Give Thanks 2013: Day

Give thanks in all circumstances


Thanksgiving can be tricky as holidays go. We prepare our homes and hearts for family gatherings, make room on our tables and our calendars to celebrate the bounty of our lives and the goodness of our God. But sometimes giving thanks is easier said – even easier planned for – than done.

Life does not magically get easier or shinier during the holidays. The hard things we are in the midst of are still hard. In fact, the sharp edges of our difficult circumstances are even more painful when juxtaposed with the beautiful orange and brown place settings, with the coming of Christmas lights and holiday cheer.

But God. He is with us in every circumstance. He is with us in the joy and pain, in the plenty and need, in certainty and confusion.

And His presence with us? THAT is why we can give thanks.

That is why our circumstances are just that – they are circumstances. The heart and hope of the gospel does not change. Ever. And if that gospel – that Savior Jesus and that Creator Father and that Holy Spirit Companion – if they are here with us even in this, then how are we not to praise him? How can we help but give thanks?

In the coming 12 days, let’s explore what it means to give thanks in all of life’s seasons. Let’s discover how to do Thanksgiving in light of God’s word. Let’s remember that gratitude is not a just a list of thank yous, but heart turning daily toward Christ.

Join us here Monday for Day 1 of Give Thanks. (And here is a direct link to the plan on YouVersion!)


For this Give Thanks plan, our writing team thought it would be special to offer an extra layer of worship and devotion to our quiet time. For each of the twelve days in this plan, we have selected a companion hymn or song – lots of old favorites that we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do. 

And since, in this case, there’s nothing wrong with taking a little peek at what’s to come, we invite you to enjoy our Spotify Give Thanks playlist in advance and throughout this study. Blessings, sisters!

  • Aldo Casteel

    I’m typically to running a blog and i actually admire your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for brand new information.

  • Jennifer

    I have gotten away from the things I need to. I decided to come back on today and get my spiritual life back on track. This study shows me why I came back. This study is so perfect. I am going to look into that playlist. I do not know if Spotify costs anything but I am hoping not so I can listen each day while I read.

  • What a wonderful community for women! Elle I'm also lifting u up on prayer girlfriend! I went through the same thing last year about this time. The holidays always get to me, with both of my parents passed away, my brothers and I have drifted apart. I have two grown children and felt like they Didn't need me either. Yes, I was in a bad space. That's what the enemy wants, us defeated. Praise God thru this storm, I know how hard that is but you will make it through. If God is for us who then can be against us. Keep keeping on sister! Even when u don't feel like it, it's the only way you can make it. Totally surrendered to your Father, your God.

  • Ellis, holding you up in prayer. God promised he would NEVER leave us nor forsake us….. please hold onto that promise from He who has, and will always have our backs. God is faithful. He will and is walking with you right now, he does feel your pain, your sorrow….. He is there with you, reach for him, hang on to Him, I pray you will know God is with you, sister, with love and guess. Tina x

    Lauren C, still holding you up to Our Great Big and Loving God, who knows our hearts. Praying you know His peace, hugely, God bless you.x Tina x

  • Darcy Lynne

    Oh, I am VERY excited about this new study… especially the playlist! The Lord so often brings music to mind when I'm reading Scripture. I am grateful for that because, in spite of the fact that I love to journal, I think music ends up being the way I best process what He is saying through His word. And I love love LOVE hymns, so added bonus there! Thank you for taking the time to put this extra element together… I can't wait!

  • LaurenC_

    I read a quote today – "Faith and gratitude must be practiced daily." In painful seasons of life, it seems almost impossible to keep that practice going. I have learned that despite my feelings, my grief, my sorrow, my stress, my anger, my persistent tiredness – our Lord is still present and He is still good. Even when I struggle to feel any small measure of His grace. He is standing with me, holding me up, carrying me – even when I can't formulate a single thought or utter a single word of praise or thanks. Lately, the most I can manage to do is remind myself of these truths. I have to remind myself a lot, say it out loud in my car or in another moment alone during the day. It doesn't feel like enough, not nearly enough, but I have to believe that it is enough for God. He knows the season I am in and He knows how and when I will come out of it, even though I don't. He promises to stick with me through all things and to make all things work for my good, to glorify His name. This is what gets me through most days. It won't be like this forever. Joy and peace will return to my heart and my life. Elle, I pray that God brings you an extra measure of His peace today. I pray that He will carry you through your pain.

  • Praying for you Elle that you will feel His presence with you. Praying you will have a peaceful night’s sleep. I’m thankful for this community that we have the opportunity to pray for you!

  • For those asking about Spotify- if you are listening on your computer you can access the playlist for free. The mobile app is free, but you do have to pay to use it for anything other than the radio. They give you a free 48 hour trial, but that’s it.

