Christian Living


Mommy and the Joyful Three 11/23/10

Learning to Be Thankful

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18

Am I thankful? As this season of giving thanks has fallen upon us, I have been asking myself this question more and more. Being thankful is really a matter of perspective. We can choose to acknowledge the blessings or see the problems and daily life annoyances. It’s a choice.

This behavior is most apparent to me when I watch my children. They honestly don’t intend to be ungrateful, just as I don‘t. We live in a society where the next best thing always overshadows what gifts we have already received. It’s a vicious cycle of discontentment. When Myley and Sage beg for something and I get it for them, it is quickly tossed aside and the next thing they “need” is what I hear about.

When my husband and I were trying to conceive, I would fret and cry out to God after each negative test. I would wonder when it would be my turn. I literally would pound my fist on the bathroom sink in frustration. I’d do this as my two beautiful daughters played happily in the next room; I was too busy looking at the negative to see the gifts that I already had.

This happens all the time. I am given a gift, a wonderful meaningful gift, and I then quickly look around for what’s next.

The truth is God owes us nothing; we owe Him everything. We are fortunate He is all knowing, because if it were up to us we, would toss aside moments and opportunities as we tried to reach our next expectations.

When I buy my children something they ask for or do something for them, it means so much to me when I see them appreciate it. Like any parent, I love to watch them enjoy what they receive and acknowledge it for what it is.

God doesn’t give us what we ask for immediately because He wants to see us enjoy what we have or He may be working with us on something we are not ready to move past quite yet.

When I was a child, a friend and I had a competition to see who could learn to ride their bike first. Our dads would push our bikes to the top of the hill and then race beside us as we flew down just in case we lost control.

My friend thought he was ready to go alone and told his dad so. His father told him that he was not ready and that he needed to be beside him. My friend wouldn’t hear it and he stubbornly pushed his bike up the hill. I will never forget his dad’s words before he went down the hill. “He’s just never thankful for what I do. He always thinks I know better.” He then shook his head and folded his arms as he watched his son fly down the hill by himself. My friend nearly made it to then end of the hill when he face-planted in the gravel.

It’s a painful reminder that sometimes we are not ready to move on to the next step of our lives yet. God may want us to keep our training wheels on a little longer and just be grateful for His presence and wisdom in our day.

God knows when we should have our children, when we should move, when we should try for a promotion, and when we should just be still in Him and reflect on the blessings we enjoy.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the whole season of giving and the reminder that we should be thankful for who we are, who He is, and what he’s blessed us with in this life.

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