In the United States, Thanksgiving is this Thursday.
It is one of my favorite holidays because, while there is delicious food (what is a celebration without food?), the focus of the holiday is thankfulness. It is family, friends, good food, relaxation, and recounting everything for which I am grateful.
There’s the obvious things: food, a home, clothing, friends, family, etc. But what about the things that have stretched me to become more than I was a year ago? Is it possible to be thankful for those things?
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonions 5:16-18 NIV
Practicing gratitude in the midst of difficult circumstances has taught me to live above the circumstances.
Practicing gratitude when life is different than I expected has taught me to find the beauty in the change.
Practicing gratitude has taught my heart and mind to look beyond what I can see and trust that God’s plan is better, richer, and more interesting.
Practicing gratitude teaches me to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Practicing gratitude reorients my mind toward God’s mercy and grace. As songwriter and theologian, Michael Card wrote, “[God] cannot love more and will not love less.”
And if God’s love which results in salvation is all I have to be thankful for, it will keep me practicing gratitude every day for the rest of my life.
To answer the original question, yes, it is possible to be thankful IN everything.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
Thank you for reading these simple words each week and letting me hear your heart through your comments. I am grateful for YOU!
What are you thankful for that is unexpected? Leave a comment below.
If you live in the United States, may your Thanksgiving celebration be extra-ordinary this year. Remember and recount your blessings.
For those who live elsewhere, may today be a day where you pause to practice gratefulness.
Live your legacy today,
Kirsten D. Samuel
Aftershock Recovery Coach
8-week Program, Custom-paced Coaching, Remote, or In-person Sessions