finding thankfulness :: being thankful

It’s Thanksgiving morning and I’m exhausted. At 1am, my husband was throwing up. Thank you stomach bug for arriving for the holidays. Then at 4:30am, my 3 year old daughter started crying. It was her first time to try and have a sleepover with the cousins. That didn’t work. So she ended up on the floor of my room. Then at 5:30am the baby kept coughing and crying and wouldn’t go back to sleep.

So you can see it was an interesting night and I will have very cranky kids today. And I am hoping God delivers me from the “grumpies” with a magic cup of coffee because I need it right now. But how do we find thankfulness when we don’t feel like it?

As I’m asking that question, please know that I am asking myself that too. The interesting thing is this has been a hard season for me (not just last night!). I have been on an emotional roller coaster, up one day and down the next. Loving where I am and then missing where I was. Grateful for what didn’t happen and then fearful for what could’ve happened. And I truly thought this month would be easy with being thankful, but instead I have struggled to find thankfulness. True thankfulness…the kind that overflows even when life isn’t all that awesome. So how do I get my heart there?

For me, it started with reading in Philippians. Our pastor preached on some of these verses last Sunday and they have been exactly what I needed…

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

So based on these verses, I will do the following to help my heart be thankful today…

I will rejoice in how awesome God is.

I will choose not to be grumpy (that’s the gentleness part of the verse above!).

I will tell God how I feel…if I’m tired, sad, overwhelmed, excited, nervous. Whatever the situation, however I’m feeling, I will just pray and tell Him.

This is the hard one for me…I will be thankful for where God has me now. And it’s ok to tell Him where we want to be. He tells us to ask!

I will trust that God has peace for me this season. He promises that He will guard me. And His protection is my peace.

So even though my night was pretty bad and this has been an interesting month of riding the emotional roller coaster, I will find thanks today. Because there is always something to be thankful for!

Praying you find thankfulness today too! True thankfulness…even in the ups and downs of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!