This is a short and simple quote, but one that’s certainly not simple to carry out purposefully day to day. Here we are one week away from Thanksgiving Day in the USA, and I was compelled to put this on my letter board as a daily reminder. It has almost become cliché to “count your blessings” or “remember what your thankful for,” especially this time of year. They are beautiful thoughts, of course, and makings of some of my favorite songs and poems, but the problem with things that have become so familiar or commonplace is that they often have trouble reaching the depths of our hearts. In a world with an increasingly smaller attention span, we tend to take things in at a surface level—“oh isn’t that nice” because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy and then move on to the next photo and the next feeling. How can we find a way to make it actually affect our lives?
So, I’ve been pondering this truth. That our attitudes really can reflect gratitude in all circumstances. That gratitude is not just tallying up what things are clearly blessings and separating them in our minds from the things in our lives that are difficult; not just putting on rose-colored glasses to get into the holiday spirit—but really being grateful for EVERYTHING. The good and the bad. The struggles or trials that never seem to relent but are making us, deep down, into who God wants us to be. The discouraging relapses into illness as we are being healed that allow us to continue to learn and walk alongside others who are alone and hurting. The relationship struggles with others and, yes, even with ourselves that allow us to become better and more patient, loving versions of who we were yesterday—all if we allow God’s grace to rule in our lives.
This year I challenge all of us, including and especially myself, to consider a deeper perspective on gratitude as a living, breathing force in our lives, something that becomes part of the essence of who we are—not just a list of our favorite things.❤️