  • One thing that helps me to be thankful in all circumstances is to verbalize the blessings in my life. Speaking them out loud makes me realize that I have so many things to be thankful for! I am excited for this next plan and love the addition of some beautiful music. Thank you!

  • Natisha Palmer

    Sooo Excited about this new plan! The addition of the worship playlist is EVERYTHING! Awesome!

  • jesusgirl71

    “But God. He is with us in every circumstance. He is with us in the joy and pain, in the plenty and need, in certainty and confusion.

    And His presence with us? THAT is why we can give thanks.

    That is why our circumstances are just that – they are circumstances. The heart and hope of the gospel does not change. Ever. And if that gospel – that
    Savior Jesus and that Creator Father and that Holy Spirit Companion – if they are here with us even in this, then how are we not to praise him? How can
    we help but give thanks?”

    wow! This is what spoke to me. Love this1 thank you! God is with me. I just never grasp the magnitude. I think, yeah ok god is with me. But I need to. I need to think, to ponder on this, and I plan to do this. Looking forward to this plan.

  • Leenda324

    Oh Elle my heart goes out to you. In 2006 after 27 years if marriage, I learned my husband had been repeatedly unfaithful to me — with other men. I can only imagine how fearful you are right now and how deeply sad. This is NOT what we’d imagined for ourselves, is it? I won’t say this is easy it even now, seven years later, that I’m entirely over it. I’m not. But I can say two things: God us faithful. And He will never let you down. I will pray for you.

  • Ellie- I was in that same place a few years ago at Christmas, when I was 7 months pregnant with our third child. I came to God for answers and direction but Ge remained silent. As heart breaking as it was, I had plenty to be thankful for, my salvation, my health, my friends and family who loved and supported me, my home, my children. Don’t allow the choices of one man dictate the way you feel about your life and God. People have free will that God does not take away from them. God is not allowing your husband to walk out, your husband is making that choice on his own. That being said, my marriage was spared from divorce and we have walked thru a long and challenging restoration to get to where we are today. There is still hope. Even if you do divorce, I hope you are able to see that God has not abandoned you, even if your husband has. I wish you well and hope you draw closer to God in this difficult season.

  • Leenda324

    Love it. The playlist is brilliant.

  • I just wrote a devotional with the same message! Amazing!

  • monique(forgiven)

    Hi elle just know that tears are a prayer in itself. When we don’t have the words to say.cry out to God because he hears you. And one day there will be no more tears so I’m praying that God will restore you and your marriage.God bless sis and always remember that you are blessed:)

  • I just want to say that I love this playlist! It is awesome!

  • I don't know how I feel about this.

    I am going through a tough time with my husband. We may be headed towards divorce. I don't know. I gave the situation to God, so I am no longer trying to figure out what happens next. What I can't get past is the loneliness and pain this has brought on my life. I spend most of my time alone now, and it's so easy to slip into horrible thoughts. I hurt so much. Every day is a battle, and I have no one to talk to.

    How do I give thanks and weep at the same time? I want to praise God. I feel like I should praise God. But praise God for what? Allowing my husband to drift away? I can't believe the direction that my life is headed in right now. I don't have a real thank you in my heart to offer right now.
    I'm sorry.

    • Laresa

      Elle, I am praying for you right now. If it brings any comfort to you at all, please know that in those times when we cannot pray, when we have no words, Jesus is whispering into God's ear for us. He is praying for you right now, and God will use your situation for good, no matter the outcome.

    • Becky

      Elle, I am praying for you now. In May of 2010, after 25 years of marriage,I began to realize my marriage might be over. It brings tears to my eyes to remember and to consider the feelings you are having now. My marriage is over and at the age of 50 I am still sorting out this new role God has placed me in. God is sovereign, he loves you and will work this out for your good. That is the truth, regardless of how you're feeling. He won't give up on you. Cling to that, to his word, to people he places in your life. I will keep praying for you.

    • jesusgirl71

      I am so, so sorry. lord, I lift this sister up to you right now. please help her to find You in all this, to know You are with her. In Jesus' name, Amen! I don't know what you can thank God for right now, but I do know he is with you and will somehow work things out for your good. (romans 8:28)

    • Andie

      Hello Elle: Remember that you have worth and value on your own! You were happy and yourself before you met your husband and you can be now! Your worth and happiness is not tied to another human being. You have your own path to walk with much happiness in store from God–it's time to fall in love with life and your dreams and God again! Believe me I know what you mean about hard times, I've been through some and nearly lost my life, but I knew God was there amid the turmoil and that is what I thanked Him for–I thanked Him for never leaving my side and giving me a new vision for my life. I still thank Him today in spite of what I went through. None of that matters anyway, we live in an imperfect world and things do happen and I'm so sorry for what you are going through! But the point is that He is there with you and directing you toward a new season of, yes, happiness in your life. I don't know what it is exactly that God has for you but I do know that sometimes he takes some things away so we may grow into our full potential or because they weren't right for us anymore or sometimes He heals them. I don't know which but I encourage you to trust Him and know with all your heart that God has many good things and happiness for you in the future. Draw close to Him.

