Thanksgiving is one of those times of year that makes me reflect even more on being thankful. As I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and recalled where I was this time last year I thought about this year and how, at times, it has been more difficult to stay focused on being thankful. With the exception of the deaths of the two matriarchs in my family since this time last year, nothing majorly bad or unusually awful has happened. I thank God for that. However, at times, this year I’ve been internally challenged with being thankful for, and content with the past and present, while still thinking of, and clinging to hopes for the future. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes it’s hard to be intentionally grateful. And thankfully, still, something inside of me emerges and say, “Oh, give thanks”! So I do.
I know I’m not the only one who has been in this place before feeling like I didn’t do, exceed, excel, overcome, offer, change or conquer like in times past. As the kiddos would say, at moments, I’ve been feeling “some kind of way” about how this year will be recorded in my history book of life wondering where the many milestones were or if I’d missed the opportunities for end zone worthy victory dances. The strange part about it is, again, nothing unbearably bad has happened. Not that daily personal struggles don’t try to make themselves at home in my life, but this year has tested my patience in trusting the maturation process of blessings and victories as few other 365 days have. This, while at the same time staying set on being thankful for life and all the Lord has to offer, even those gifts some might call “everyday, average or small” blessings, as if there is such a thing. So I’ve had to focus on being thankful during the times thankfulness didn’t come as easy as before.
I totally get what my issue has been. I’ve been through a lot. I realize that most of what I’ve been through probably would be a walk in leave-strewn, Autumn park to some who have experienced far worse. Even in all that my lot in life has allowed, I’ve come to become accustomed to the big-ticket testimonies. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. Read any of my blogs posts to back me up. I’d just become used to those challenges leading to super-duper testimonies popping up and popping off like Jiffy Pop Popcorn on my mother’s banana, yellow stove in our house in 1977. As I type I recognize that I’ve been spoiled by God (shhhhh…don’t tell him I said that because I don’t ever want Him to stop spoiling me.) He’s so good to me! I’d settled into a “thankfulness” routine with Him that obviously needed to be shaken up. He would allow the test. He would allow me to pass. He would even throw in some extra celebratory concessions for good faith. I would be thankful, writing about it, talking about it, relishing in it, sharing my nuggets and the pattern repeated itself.
Before pondering this blog post it felt like this year hadn’t (yet) been one for the record books so I’ve had to dig deep into my repertoire of blessings to find everyday reasons to remind myself everyday that I always have an abundance of reasons for which to be thankful. And I do. I really, really do! So I’m challenging myself, even until some situations change, to always, as the kiddos would say “be bout that life” of thanksgiving, never taking for granted the opportunity to be thankful, which is an opportunity for which I am thankful.