Giving thanks might not change our circumstances, but it can sure change our perspective. And that right there can make all the difference in the world!
I don’t remember exactly when it started, or even why.
But I got into the habit of making up these games when I was a young girl.
Well, they weren’t really “games” but that’s what I called them and it was my way of encouraging myself to do what was right…even when I didn’t necessarily feel like it.
And for some reason, it kind of worked.
Not always, but often.
The Wonderful Game of Giving Thanks
When I was a waitress, it was the Serve-the-Customer-Cheerfully Game.
I was determined to be pleasant to my customers, no matter how rude he or she was to me. It was a game I could always “win” because it solely depended on me doing my part. Not only did I win, but I frequently won over even the toughest of customers.
When I was a tired mom with small children, I played the Greet-Your-Child-With-A-Warm-Smile game.
I was committed to beaming at my little ones…even when all I really felt was bleary-eyed and grumpy. Another winning game because I simply had to smile and I usually got a smile in return. And that way, we both had a better start to our day.
Then somewhere along the way, I began the We-Have-So-Much-to-be-Thankful-For Game.
And this game is my very favorite!
Whatever was going on in our day – in our lives – I had to find something for which I could be thankful.
Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep, but I could be thankful that I had a warm, soft bed to sleep in (when I could sleep, that is).
Maybe my laundry room was full-to-overflowing, but I could be thankful that at least we had clothes…and children to put them on.
Some situations were more challenging for which to be thankful, but even there…..
Maybe our daughter couldn’t walk, but we’re thankful that she can talk…and talk…and talk.
Maybe my mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s, but we could be thankful that she lived with us so we could care for her in those difficult days.
A Heart Full of Thanks
One of the nicest things about this game is that it’s surprisingly catchy!
Like the other night, for instance. The boys were starting to complain about cleaning the dinner dishes when I saw one of our sons change his expression right in the middle of his sentence.
He stopped suddenly as he had this ah-ha moment and then slowly said to no one in particular, “Well, I guess we could be thankful that we have a family to feed.”
Then a moment later, “…and that we had dinner to eat. And that’s why we have all these dishes to clean up.”
I smiled at him.
This is the attitude that changes everything.
Thankfulness might not change our circumstances, but it can sure change our perspective and even our hearts.
And that right there can make all the difference in the world.
Starting right here in our very own home.
So, friend, I pray this holiday season that your heart will be full of thanks long past Thanksgiving Day. And that your joy and thankfulness will spill over to everyone you encounter over the coming season.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ I Thess. 5:18
With thanks for you,
A Thankful Heart: Do You Have One?
We’d love to invite you to the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast this week where Matt and I are talking about what the Bible says about giving thanks. Also, how do you develop a thankful heart? And, if life’s a mess, is giving thanks even realistic? Is it reasonable?
Please join us for this encouraging and challenging conversation!
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
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