Rejoice in the Lord always! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phil. 4:4,6

For years of mornings, I have woken up anxious about what needs to be done that day, what to accomplish, what to do. Most my thought-life centers around toiling, planning, executing, doing. When I encounter interruptions and messes, I try to blow through them quickly so I can get back to the liturgy of do, do, do. Disgruntle the chores, verbally acknowledge the kids without really listening to them, truncate bedtime stories because of the stress. That’s how I’ve been spending my life, but it’s not how I want to live.

As if I can control outcomes by worrying about them? Or earn God’s (or others’) love by performing? Or be more accepted if I get more done?

God is showing me how to live differently. He is inviting me to rejoice (delight! enjoy!) Him more by turning worries into prayer. Because, in the words of author Ann Voskamp, “worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.” Converting my worries into prayer has been transforming my anxiety into joy.

God also is opening my eyes to the gift of giving thanks for the simple things, for the messes, for the hard things. For example, this year I endured many months of severe persecution and false accusations in my workplace, inflicted or perpetuated by once-thought friends. It was easy for me to see the enemy in it all. But it was a lot harder to see God in it all. And even harder to see it as God’s grace–God’s gift–to me. Yet, God’s grace doesn’t just extend to the good circumstances–His grace extends to the bad times, too. So, my giving of thanks cannot be based on my circumstances. Instead, I am to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5:18)

In this season, I am experiencing how giving thanks unpacks the gifts of God, reveals the presence of God, and releases the joy of God–especially in the bad times.

Prayers for Us
–thanks for vindication, deliverance, provision
–wisdom from above, rest, joy
–grace for our marriage, children, health, finances, ministry, work of our hands

Prayers for MVFF
–The Lord would send more laborers into the harvest
–Fresh vision and abundant resources for building the Kingdom
–reach more people