Thankful for What is Yet to Be

pumpkin owl watermark

I try to be mindful about giving thanks where thanks is due throughout the day as I run across the many blessings that I am granted.  Some, like the sunrise, beautiful fall leaves, the sweet faces of my grand babies or visiting with dear friends just make me feel thankful and it is easy to remember to wear my gratitude.  Some settings require a little more discipline, like thankfulness for all the blessings that the dirty dishes represent as I am washing them.

I still need to work on this practice of living with an attitude of gratitude for what I have been given, but where I really need to turn some attention is in my thankfulness for what is yet to come.  As I read the Bible’s story of Hannah, I am so impressed when goes to the temple and prays fervently for a child. When she is done praying she rejoices.  Before the child Samuel has been conceived, she is thanking God for him!

woman praying

And then, there are the ten lepers that Jesus sends to the priests to be proclaimed clean. One of the lepers, before he has been announced clean, before he is reunited with family and restored to his healthy lifestyle, turns back to give thanks. Thanking it forward in faith for what will be done.

This season of Thanksgiving, when we all step up our thoughts of gratitude, I am going to include on my list the things that have not yet come, prayers that have not yet been answered, blessings that the future holds.  I am going to thank God for the good plans that He has for me, even though I don’t yet know what they are.

Just for fun, here is a free pdf download of a page of leaves to have fun coloring!

Thanks Hannah!

Hannah copy (1) copy


Several years ago, I wanted to add some color and visual appeal to the Bible studies I was writing.  The cheapest and easiest solution was to produce my own illustrations, but since I hadn’t done that type of thing before I felt a little hesitant.  I could come up with simple little line drawings…but anything more?  Then I did a lesson on Hannah.  Desperately longing for a child, she passionately cried out to God with tears flowing.  The part of the story that really struck me is that BEFORE she was granted her request, she left rejoicing.  It was that image of a rejoicing Hannah that I wanted to capture.

Setting a strong fear of failure behind me, I gathered some simple art supplies. I used watercolor pencils in addition to watercolor paints, enjoying the “safety” and familiarity of holding a pencil and making soft sketches before I was committed.  I loved the process!  I loved watching the image in my mind emerge on paper.  Not a perfect masterpiece by any means, but it captured what I really wanted it to.  And, it left me wanting to do more.  For the next couple of years I “practiced” by making quick illustrations for my weekly Bible studies.  Admittedly, they weren’t the best, but they gave me valuable practice, and I slowly gained confidence…and most importantly I was hooked!  I had rediscovered my childhood love of painting and all things artsy.  All thanks to Hannah!