Pausing to give thanks

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I’ve recently become a fan of Marie Kondo. If you haven’t heard of her, she makes a living out of decluttering, tidying and organising people’s houses... All the things we would be much better at if someone was paying US too!

Best known for folding her clothes into thirds (even pants and socks!) and organising the most chaotic of homes, Marie’s main philosophy boils down to a couple of pointers: “discard everything that does not ‘spark joy,’” and “thank the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service”.

Although it seems a bit weird to be thanking inanimate objects, I love the sentiment of gratitude behind it. Rather than tearing through a bookcase, dumping unwanted books into a pile and “getting the job done”, there is the encouragement to take a moment and practise thankfulness for our belongings - even if they’re heading to a charity shop! Being thankful for the joy each item has brought us. For the purpose it has served. And when we direct all of that thanksgiving towards GOD (not the books or the clothes 😉) we are, in fact, worshipping.

1 Thessalonians 5 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances”.

When life is busy thanksgiving requires pausing. Worship cannot be hurried. Pausing to give thanks before tucking into a meal. Pausing to give thanks for each answered prayer before getting on the phone to tell a friend. Pausing to recognise where each blessing has come from, before moving onto the next thing. I’ll bet we notice His hands working in our lives far more when we regularly stop and pause to give thanks.

When life is tough, thanksgiving requires a choice. Years ago, just after her husband died suddenly, my grandma decided to write a long list of all the things she was thankful for about Grandpa. It was a conscious decision to find joy in the midst of deep loss: “Thankyou that he has gone to an even better home. Thankyou that his mind remained sharp to the end. Thankyou that I have no regrets, but a store of happy memories...” This wasn’t just positive thinking. This was worship when it hurts. And although no amount of thanksgiving was going to bring Grandpa back, it did bring real comfort and healing.

When we practise the discipline of thankfulness, worship becomes our first response whether we’re met with battles OR blessings.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Gratitude informs our worship by transforming our perspective.

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Beth Croft

Beth has been leading worship at Soul Survivor Watford Church & our summer festivals for many years now. During that time, she was on staff pastoring the church worship team. Beth is married to co-senior pastor Andy Croft, and is currently a full time mum to their three amazing sons Josiah, Judah, and Caleb. In her spare time she’s on Pinterest looking at different ways to do up her house! Beth’s songs include ‘Arms Of Grace’, ‘Hold On’, and ‘Love Takes Over’. We love you Beth!

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