With Thanksgiving being two days ago, I cannot help but reflect on all that I have to be thankful for this year. Truthfully, Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. Outside of the obvious reasons as to why a recovering anorexic would hate Thanksgiving, something about isolating Thankfulness to one day of the year just doesn’t sit right with me. I also find it ironic that as a society, we choose the one day we set aside to be thankful to eat more food than is necessary and plan out all of the gifts we need to buy for Christmas. Somehow we go from feeling hashtag blessed to hashtag I need a new clearance T.V in less than 24 hours. It’s a day focused on abundance instead of appreciation. I don’t mean to hate on Thanksgiving because I do love spending time with my family and wouldn’t trade my family traditions for the world; however, I just wish as a society we could make Thanksgiving a little more simple and a little less selfish. This year there was a Verizon commercial with the slogan ThanksGETTING!!!! I literally do not understand how that idea made it past the drawing board. Ughh. Rant over.
Today, I feel overwhelmed with blessings. In fact, everyday I feel overwhelmed with blessings. Every morning, I wake up excited for something. I love my job and the people I work with everyday. I am surrounded by loving friends and family. I am passionate about what I am studying in school, and for the first time can see myself being successful in the future.
Three months ago, I felt much different. I would wake each morning only excited for 6pm when I would get to come home from work. It wasn’t like I hated school or work, but compared to other college students, I felt like my life was lacking. I’m spending my first two years at community college to save money which means sacrificing the “college” experience. I am working 25-30 hours a week which means sacrificing afternoons studying in a coffee shop. I am booked from 9-6 almost everyday, and the lack of flexibility can feel restricting ( I know…welcome to adulthood). I was comparing my life and schedule with my friends’ schedules, and it made me feel like I was missing out. The problem with comparison is that it establishes someone as either better or worse than someone else, and we are neither.
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6: 4-5).
I had been making myself a victim of my life, and I was walking with a spirit of defeat and dread. Finally, it occurred to me that my schedule wasn’t the problem, my perspective was. Choosing to live with a spirit of thankfulness daily will change your life without actually changing anything about your life. I began praying for a spirit of content, joy, and peace. I began to pray that God would open my eyes to the miracles around me. I have never felt happier, despite the fact that my life is practically the same today as it was a few months ago.
In life, we tend to be thankful for the things that are going great in our life. We are thankful for our health when we are healthy. We are thankful for our finances when we feel secure. We are thankful for our family and friends that we get along with. But what about the things in life we don’t think are going the way we want. It’s a lot harder to be thankful for our health when we are sick, or for our finances when we are struggling to pay the bills. Today, God is reminding me that there is ALWAYS a reason to be thankful. More specifically, there is never a reason NOT to be thankful!
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7).
Having a spirit of thankfulness is not dependent on life circumstances. A spirit of thankfulness comes from realizing God’s love and grace for his undeserving children is the biggest blessing we can have. A relationship with God leaves the spirit with abundance. I am thankful for God’s unrelenting, unconditional love. I am thankful that through Him, I am fearless. I am thankful for the unknowns in life, the closed doors, the hard days, the times I failed, the times I faced rejection, limitations, embarrassments, and the disappointments. I am thankful for these things because I know that because of God’s grace, these things do not define me and they can not stop me from achieving God’s plan for my life. I am thankful because God is on my side in all seasons, and I don’t know what else I could ever need.