Monday, November 25, 2013

Cultivating Thankfulness

Colossians 3:15-17 (MSG) ~
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

There is a "trend" on facebook where everyone is listing something they are thankful for every day throughout the month of November.  It's not a bad idea and I've been blessed doing this myself as well as reading friend's thankful status updates.

But Thanksgiving is something I want to do all year long.  Not just one month out of the year. As believers we are to cultivate or develop thankfulness in our lives.  We are to be thankful not just when things are going well, but when things are falling apart.  In fact, as these verses state, we are to thank God every single step of the way of our lives.

And that's hard.  Hard when things are tight financially and we are just one crisis away from flat broke.  Hard when our medical benefits are stopping much earlier than we anticipated and there was a glitch in signing up for different benefits.  Hard when I need a root canal and have to pay it out of pocket.  Hard when people say thoughtless and unkind things.  Hard when I have a mile long to-do list and not enough hours in a day.  Hard when our brand-new-to-us car is already having a mechanical problem.

I'd rather hide under the covers than face the world.  The morning dawns and I feel the cold vice of anxiety and dread wrap itself around my heart and stomach. Yet, I am choosing to face the new day with thanksgiving on my lips.  

Because thanksgiving is really a choice we make, isn't it?  We can choose to be thankful or choose to grumble.   We can choose to focus on the negative and problem, or choose to focus on the Lord and His solutions.  We can choose to be miserable or choose to be joyful.

So I'm choosing to thank the Lord for another day.  I'm choosing to be thankful that I have another opportunity to put these things into practice.  I'm making the choice to be thankful in advance for how He is going to work, even if I can't see the end result.  I'm choosing to be thankful for life.

And most importantly, I'm choosing to be thankful for another opportunity to cultivate thankfulness.

Today, I'm thankful for blessings #1827- 1835

♥ Being released from my many responsibilities as people step up and take things from me in anticipation of our move.

♥ Our piano has been given a good home.

♥ A beautiful recommendation letter for our son.

♥ Friends who helped us out.

♥ A well-stocked refrigerator in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

♥ A very generous gift.

♥ Hugs from my daughter every day.

♥ Finishing up all my outstanding orders.

and finally....

♥ The cultivating process.