/ Dr. Kathy Koch /

Thanking, thinking, and feeling are related.

As I wrote about in Screens and Teens, thankfulness is an old Anglo-Saxon word that means “thinkfulness.” When thinking leads to thanking, grateful can be who we are, not just something we say and do. Now we can be thankful “in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I pray we all slow down to think about and reflect on our lives and what we can be thankful for. We rush from here to there and might be more aware of past loss than how we’re currently blessed.

Then, to feel our feelings about our blessings is powerfully important. Our hearts can motivate us to keep looking for what’s good and glorious. Our feelings can direct us to those in need.

I don’t know about you, but when I think and feel, I realize there’s much to be thankful for. My list is long! So many people give to me from their time and talent. I’m personally blessed by many and this ministry is served well by many of God’s finest! They challenge me to look to see who I can bless. Financial contributions to Celebrate Kids also bless all of us here!

Truths found in Exodus 35 have inspired me lately. When Moses describes contributions for the tabernacle, we read much about the gifts of resources, wealth, time, and talent. These phrases appear:

  • People’s “hearts moved them.”
  • “All who were of a willing heart …”
  • “All the women whose hearts stirred them …”
  • All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.”

The heart! When we’re in touch with our hearts, so much good can happen. We’ll want to participate, help, serve, and give freely.

Is your heart open and willing and being stirred this season? Are your thoughts reminding you that you have much to be grateful for? Will prayers of gratitude be easy for you this week and next month? I hope so!

Look around you. With your resources, time, and talent, you can support organizations doing good work. Many people are in need at the same time that many of us have much to be grateful for. You can check with your church and local schools to see how your resources can bless others.

What is your heart stirred to do? Who do you care about? What causes do you want to bless? What thoughts have you had that you can’t shake? You go to bed thinking about these people and things. You wake up feeling for them.

Now, I pray many of us put action to our thoughts and feelings as the people in Moses’ time did. Not only will we have more to be grateful for because we were active, but we’ll give others something to be grateful for. This is an important win-win!

Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks, and other events. She is a regular speaker for Care Net, Summit Ministries, and Axis. She also speaks for other organizations, churches, schools, and pregnancy resource centers. In addition, she hosts Celebrate Kids conferences through their Ignite the Family conference division. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio, she was featured in Kirk Cameron’s movie, Connect, and she has written and published five books with Moody Publishers, including Five to Thrive, Start with the Heart, Screens and Teens, 8 Great Smarts, and No More Perfect Kids (with Jill Savage). Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.