This year, I made a tangible list I could cross off as I go… and I wanted to start the year off with something other than anxiety… hence, the September Challenge. They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit- so after 30 days, I was really hoping I would have conquered this whole “give thanks in all circumstances” thing. Now that I’m on the other side, I wouldn’t say that I’m a pro at being grateful or anything… but I did learn a few things along the way. It’s nothing profound, just lessons that take root a little deeper when you’ve experienced them firsthand…
- sometimes the things we SHOULD be most grateful for are the things we take for granted because they’re always there and we just get used to their presence
- every good and perfect gift is from God… not from coincidence or from good luck… but from our gracious Creator who knows what we need and when we need it
- writing every day what you’re thankful for can be addicting… and contagious… and severely alters your prayer life
- being thankful for a crockpot is no less holy than being thankful for a good sermon…
Some days I had to really stop and reflect on the day to wrestle up three things I could write in my journal… but other days, there were too many to count. Our perspective of blessing is an ebb and flow, a constant give and take. The overall message reiterated to my heart, though, was that whether in plenty or in want, there is always… and I do mean always… something to be thankful for. God’s extravagant love and his crazy abundant grace should alone be enough to fill our hearts for a lifetime of gratefulness.
Perspective is a choice no one else can make for us… gratitude isn’t an automatic response- we’re more prone to react with jealousy, comparison, selfishness… but like one of my favorite quotes says: “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.” May we learn to “water” our lot in life and cultivate a perspective of appreciation. May we get to a place of saying, “My cup runneth over”… because if we stop and think about it, we really do have more than we could ever need.