this verse.  I thank my god every time I remember these girls.  Paul wrote the verse while in prison.  When Paul was at the lowest point in his life he recognized and thanked so many people from the church in Philippi.  Just like Paul experienced, it’s the amazing people in our lives that are God’s greatest blessings.

    Let thankfulness fill your heart as you take the time to think about how friends and family have blessed your life.  Be like Paul and write something to let the amazing people you love know how thankful you are for them.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for putting amazing people in my life.  I’m a better person because of their influence.  Help me not to take them for granted.  Please give me the words and courage to express to them in writing how grateful I am, thanking God for them today.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share

    Write something down to tell how your friends and family have helped you get through the hard times in the  Comment box below.

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  • A Healthy Appetite

    “You prepare a feast for me…”
        Psalm 23:5 NLT

    This weekend Canadians got together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, just a little earlier than our neighbors to the South! Today we went to my mom and dad’s farm; and boy did we feast! My mom does it up right! There were two types of meat, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, five vegetable dishes, salad…trays of pickles, olives and hot peppers, not to mention the table of desserts. If you’re going to come to the Fletcher’s for a holiday feast you better have a healthy appetite!

    In Psalm 23 God promises that He will prepare a feast for us, and in Psalm 34:8 He invites us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”! The thanksgiving feast with my family is always delicious and plentiful. I can only imagine how lavish a feast prepared by our Jehovah Jireh would be! Later in Psalm 119:103 David says of God’s banquet, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

    God prepares an abundant feast of sweet words for us. We need to approach reading the Bible with a healthy appetite, hungry to hear from Him!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you that you’re not stingy. You don’t give us just a little snack, but instead you offer us a plentiful banquet to feast on.   Help me not to waste my appetite on things that leave me empty. I will accept your invitation to “taste and see” that you are good! In Jesus Name…Amen

    So, tell me, what is the sweetest word God has shared with you through His Word lately? Write out the Verse or Verses in the Comment Section below:

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  • Canadian Thanksgiving

    Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving with family.

    Praying for God’s abundant blessings on your family and abundant provision for the year!

    Check back tomorrow for your weekly #SoulH2O Devotion.

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  • THANKSGIVING

    Wishing all of my American friends a blessed Thanksgiving Day!  Hope you let your Worship Leaders and others who inspire you know how much you appreciate them!
    (See Monday’s Devotional “Every Time I Think Of You“, Just click on the words)
    Here are pictures from our Canadian Thanksgiving back in October.   Just like the American Holiday, only sooner!  It gives our stomachs longer time to recover and prepare for the BIG Christmas Feast  🙂

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