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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Thankful vs Grateful

While sitting on the deck with Mike, I was overwhelmed by his gratefulness to God for the sunsets. Every night we sat and watched the sun go down and then watched the continuous painting God made with the most beautiful golds, purples, blues and pinks. Each evening seemed like its own worship service while we watched in awe as God showed off. I thought of my sign that says, "Thankful, Grateful, Blessed".

According to Merriam Webster, being grateful is defined as being “appreciative of benefits received.” Being thankful is defined as being “conscious of benefits received” and “well pleased.” Thankfulness is a conscious act we engage in after we receive something, usually a material item. Gratefulness is usually a result of many small and positive actions, not materialistic things. It is a spiritual practice that reminds us to see and appreciate God's work in our daily lives. It is a practice because we have to learn to notice these things. When we do, we connect with God. Soon, you see God every time you see the ocean, mountain, sunset, sunrise and the list goes on!

I was thankful we got to vacation together in a fun place. I was thankful when I watched the kids come up in the boat laughing. I was grateful that they saw 50 dolphin playing with the sunset behind them - all God's handiwork! James 1: 17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Gratitude is our response to God's grace. Psalm 50: 14, "Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High..." I am thankful, grateful and blessed for last week! For the love, laughter, support, God's Creation and the many God winks that I saw!

“If you can’t be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.”


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