Finding Thankfulness

Good morning all!  Seeing as how this is my very first blog post on my new blog, I’ve been praying about what to write.  Should I write about new beginnings, or past experiences?  Or maybe an in depth look at some person in the Bible?  What if I write an inspiring revelation or epiphany that I’ve never seen before?  My mind was going crazy about all the wonderful subjects I could write about!  And then, as I was filling up my watering can to haul back and forth many times to my small vegetable garden behind the house and my blooming flowers and herbs on the front porch, a small, little thought grazed my mind.  Thankfulness.  I should write about thankfulness.

Why thankfulness when here I am hauling a small watering can around my house at 9:30 AM in the sweltering morning summer sun at least five times to water my plants?  Why thankfulness when I go back into the house just to see all of the dishes I will have to hand wash – again- and all of the laundry I will have to wash, dry, fold, and hang up – again-, and wipe down countertops, dust, sweep, throw away, pick up, put up, move around, plug in, unplug, make the beds, rearrange, fluff, and wipe all over again? Because I should be so thankful for all of those things.

Thankfulness, I believe, can come in many different forms: our thoughts, our words, our actions towards ourselves, our things, and others.  And how many times this summer have I grumbled and complained over trudging that watering can all over my yard with a grimace on my face and slumped shoulders?  How many times have I sighed heavily and glared at the sink piled a mile high with dishes, secretly fussing about was it me or my husband that created this mess?  How many times have I stared at the laundry pile in defeat because I just watched it grow from one basket to four?  All of my actions, thoughts, and words spoken to myself, my husband, and my family have not shown any thankfulness for what I have to do every day.

It’s so EASY to get into that mind frame of complaining, grumbling, and groaning over things we do or do not have control over.  But it’s HARD to make yourself see the good things in what you are having to do.  But it is POSSIBLE!  Here’s a few suggestions to help you become more thankful in the day.

  1. SPEND TIME WITH GOD.  Talk to the Lord immediately when you wake up.  As soon as you begin to stir and thoughts begin to run through your mind, begin to thank God for the day.  Get up and go to a quiet place, maybe a closet or spare room, and pray.  Pray for friends and family, church members, and yourself.  Beginning the day in prayer encourages you to keep your mind elevated on the good things.
  2. IDENTIFY THINGS YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR.  As you begin to move around your home, look for things for which you can be thankful.  For example: I am so thankful I have a bed to sleep on.  Thank you Lord for indoor plumbing.  I am so blessed to a husband and children to clean up after.
  3. READ THE WORD OF GOD.  Spend time reading the Bible.  You’d be surprised how much better your day will go if you read a few encouraging or uplifting scriptures before you go to work or begin your day.  Some of my favorites?  Philippians 4:6-8. Ephesians 5: 19-20. Psalm 100.
  4. SING SONGS OF THANKFULNESS.  I don’t know how many times putting in one of The Collingsworth Family or The Gaither Vocal Band CD’s has not only made time go by faster because I was belting it out with the best of them, but made my mind focus on the joys of the Lord!  Dish and laundry mountains seem like harmless little hills when I get to singing songs to the Lord!
  5. PRAISE HIM IN ALL THINGS.  When we begin to praise the Lord for the things we don’t seem to be thankful for at first, the thankfulness for what we have in our lives will inevitably follow.  Praise Him for all of those dishes you have to hand wash all over again because you are blessed to have something to put your food on every day.  Praise Him for all of those mismatched socks, towels, and clothes that need to be sorted, folded, or hung up because you are blessed to have more than one outfit to wear.  Praise the Lord for all of those household chores that seem to wait on you every day because you are blessed to have a home.

God’s goodness in our lives can be so very evident if we search for it.  I do not want to live my life griping and complaining at everything that God has blessed me with.  What if He took it all away?  What if one day I have no chores to do because I have no home?  I want to be thankful now for what I have rather than wish I had been thankful for it while I had it.

An event took place once that confirmed this message of thankfulness in my life.  Nicolas and I had some visitors and we had the pleasure of showing them our home.  After spending some time with them, I realized that they did not have the same privileges and blessings as we did.  They viewed us as extremely blessed, and we received some beautiful compliments on our small house and smaller yard.

I felt about as small as a green pea.  I had just been complaining about multiple things in and out of our house and here comes some visitors to my home who saw a mansion.  It didn’t take me long for me to realize what God was trying to tell me.  Be thankful for what you have because there are others who may never get the opportunity to have a home and cars and a home life as beautiful and blessed as I have it right now.

I sheepishly apologized to my husband after they left for my terrible attitude, and then I told him how thankful I was for all of our blessings.

So this morning, as I carefully carried that watering can to my vegetable garden, I could see the fruits of my labor.  The simple, easy chore of watering a garden every day produced a tall tomato plant that can’t hold up it’s branches for the large green tomatoes growing on it’s limbs.  I have three yellow squash that seemingly have appeared out of nowhere and one zucchini that hasn’t decided if it wants to grow yet.  I am so thankful for the chore of having to water a garden with a watering can because when I can pluck those vegetables, wash them, cut them, season them, and cook them, I can truly enjoy the fruits of my not-so-hard earned labor.

 

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