Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday, it's an attitude, and it shouldn't be reserved for one day each year. It should be a constant in our lives. Having an attitude of thankfulness, having a grateful heart can immensely change one's outlook on most situations, and by changing our outlook, we can often change our response to a situation or surrounding.
Some recent examples from my life:
1. I'm pregnant. I'm thankful that God gave us this blessing, and can therefore see the many blessings we are receiving in a situation that we feel completely unprepared for in many ways. We did not intend to have children yet, but God knew we needed this miracle baby at exactly this time for a number of reasons, some of which we've seen, some we won't see for many years to come, and some still that we may never know about at all.
If I had not decided to have a grateful heart toward this situation I would be filled with fear for the unknown, stress over financial needs we've incurred and needs yet to come, and anger that we weren't in control. But with a thankful heart we are TRULY blessed beyond measure with this precious gift.
2. Due to said pregnancy I've not been crafting much lately. It would be easy to get frustrated with myself and angry that I haven't had time/energy to sew/quilt as much as I was doing this time last year. However, with a heart of thanks I'm able to see not crafting so much has given me time to rest peacefully, time to read entertaining books, and less stress over getting things done. I have really enjoyed the time I have been able to spend in my chair reading and just being still.
3. I'm unable to travel at this point. If I did not have a thankful heart I would be sad that we don't get to get away for a little while because I always enjoy our trips away. Even if it is just a weekend or short holiday trip it's nice to be in a different environment for a short time. However, I'm thankful I get to see family who are willing to come to us. Thankful I get to sleep in my own bed and set the thermostat for my own comfort. Thankful I don't have to pack my closet since I never know what will work from one day to the next. Thankful that I know exactly what is going into our meals and that I can change my mind about what to serve if it doesn't sound good to me. Thankful that I won't have to deal with the foreign smells that come with being in some place other than home. Thankful I don't have to be couped in a car for hours on end. Thankful that I can choose the programs we watch on television. And most of all Thankful for the quality time we will have at home enjoying our family during this special time of year.
These may seem silly, and some of them really are simply because I am pregnant and that makes things different, but really the message is clear; Find the good, find the happy, find your thanksgiving. More often than not, one small aggravation or upset has numerous opportunities of thanksgiving attached to it.