Giving thanks. Sometimes it’s hard to do when the holiday set aside for thanks-giving involves in-laws, slushy weather, disastrous kitchens, and crazy kids, not to mention those deeper extended family issues that materialize only on these blessed events.
But nonetheless, we are to do so. To give thanks, that is. And if you’re like me, continual thanksgiving conjures an image of this mama who smiles with a knowing head shake at the eternal stickiness on the doorknobs. A risen-early woman walking amongst the fallen leaves in grateful worship to her Creator. Perfectly fine with the dirty dishes.
These can be true. But they’re not usually true for me, if I’m honest. When I’m in the liturgical rhythm of laundry, laundry, laundry, my natural instinct is not to lift my arms in praise. I wish it was.
You know the only way I’m able to change my attitude from grumbling to grateful when I just don’t feel like it?
I just choose to say thanks. I don’t wait for my emotions to change.
I change Finn’s dirty diaper, I scrunch my nose, and I murmur without a smile on my face, “Thank you God for this little body You’ve entrusted me with.”
I open my inbox to untold unread emails and say, “Lord, thanks for this technology and these people in my life and this laptop.” I’m still bummed about all the email I need to process.
I open the minivan door and witness the horror that is the cacophony of clutter, and I say, “God, thanks for these little people that are home with me.”
And slowly, slowly, something miraculous happens. My heart changes. It really, really does. It’s usually not unicorns and sparkles outwardly, but it is prettier on the inside.
I’m still not in love with the poop or the what-is-that-on-the-floorboard?, but I’m a little more in love with the Giver of Life. I’m more aware of the unbelievable gifts soaked in my life. I’m humbled.
And so it is the same on Thanksgiving Day. There’s people and noises and casseroles and chaos, and often a sweet potatoed floor. And those perpetrators are reasons for thanks—they’re gifts from God.
This season, don’t wait for your feelings to flourish. Say thanks anyway, and see what happens.
In what parts of your life do you have to consciously choose to say thanks?
by Tsh Oxenreider, Simple Mom
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
You are right on the money when you say it is our choice to give thanks. Not because God NEEDS our thanks, but because He knows we NEED to thank Him. He knows that our hearts change, in a positive way, when we give thanks and God is all about loving His children. He has given us the gift of thanksgiving in order that it would transform us. One of the areas I struggle in giving thanks is when I am stressed out. I am learning to thank God for those people and situations that stress me out because I believe that God is working all things together for good. Though my children stress me out at times, I am so thankful that I have children.
Thank you for a very poignant post!
Thank you!!!! Thank you lord for giving me the technology to read this today. You read my mind! Tsh! Thank you giving me a good starting perspective this morning!
Beth Coulton says
This is so me, where I am right now. And I’m seeing thankfulness right the ship in so many areas of our family’s life…and I am so encouraged.
Which only serves to make me thankful.
Funny how that works. 🙂
Sandy Renaud says
What a great reminder! How I needed to hear that this morning. Our ‘House Sale’ fell through and we were half packed! BUT GOD knows the end from the beginning and he allows things to happen to his children from his ‘heart of love’. “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” Yes, I will choose to ‘give thanks’. I’m not going to wait for my emotions!
Bless you abundantly Tsh.
Marina @ Marina's Kitchen Table says
Thanks Tsh for sharing these words. I’m claiming them!!
You’re a blessing!!
Julie Sunne says
Yes, it’s in choosing to give thanks where the sacrifice and surrender are found. Good thoughts, Tsh!
Oh, I get this too well. For me it comes with guilt, too. There are things I wish I cared more about, and things I wish I didn’t care so much about. Urgh! I can’t always make myself “feel” a certain way, but I can make myself say thanks. Yes. So good…Always a process, but I’m in it for the long haul.
Rebekah Lyon says
Thank you for your honest words, Tsh. The things in life that I find myself conscientiously giving thanks would be those things I do not and may not have again this side of heaven. Good for the heart, soul and mind…always. May your Thanksgiving be full of gratitude and peace.
Beth Williams says
Giving thanks helps me to rid myself of the doldrums and puts the devil at bay! 🙂 Years ago I made a thankful journal of everything I could think of from God to electricity to health and jobs. It is about 246 or more items long. I make it a daily ritual to write down the things I’m thankful for each day in addition to those listed. All that helps put my day into perspective.
I believe giving thanks should be a daily activity and not just once a year. This will allow people,
especially youngsters, to see just how much they have and teach them to praise God for!
Thank you precious Lord that I have a job; a steady job that feeds and clothes my children. This is where I struggle the most with thanks. It’s not my dream job. I feel like a rat on a wheel, furiously running, but accomplishing nothing. There are few days when I feel that I have contributed something positive. But, for this current season, it is my job, and I am thankful to have it.
Paula McLane Jennings says
wow did I relate to this post! Great job!