Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Choosing to Be Thankful

In the American culture, the month of November is synonymous with Thanksgiving.   Not in giving thanks, but in the decadent meal prepared on the fourth Thursday in November.   We all have our favorite dish, or favorite Thanksgiving memory. It’s as American as apple pie (or in November, pumpkin pie).

If you use social media during the month of November you’ll see people participating in “Thankfulness Challenges”, and most of those posting are patting someone else on the back for being so good.   I never participate in those challenges, and people get all up in the air with me, and I’m ok with that.

What ever happened to being thankful, in the small things and the great, without being called on the carpet on social media sites?   Lest you think I’m pointing fingers, let me just say that I can be VERY guilty of being ungrateful.   Like many of you, I get so wrapped up in the cares of life that it’s easy to look at the things I don’t have and to become discontent and ungrateful.

In direct contrast to my above statement about thankfulness challenges, I’m going to issue one myself.   But I don’t want it to be posted for all the world to see. I don’t even want you to tell your friends and family.   What I’m going to challenge you (and me) with, is to intentionally give thanks to God in the midst of our circumstances.

If you’re wiping grimy hand prints off the refrigerator door for the umpteenth time, stop and thank God that He has blessed you with healthy, active, vibrant children who are capable of leaving handprints around the house.

In the midst of trying to figure out what to fix for dinner, thank God that you have food in the house, enough so that you are forced to decide which thing to choose for that day.   Thank Him that your babies will be going to bed with a full stomach, even if it is left over meatloaf.

In the midst of complaining about your husband’s shortcomings, STOP and thank God that He’s given you a husband who is faithful, supportive and who still finds you attractive in sweatpants and a ponytail .
We all face many things each day.   Deliberately look for opportunities to be thankful, and express that thankfulness to God. You’ll find that if you focus on being thankful, you’ll be far more content in life.

Let’s try to carry this practice with us past November and into the craziness of life. Thanksgiving should be a way of life, not just a meal in November.
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