Thankfulness = Trust . . .Trust = Pure Joy

Friends, I’m signing off for the week because well, quite truthfully, I’m buried.

My husband is having ACL repair surgery later this afternoon, my children are about to be out of school for four days, and I’m afraid I’ve procrastinated a bit on some writing projects. I know. Shocking.

This means I’ll be spending the rest of the week as Nurse Nellie, Writing Winnie, and Mama Maria.  Please pray I don’t lose my ever lovin’ mind, people. Please.

I love Thanksgiving. I didn’t always love it because I thought it was so boring. You sit around and eat and that’s about it.

I missed the whole point. In case you haven’t already picked up on this, this is not unusual. Me a sloooow learner.

I remember reading something in Anne Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts that stuck with me though I can’t quote it verbatim.

She said something like thankfulness for all we have been blessed with leads to trust in God. When we trust God, we can experience complete joy because we know He’s going to cover whatever comes our way.

I think it stuck with me because it’s true.

Gratitude, or lack thereof, is what differentiates an optimist from a pessimist.

There will always be someone prettier than you. Thinner than you. Richer than you. Smarter than you. With a better figure than you. Who drives a better car than you. Whose kids are better behaved than yours and don’t yell “poop!” at the top of their lungs in public.

When we look sideways at those around us, we miss opportunities to look up to Him.

When we don’t look up to Him, we forget who we are and allow those who are in our peripheral vision to have a say in who we are.

And nine times out of ten, what they say isn’t so positive.

Sometimes, the negativity isn’t coming from anyone outside of yourself  – we women can be awfully tough on ourselves.

So for the rest of the week, let’s turn every negative thought we have into a statement of gratitude. As Graham Cooke says, let’s “move in the opposite spirit” of those sneaky thoughts of ingratitude.

For example, if you put on a pair of pants that are tighter than they were last year, instead of telling yourself how fat you are, thank God for His provision. You have enough to eat.

If you find yourself becoming envious of the woman who doesn’t have a financial care in the world, ask God to direct her spending to make a difference in the world.  Then bless her – we don’t know the path she has walked and let me tell you . . . the path with the green isn’t always so rosy.

And if you listen to the lie that you’re not a good mom if your child yells “Poop!” in public and Susie’s kids would NEVER do such a thing, well then you aren’t living in reality.

ALL kids talk about poop. It’s just that yours are completely uninhibited about it and are comfortable enough to belt it out when the need arises.

I’m no stranger to looking a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve experienced the cancer of ingratitude and it spreads faster than fire.

But.

There’s an extinguisher.

Praise. For everything. Even the hard times. And yes, I know it’s hard. Oh, do I ever.

But when we praise Him for everything, we slowly find our emotions begin to catch-up with our actions.

We start to notice the little things around us. Like a sunset. Or deep belly laughs. Or a random, unprovoked “I wuv you mama.”

When we start to see these blessings, the ones that reside right in front of us, we trust He really is who He says He is. We trust He is good.

And joy starts to creep in.

May your Thanksgiving have a whole lot of joy creeping in, sweet friends. I’ll see you next week.