Thankful in All Things

It is November, my favorite month of the year. The bushes and trees are all dressed in their fall finery. I can see the vibrant hues of red, gold, and green from my window. When the rays of the morning sun fall on the earth, I am thankful for the glory and beauty God has created. Have you noticed lately?

I know this is also a very busy season of the year for most of us. The stores are all gearing up extra early it seems for Christmas. The local transit buses are displaying the “Happy Holidays” sign. All this activity lowers our immune systems. Many friends are coming down with colds, allergies, and unexplainable illnesses. On top of it all, most of us have to deal with end of year work-related stresses.

But, amidst the negatives and pressures of life, I make a conscious effort to focus on the positives and give thanks each and every morning when I first wake up. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude helps set the tone for my day. It helps me to handle the inconveniences and rudeness of people and situations.

Take today for example. I was walking up the hill carrying, as usual, too many heavy grocery bags. I prayed for someone to give me a ride up the hill and before I was a third of the way up, a neighbor on the opposite side of the road slowed to ask if I wanted a ride. Now, let me tell you how thankful I was for her! She made a U turn and pulled up beside me.

“Which entrance would you like to be dropped at?” she asked. Wow, talk about service. She was an angel blessing. The Lord certainly heard and answered my prayer. Now the reason I am sharing this story is to show you how much God really cares about all His children, and when we maintain an attitude of gratitude I think that is pleasing to Him. So, friends, this season, despite all the hustle and bustle, slow down to give thanks for the many blessings you have been given and then reach out and bless someone else!

Grateful for My Past

Now that another birthday has come and gone, I am more aware of how my past has shaped me into the person I have become. I realize that I am not only on a journey to faith, but also on a journey to healing. Neither path has been particularly easy unfortunately. But I am bound and determined to be as healthy as I can be and to help others on their journey as well.

I would dare venture to say that many of us have had unhappy, painful experiences in our past. In my case, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an abusive alcoholic father. I learned many unhealthy ways of coping as a child which I have carried into my adult life. Slowly, I am learning to reprogram my thinking as I become more aware of the unconscious thoughts that cause me to react in a certain way.

During this month, I am choosing to be thankful for my past, my parents, and all those who have hurt me in some way. They have all been teachers sent to heal my soul and to teach me better ways of thinking and living.

I know this post is a bit deeper than most, but this is what has been on my mind today. As you reflect on your past, is there any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger? If so, I encourage you this season to feel those feelings and then let them go. Replace them with the positive energies of love and forgiveness and then choose to be thankful for where you are today. “God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

Grateful for My Past

Now that another birthday has come and gone, I am more aware of how my past has shaped me into the person I have become. I realize that I am not only on a journey to faith, but also on a journey to healing. Neither path has been particularly easy unfortunately. But I am bound and determined to be as healthy as I can be and to help others on their journey as well.

I would dare venture to say that many of us have had unhappy, painful experiences in our past. In my case, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an abusive alcoholic father. I learned many unhealthy ways of coping as a child which I have carried into my adult life. Slowly, I am learning to reprogram my thinking as I become more aware of the unconscious thoughts that cause me to react in a certain way.

During this month, I am choosing to be thankful for my past, my parents, and all those who have hurt me in some way. They have all been teachers sent to heal my soul and to teach me better ways of thinking and living.

I know this post is a bit deeper than most, but this is what has been on my mind today. As you reflect on your past, is there any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger? If so, I encourage you this season to feel those feelings and then let them go. Replace them with the positive energies of love and forgiveness and then choose to be thankful for where you are today. “God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

Be Thankful!

November is here and it is the month of Thanksgiving. I love this month for several reasons: it is my birthday month,the trees are so beautiful, and I love celebrating Thanksgiving.

I like to dedicate the entire month to focusing on gratitude. A tradition I started at my house many years ago was to put out a small basket with a pad of paper and a pen next to it. The basket is known as the “Blessing Basket”. Each day each member of the household and whoever comes into the home is to write down one thing for which they are grateful for and put it in the basket. It can be anything, but the idea is to focus on the many blessings in our lives. Then on Thanksgiving Day, we read all the slips of paper. They are anonymous of course, but it really makes us realize how much we have been given.

I know I have much to be thankful for: a lovely home, two wonderful sons, a good job, restored health, and good friends. I am also thankful for the intangibles in my life: the fact that I have an intimate relationship with Jesus and the fact that I have been given so many gifts such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and faith.

What do you have to be thankful for, dear one? Start each day giving thanks. Learn to develop an “attitude of gratitude” and you will see how your outlook on life changes. So when your next challenge comes up, perhaps you can look at it from a new perspective.

Be Thankful!

November is here and it is the month of Thanksgiving. I love this month for several reasons: it is my birthday month,the trees are so beautiful, and I love celebrating Thanksgiving.

I like to dedicate the entire month to focusing on gratitude. A tradition I started at my house many years ago was to put out a small basket with a pad of paper and a pen next to it. The basket is known as the “Blessing Basket”. Each day each member of the household and whoever comes into the home is to write down one thing for which they are grateful for and put it in the basket. It can be anything, but the idea is to focus on the many blessings in our lives. Then on Thanksgiving Day, we read all the slips of paper. They are anonymous of course, but it really makes us realize how much we have been given.

I know I have much to be thankful for: a lovely home, two wonderful sons, a good job, restored health, and good friends. I am also thankful for the intangibles in my life: the fact that I have an intimate relationship with Jesus and the fact that I have been given so many gifts such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and faith.

What do you have to be thankful for, dear one? Start each day giving thanks. Learn to develop an “attitude of gratitude” and you will see how your outlook on life changes. So when your next challenge comes up, perhaps you can look at it from a new perspective.