Don’t keep your cares

And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place. But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God…”

Deuteronomy 1:31-32 NLT

Though this passage refers to a specific people in a specific time, it is applicable in our present day. In this passage, Moses was reminding the people of Israel of how God, in his kindness and fatherly love, had cared for them and guided them.

Despite all he’d done, they doubted and failed to trust him fully. They had a history marred with distrustful grumbling and complaining. Relatable?

Just as they did, we often find ourselves facing difficult situations as well. No level of positive mindset or toxic positivity will prevent this. We do not live in a perfect world. The evils and cares of the world will at some point affect us all. They remind us that this is not the original design and make us long for a heavenly home that is to come, but not yet. It is okay to take your distress and burdens to God, it is encouraged. He welcomes our disappointments, hardships, and sorrows. Prayer in this way is one of our most powerful tools in dealing with our woes. We are instructed to cast all cares on him.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:7 NLT

The danger is found when we keep our cares instead of casting them. They accumulate, they fester, they multiply; all while our faith diminishes. It is an insidious process resulting in distrust and discontented complaining.

This type of complaining calls into question whether he’s fair, if he’s even good, or if he even cares. It opens a crack to allow the enemy into plant seeds of doubt against God’s character, ushering in the same unbelief the people of Israel experienced.

Left to our own thoughts and reasoning, it is easy to lose sight of God’s mercy and grace, just as they did. Mercy reminds me that us that we are not receiving our just due for all of our mistakes and missteps, grace reminds us that we didn’t earn or deserve the blessings we have. They shift us to a posture of gratitude and humility. And humility reminds us that we don’t know as much as we think we do. God knows best.

And so, when we feel entitled to grumble, with humility and childlike faith, we can instead cast our cares and accept his will as the best thing, not because we understand it but because we trust him. He has already proven himself.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 NLT

So, today as many of us turn our hearts and minds toward gratitude and the giving of thanks, maybe this is the perfect time to complain less and cast more. I pray God will give us the strength to do just that. And as we gather and give thanks, I pray we experience his mercy and grace with truly grateful hearts.


The gratitude filter

It’s officially winter and it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

That’s debatable.

I love the holidays, but I’m more of a sun and fun girl. But my least favorite season—fall. I kind of hate it. Leaves dying, cold weather inevitably coming. To say I hate it is a little dramatic, but I’ve always thought fall was overrated.

I remember driving one day this fall and realizing the leaves on a specific type of tree had turned a brilliant orange. Others were red, green or yellow. But the orange stood out to me.  I’m thirty?? years old and I’ve never seen them this shade. I’ve always thought the fall colors were beautiful, but cliché as it may sound, I felt like I was seeing them anew. It was so much so that I asked a few of my family and friends if the leaves looked different to them this year.  It looked like the color saturation you see with a social media filter. For weeks, every time I drove I paid attention. I took alternative routes to see what the trees looked like in other areas. It was absolutely beautiful and it gave me a new respect for fall. Still, I couldn’t figure out why it looked so different, until I realized it wasn’t the trees.

It was me. I’m different this year.

I’ve been working on gratitude, being more present and savoring the moments. I guess it was a success because I found myself enthralled by something I used to be indifferent towards.  

I’ve found myself looking at things a little differently lately. I don’t know if it’s because of an approaching birthday, the ever raging pandemic, the innumerable ways my life has changed, or all of the above. Either way, things are different and I am different. The past two years have taught me a lot. Don’t take the small moments for granted. Savor your happiness. Find joy. Seek peace. Wisdom is more valuable than money. One of the most impactful lessons has been an old faithful. Gratitude.

In my lowest and highest moments this year, and I’ve had my share of both, there was always something to be grateful for. During one of my more difficult times I began listing five things I was grateful for during my nightly prayers. Some days my list went over five. Some days it was challenging because I honestly didn’t feel grateful. So I started listing small things like, being able to smell my favorite scent or something that made me laugh or smile that day. That caused a shift for me.

When I started looking for things to be grateful for, I started finding things to be grateful for.

This is a gentle reminder for anyone reading (mostly for myself) that when looking at your situation, it helps to use a filter. Look through a lens of gratitude and see what changes. Notice the difference in color, contrast and tone. Does it look any different? Is there anything you missed at first glance?

As my gratitude practice progressed, I began to list five of God’s characteristics to thank him for. His kindness, patience, love, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, friendship… I went on like this for a week and I never needed to repeat one.

When my circumstances aren’t overflowing with reasons to be grateful at first glance, I can look again with a different lens. And no matter the season, I can always be grateful to God for who he is. He never changes. He is always the same and because of that, I’ll always have a reason to be grateful.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

A prayer of gratitude


Thank you for the blessings you so graciously shower on me. I acknowledge my imperfection, I am so undeserving. Yet in your great mercy and love, you’ve adopted me, cleaned me up, and given me a hope and a future. It’s a blessing to be included in your plan. But most of all, it’s a blessing to be included in your family. I thank you for your great gifts and your benefits. I thank you for the table you have set before me. But I understand and acknowledge that the greatest gift you’ve given me is yourself. I don’t take it lightly, God. And today, I just want to thank you.

In Jesus’ name,