This time of year, we hear a lot about being thankful. Of course, we know that we should be thankful all year round, but come November, there seems to be "extra pressure" to be grateful! Many of us have perhaps gone through some pretty difficult times in the past year. The world, and society seem to be spiraling out of control, many are hurting and out of work. And we are all supposed to be grateful?!
Well, let me take some of the pressure off...you don't have to FEEL thankful every moment of every day. Even with Thanksgiving coming up, and knowing in my head that I have so much to be thankful to God for....I don't feel entirely thankful every moment. My parents and my mother in law have all passed away in the last four years. This time of year..I miss them horribly. It's difficult to go through this time of thankfulness that I would normally celebrate with my parents, when they are no longer here. On the other hand, I still have my husband and my children. So, my goal every day is to find moments of thankfulness! God calls us to be thankful in all things. How do we manager to do this when most moments we don't feel thankful? It may sound like psychobabble, but changing our thinking can change our hearts when our feelings won't do what we know they should. Run a daily checklist of those thankful moments. When your two year old gives you a hug, or your teenager does laundry without having to be asked. We can even take negative moments and put them on our thankful checklist. When we feel overwhelmed by all the household chores...remember to be thankful you have a house. Many on the East Coast no longer have one. When your husband comes home late, be glad he came home at all. Be glad that he works hard to provide for you.
There are many ways that we can choose thankfulness, even when our feelings deny us. I propose that this time of year is not the epitomy of us being thankful, but the beginning of a change of habits. The habit of thankfulness is like any other habit, it takes time. What better day to START training our feelings to choose thankfulness, then this weekend? I'll give it a try...how about you?