Do you ever find yourself complaining more than giving thanks? Does it ever seem like your circumstances are so overwhelming that it’s hard to find even one thing to be thankful for? Believe me, I’ve been through times like that in my own life!
My friend Diane over at An Extraordinary Day has a weekly post called Joy Day where we are invited to share seven things each Sunday that we are thankful for. I like to take part in Joy Day as often as I can to keep myself in the practice of remembering the ways that God has blessed me.
This week, as I began to write out my list, I decided to do something a little different. During Thanksgiving week we are supposed to be turning our hearts toward the things we are thankful for but I know that for some of you who are going through really tough times that can be hard. This past year I have friends who have lost spouses, suffered illness, watched their children suffer, had marital difficulties, financial struggles, even lost beloved pets (we do love our pets). So I decided to start my list by thinking of the things I’m NOT so thankful for and as I wrote down my complaints I determined to counter them with positives.
Here is what I wrote for Joy Day this week:
1. I am 60 (EEEK!) and I am alive (Yes, I hit the big Six-OH last week).
2. I have bills to pay and we have the means to pay them.
3. My adult children live far, far away and we are closer than most moms and daughters I know.
4. My best friends are far, far away and God is giving me more new friends than I could’ve imagined.
5. My husband lives with pain daily and he still gets up and goes to work to take care of our needs.
6. My house is a mess and the Christmas decorations are all down from the attic and in the process of being put up. A delight!
7. I have too much to do and it is good to be strong enough to do all the things I do.
Do you see what I mean by turning complaint around to thankfulness? I’d like to get in the habit of doing this ALL of the time!
Scripture tells us to give thanks in all circumstances but this command isn’t for God’s benefit. When we turn our thoughts and hearts toward God in thankfulness we receive the blessing of a changed attitude and a changed heart!
Thankfulness cultivates an attitude of praise which is good for our own well being as well as the well being of those around us.
When we are thankful we are happier and it shows on the outside. A side benefit to this is more friends! People like to be around happy people.
When we acclaim God in the midst of our troubles we walk into the light of His presence and are able to rise above our circumstances. The circumstance may not change but WE are changed.
As we come upon this Thanksgiving holiday maybe you also would like to ask God to turn your attitude toward the positive and show you His light in the darkness. If you simply ask Him I believe that He will give you a new way of looking at your life and give you much to be thankful for.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving,