I Wanted More (the Power of Giving Thanks)

Gold Brush Stroke

It’s easy to miss the blessings of what you have when you’re focusing on what you want.

It's easy to miss the blessings of what you have when you're focusing on what you want. Share on X

For years,

I didn’t embrace the gift of my marriage because I wanted children.

Later, I didn’t adequately celebrate the children I had because I wanted more.

And then, I didn’t appreciate the health of my family because I wanted my daughter to be without special needs.

I couldn’t fully appreciate the wonderful things in my life because I obsessed about having even more wonderful things. My arms held precious treasures, yet I wanted more riches.

Have you seen this to be true in your life? Do you find your heart wanting more instead of being grateful? Is it a struggle to find the good in your days? 

Lord is good


The biblical account of the life of Abraham and Sarah fascinates me. Their faith is astounding, especially Abraham’s. Yet I wonder,

Although obviously blessed with material wealth (and it also appears he had relatively good health, loyal servants, and a wife that loved him), did Abraham stumble around blind to those blessings at times because his focus was on the one he didn’t possess—that of a son?

And then when promised abundant offspring in his old age—children as numerous as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5)—and after his son Isaac was born, did he ask:

Only one son? Not even twins, Lord? Really? How is this abundance? 

Obviously a man of faith, I still wonder if Abraham became as blind to his blessings as I do when wishing for something I don’t have. 

Because a strong desire for something can mess with a person. It can mask the abundance we possess. It can make us forget the Lord’s faithfulness.

But because God is always good, there is always goodness in our lives.

Promises Fulfilled

God’s promise of children too numerous to count is just what Abraham received, despite its apparent impossibility. Generations later, we compose songs about “Father” Abraham. 

We can believe God’s promises for our lives too.

We may not get everything we desire, but we’ll always get everything God promised and much more than we deserve.

We may not get everything we desire, but we'll always get everything God promised. Share on X

The Lord promises abundant blessings, and He delivers them.

Our job is to trust Him. To allow the gifts we’ve already received fortify our hope for even greater gifts in the future, in and through His hands. 

Giving Thanks

Yet sometimes it’s hard to hold onto that hope. We lose sight of the goodness in our lives.

That’s when we need to be intentional with our thoughts. 

During those times/seasons when it’s hard to see blessings, we need to intentionally refocus. Instead of lamenting what we don’t have or stewing about what we want, it’s important to give thanks every day for what we do have.

I’ve found thanksgiving is not always as easy as it sounds, but it is incredibly effective. 

Begin with identifying one thing you’re grateful for each day for one week, then move to two things per day for one week. Finally, make note of three gifts in your life each day. 

If you struggle to find something good, ask someone close to you to help. It’ll become easier  over time.

I’ve been counting gifts now for more than 3 years thanks to Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare, and I can’t imagine ever stopping. (Read my entire list of daily gifts by clicking here.) My perspective has been radically transformed.

Now it’s rare indeed when I am stuck in want for an extended period.

Shifting our focus from “have nots” to “haves” redefines our lives and helps us experience a joy that reaches far beyond our circumstances. 

And, really, walking with your senses open to the gifts received, is the only way to fully live. 

Walking with our senses open to the gifts we've received, is the only way to fully live. Share on X

“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

Reflections: The Thanksgiving season is a great time to start (or continue) refocusing on want we have instead of what we want. Name one thing you’re grateful for today. Go ahead, celebrate in the comments below. 


By His Grace,



  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on November 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Practicing what Ann Voskamp has taught me has lightened my load and my heart. Yes, there are things I would like to have but, like the Apostle Paul, I have learned to be content with who I am and what I have. God has blessed us in spite of what we were earlier in our marriage. He has taken care of us and our son in ways I can not explain.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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