Martha Stewart definitely does not live at my house. There are no picture perfect Thanksgiving decorations around here. I dragged Bob, our half-dead ficus, from the balcony to my living room to be this year’s Thanksgiving tree. I figure Bob may not make it through the winter, but at least he’ll have his moment of glory at Thanksgiving.
Each November, I take joy in remembering God’s blessings and counting His gifts.
Have you ever noticed that each day brings both blessings and trials? Your heart sings as you listen to worship music on the early morning walking trail, but then your car breaks down on the way to work. You smile when your daughter brings you a cookie she made, but then you see the mess on the kitchen floor.
Proverbs 15:15 says,
Timeline of Trouble or Feast of Blessing?
What determines whether we experience life as a timeline of trouble or a feast of blessing? Our attitude! Trials will always abound: that snarky memorandum at work, the dog mess you step in at the park, or the phone call bringing bad news. Most days also bring bountiful blessings: morning coffee, a good book, or the satisfaction of a job well done. A constant focus on our trials breeds despair, but choosing to count our blessings creates a greater sense of abundance and contentment.
This year I need Thanksgiving more than ever because September and October knocked the gratitude right out of me. Several challenges left me with a less than stellar attitude: an over-committed schedule, concern for a seriously ill family member, and my husband’s being out of town a total of 17 days.
Last week a conversation with my husband helped me realize I’d fallen into the “poor, over-worked, over-tired me” syndrome. I’d let distressing circumstances poison my perspective and prevent me from seeing God’s goodness. So I repented for my lack of gratitude.
I’m asking for grace to see my life as a continual feast of blessings.
Count His Kindnesses
To cultivate a more joyful perspective, I’ve taken up my 1000 Gifts list again. Every day in November I’m listing 10 things I’m grateful for. Intentionally giving thanks for gifts like these lifted my spirit yesterday:
- A sunny November morning
- Lentil soup with fresh mint for lunch
- Hysterical laughter while belting out “Respect” along with my kids and Aretha Franklin.
- Family game of Monopoly
Will you join me from now until Thanksgiving? How about making a list each day of 10 things you’re grateful for?
Let’s glory in God’s grace and count His kindnesses rather than meditate on misfortunes.
Now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for? How do you cultivate a thankful spirit? Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page.