    • Andie

      Hello again Elle: Just wanted to share this wonderful sermon by Bishop TD Jakes: Your Faith Must Stand Trial
      Hope you are as blessed by it as I am! Don't forget God loves you!

  • Amanda Williams

    Good morning, friends! One of you wrote in this morning to let us know that Spotify is not available in your country. Here is the playlist in written form for those of you who may not be able to access it. Have a wonderful Saturday!

    Give Thanks | She Reads Truth
    1. New Doxology by Gateway Worship
    2. Blessed Assurance by Jadon Lavik
    3. Thy Mercy, My God by Sandra McCracken
    4. His Eye Is On The Sparrow by Kate Conlon
    5. Amazing Grace by Jadon Lavik
    6. Give Me Jesus by Fernando Ortega
    7. Come Thou Fount by Audrey Assad
    8. Great Is They Faithfulness by Yvonne Marie
    9. My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less by The Outliers
    10. It Is Well With My Soul by Chris Rice
    11. Come Ye Disconsolate by Nathan Clark George
    12. Be Thou My Vision by Fernando Ortega
    13. To Christ The Lord by Laura Taylor/Indelible Grace Music

  • littlelionmama

    One of the things I am so thankful for this year is you, She Reads Truth. You have this tired mama of two racing to beat her babies up in the morning so she can dive into the Bible and spend time with Jesus. I look forward to my time with Scripture and to learning from you. If I don't get to it before they wake up, we do it together. I am so thankful for all the work you do. For all the love you pour into this. You help to build this girl up every day. I just wish there was a way I could do the same for you ladies! Praying for you all and the work you pour into this ministry. God is using you in great ways and I am so blessed to be able to receive from you.
    With Love.

    • journeyingwithhim

      I feel the SAME WAY. I get so excited to get up, have my cup of coffee, and feel like I am spending time with Jesus and in community. This is truly one of the best things about my day, every day!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the time, energy, and resources you put into this ministry. From this tired mom to you tired moms…God is using you in a mighty way. XOXO

    • DebBates

      Amen! Well said.

  • camnlisa

    So need this right now… Exactly how I've been feeling. Dreading the holidays because it's hard to find joy when I'm so overwhelmed with the pressure of my circumstances.

  • Do I have to pay for spotify to listen to this playlist?

    • Amanda Williams

      No! Spotify is free. (There is a premium membership available, but you don't need it for this.:)

      • Jean

        When I click on a song it takes me to spotify. I click on the song again and it pops up to tell me that only premium users can play on demand. I wonder what I'm doing wrong? Thoughts?

        • Michelle

          I can't get it to work eitherI had to install the app on my tablet and then find each song individually and create a playlist myself.

  • Joanne Sher

    Oh, does this one sound wonderful – and NEEDED! Can't wait to dig in on Monday. Thanks, Ladies!

  • Bunmi Adek

    Giving thanks to God is not something to be seasonal. Everyday of our life, in the good and bad, right or wrong he deserves to be thank. We owe him countless praise and thanks everyday of our lives. God bless you sisters.

  • I've been looking forward to this study! I've read the 2012 SRT Thanksgiving Plan (just last week) but did not really study or write a journal about it.. I've been preparing my heart for this one.. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, but I know that a grateful heart is much needed in our country right now especially in the midst of the calamity that just came upon us. Sharing this to my friends and hoping that they'll join us this coming Monday!

    Thank you SRT writers for all your efforts! Praying for you as you write our Advent study! Good morning and God bless sisters! :)

    • Joanne Sher

      Praying for you and your countrymen, Misce!

    • journeyingwithhim

      Your attitude is inspiring and reflects Him so brightly. We are praying for your country.

    • Julie Chapman

      Oh my goodness, when I saw your name in the comments I immediately wondered if it was the same Misce that I chat with/pray for on Instagram. I was thrilled to see that it really was the same person. God is so awesome! I have been praying for you and your family during this time. I love that SRT brought us together. Looking forward to your posts on this study of giving thanks.

  • Mary Falk

    Beautifully said! May I always give thanks in all that God wants for me.

  • excited!! Thanks for the playlist as well!

  • So looking forward to renewing my Thanks! God is Good!!

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