"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Giving Thanks in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Department of Tourism Photo
Posted by Hello

It’s nice to get away from our daily routine. In autumn, a drive through the mountains enjoying the spectacular range of color the Lord has created can be restorative.

A few years ago, I took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with family. The weather cooperated with temperatures in the seventies and a slight breeze. Just right.

It looked as if everyone who goes to Gatlinburg came that weekend. You couldn’t move your car down the main street more than a few feet at a time, or edge more than two feet through a store without running into someone or something- usually someone’s stroller. Ouch!

To add insult to the injury (from the strollers!) we were charged double the going rate for our motel simply because of the demand. We checked in and after shopping, we came back to find we had no place to park.

Although I remained thankful the Lord gave us a safe trip and the means to go, what was supposed to be relaxing became an exercise in patience. It would have been easy to forget about thankfulness and become as impatient and rude as some of the travelers.

Thankfulness is an attitude. The American Heritage Dictionary says thankfulness is “to be aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful and to be expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.” Isn’t it better to smile at someone than frown? It is better to speak kinds words than lash out in anger.

When we have to wait in line to pay for something, rather than be impatient, why not use that time to thank God for our money? When we have to wait a whopping twenty minutes to be seated in a restaurant, let’s breathe a prayer of thanks that God provides us with another meal. We are so blessed we forget there are millions of people in the world who have no idea where their next meal will come from.

Psalm 69:30 says, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

We sing a chorus, ‘Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart’. When our hearts are grateful, we make up our minds to be thankful - no matter what the circumstances. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I’m thankful my heels have healed up. Those strollers hurt!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the beauty of this world, and for Your many blessings. I pray I'll be grateful in spite of and in the midst of life's circumstances. You're so good to me. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

"Giving Thanks in Gatlinburg" won third place in a writing contest sponsored by AFFA Communications. 
*Gatlinburg Department of Tourism Photo
**Originally posted November 19, 2004


Anonymous said...

Donna, Gatlinburg is probably my favorite place on the planet. Let me know next time you're going and I'll give you some good places to stay. This is the season of the "leafers" so its always packed, but what glorious beauty! God's handiwork. HE has painted a picture there around every corner. Thank you for reminding me to bridle my impatience and instead, use that time to count my blessings. Like knowing you for instance.

Queen Jaw Jaw
The Queen of Experiences

Paula said...

Thanks Donna,

I'm going to go to bed praying for an attitude of gratitude!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Awww...thanks, Queen JJ.

Paula, I believe that was the title of my husband's sermon last year at Thanksgiving, "Attitude of Gratitude." Good thought!

I had a hard time deciding which picture to use. There are many wonderful pictures of the autumn leaves on-line. They are breathtaking, and even more so in person. We oohed and aaahheed all the way home.


glenniah said...

Well they do say that frowning takes more muscles than smiling, I think it was muscles anyway, so that's a good incentive right away.
If we just stopped and thanked God for all our blessings we would have no time to worry about the negatives.
How are your heels now Donna

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Hi, Glenniah. My heels are fine. :)

That's something to think about. I bet all those frowning people were really tired at night. *g*

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for this excellent reminder of the need for gratitude. Such reminders are needed often!


Gattina said...

I don't know it but it looks beautiful.

Anonymous said...

It's been a long time since I've been to Gatlinburg! Beautiful place.

Just stopping by with a hug and hello!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

It is beautiful with the rolling hills and vibrant colors. Of course - I'm thankful I get to stop into Aunt Mahalia's for Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark while I'm there! *grin*

Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca, Gattina, and Vicki.

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

Donna, you're so right. We can choose to be thankful--or otherwise. Can you imagine what it was like for all those moms trying to push strollers through that madhouse! Poor ladies. Bet they were wishing they were somewhere else!

We just moved from brown, drab Palmdale, CA to a small town in VA. It must be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. It looked similar to your photos a couple of weeks ago except that here you'll see one split rail fence after another. Gorgeous!

I enjoy poking around here every so often, but have been under a pile (of boxes from the move).

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Oh, don't I know it! I've been the mom with the stroller...a long time ago, and you're right - poor ladies!

How blessed you are to live in a place that looks like the picture above this post!

I'm sure you need a break from the boxes now and then, huh? I'm glad to hear you like the new location, and glad you dropped by!

Karen said...

Wow! I love the photo. Reading the bible and meditating in that serene place is truly breathtaking. Thank you for sharing this Donna :)

Nyambura Ngugi said...

Amen. We should always count our blessings. They are always more than the trials we face.

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