Yesterday my husband and I decided it would be a fantastic day to put up the Christmas tree. I am a big decorator and so it drives me bonkers when our tree is up a month past Christmas day. But, we love Christmas and our gorgeous decorations so we compensate early tear down by decorating early. For this reason, every year our Christmas tree is always up before Thanksgiving!
Now all we need to do is focus on the big celebration quickly approaching at the end of November: Thanksgiving!
Having a thankful heart is something that is very hard to cultivate in today’s society. As of lately, I cannot even open my computer without being bombarded with the things that I “should” have. If I were to go to the mall, the Lord knows that I will be instantly hit with shame and frustration with all the things that I know my money can’t buy.
How can we live a thankful life when we are surrounded by the constant push of “needing more?”
This has been a very hard lesson for me to learn. In fact, I am still learning. It’s a never ending battle of reminding myself about God’s truth and pushing aside anything that does not lead me directly to God (which is virtually everything).
The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Pleased and relieved.
As my husband and I fight the good fight of being financially stable, I often find myself in a state that is far from being grateful. Oh how I wish that we were in a place where we could go out to eat without worrying if we are going over our strict budget.
But, after a lot of prayer and taking a hard look at my life I have come to the conclusion that it’s not how much/or little we have that makes us grateful — it’s our hearts. Sometimes, even the richest of people are often still wanting more. There are people who I know that own so much and are still unhappy. And, there are people that I know who have much less than myself and absolutely love their life!
How is that possible?
I know that with my current state of mind — if my husband and I made an extra thousand dollars every month, I would still be wishing we were making more. After this realization, I decided to go to the best resource we have: the bible.
Here’s what I found…
1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Colossians 3:15-17 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If I (and you) am consistently searching for earthly things which will give me joy, I will always be disappointed. Always. Although buying a new thing will be exciting for a time, that too will eventually wear out.
The only joy that will never, ever wear is our joy in the Lord. He is beautiful, perfect, and holy — He will never disappoint. Unlike the things that we buy; God knows what brings our heart joy. No amount of money can bring us the gratitude and joy that God can give us.
One of the tactics that I have found to be very successful is by praying that God will reveal all the things to which I should be grateful for! A couple of the ways that I remember these things is by keeping a gratitude journal and by displaying an answered prayer frame in our family room. God has (and will) always been very good at revealing to me what is needed to be revealed.
And you know what? You would not believe the amount of things that you will find yourself grateful for if you’re searching for them!
- My husband took the garbage out this morning.
- I was able to buy coffee creamer this morning — which should be considered a luxury.
- My daughter has fresh raspberries on her plate!
- The vacuum works and I was able to clean up a food spill yesterday with it.
- My family is safe and healthy.
There is so much to be grateful for if we could only learn to focus on it.
Try cultivating the idea of a gratitude journal this week and see how it changes your perspectives! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. As for me, I am going to continue to thank God for all that He has blessed me with!
P.S. Scroll down for a free “thankful” printable!
CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW TO PRINT