"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD" (Psalm 116:17).

A new day to homeschool waits in front of you, but already your restless mind is walking you through the countless problems and chores left over from yesterday. You feel the negativity crawling up your back like an impending viral cold. Once again, you face the choice of feeding the white dog of hopeful expectations and thankfulness or the black dog of despair and complaining. Which dog will you choose to feed with your thoughts?

To feed the white dog of thankfulness is really a choice each of us makes. After all, doesn't everyone have issues to deal with in life? Maybe the issues involve wayward children, a lack of finances, hurt feelings, or the loss of a loved one. Whatever the problem, God asks us to continue to look to Him and express a heart of thankfulness. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

There were ten lepers in Luke 17:13 who needed healing and cried out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Yet, why was there only one who came back to thank Christ when He healed them of their dreaded disease? Apparently nine of them hadn't yet learned the lesson of feeding the white dog of thankfulness. Selfishly, they went on their way enjoying their good fortune. However, one leper understood like Job that it was God who gives us everything we have: "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21b).

How about you? Which dog is barking at you the loudest today? Will you choose to feed the white dog with thankful thoughts for your children, home, and other blessings, or will you feed the black dog with your thoughts of frustration, failure, and anxieties over what you do not have? Both dogs want to grow stronger in your life. Which will you feed?

Jesus, forgive me when I feed the black dog of my sinful and selfish nature that says, "Life isn't fair!" Forgive me for whining like a puppy and help me to express a heart full of thankfulness in praise to You today. In Jesus' name, Amen.