I realize Thanksgiving has already come and gone. I may be a little late to the game, Friends, but I’ve been noticing some of my peeps and maybe some sisters that I wish were my peeps (Thank You Social Media, LOL) have posted pics or short statements of whatever they were grateful for, on the daily. I have enjoyed seeing the thankful hearts for the small things, the simple things, the things that made their eyes marvel or perhaps tear up, the things or people that lit up their soul so bright, the only thing they could do was smile or possibly giggle a little.
I don’t know if I missed the deadline for the Thankful Season but as I have been reflecting, I have been trying to choose an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness, whether it’s January 4th, May 18, or November 22 (Thanksgiving). This requires a thankful heart in and for each heartfelt moment, in and for each day, and in each and every circumstance. Notice I didn’t say “thankful for each and every circumstance?” I was reminded of an encouraging message from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for your who belong to Christ Jesus.”
After thinking about this, I then consulted with my magic box, aka, my iPhone and Google. Google would be my person if it could be my person. We often look at this scripture like, “How or why would God want us to be thankful for all circumstances?”, so I looked up the definition of “circumstance” and here’s what it said, “a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action.” I was thinking, “Hmmm…this doesn’t mention only the good and fun events or actions; yet, it doesn’t mention the hard or not-so-fun events or actions either. So, I’m guessing Google sees this as ALL events or actions (circumstances) and Paul (the author of 1 Thessalonians) is telling us to be thankful in ALL circumstances (events or actions).
As I have been remembering (with the help of my journal and the photos in my phone, because my memory is kaput sometimes) all of God’s goodness in my life, no matter the event, action, or circumstance, I thought I’d share 30 things I am thankful for so far in 2018. I chose the number 30 as there are 30 days in the month of November, which is the month we have our annual Thanksgiving holiday.
1. Scrabble games on New Year’s Day, with the hubby and I
sporting our “My Coffee” and “Your Coffee” mugs with hot
2. Coloring books for “adults” and how it calms my mind (Do you
know my friend, Anxiety?), even when I can’t stay within the
lines. Hello Arthritis!
3. The wonderful artists that create these coloring books. They get
4. Friends, acquaintances, near and far; sharing their struggles with
motherhood, parenthood, and couplehood.
5. Tuesday night $5.50 movie nights to get some gals together,
because we are on break from Bible study (We shaw The
6. Dutch Bros. Coffee. That is all.
7. Books! Because I love them, I smell them…creepy I know.
8. #jonesnoffadventures with good friends. Few and far between,
9. My hubby that always sets the coffee to start the night so it’s
ready when I stumble to the coffee pot, because I haven’t been
10. Lunch dates with our small group after church.
11. California sunsets, especially off the coast, even though I
admire them from other people’s pics, because we don’t to get
to the coast often.
12. Quarterly Thursday movie dates with my person. Conversations
about our adult children, ailing parents, etc.
13. Impromptu lunch dates on the weekend with the
hubby…because, adult children, they do their thing, yet, we
miss them so.
14. If:Tables hosted at my church, with intentional questions, in
getting to know my new friends at my table, even when the
conversation took us to tears with the hurtful and hard things.
15. Great nephews and nieces! Babies in 2018!
16. Family Dinner Nights. Even when one or two of the kids had to
17. Favorite Things with my Favorite People.
18. Birthday surprises, balloons, and streamers.
19. Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Hosting our peeps
in our home to watch the game and celebrate! I think the hubby
actually did a cartwheel even, because his team are the
Champs. Even in the exhaustion.
20. God listening to my prayers, my thoughts, as I write them. Even
when I don’t feel his presence. Even when my hand is hurting
21. Hugs!! Most of the hugs were shared with friends going through
difficulties in life.
22. Day trips with my tribe.
23. My church leaders that care for and feed into their leaders.
24. My adult children’s laughs and giggles.
25. God’s beauty everywhere- flowers, the sky, the hills, the river,
all of creation.
26. One on one lunch or dinner dates with my children, even when
talking about hard things.
27. Family trip to the snow, even when our chains didn’t work and
there was so much snow, cars got stuck in the snow.
28. Churches that offer classes for ordinary me to know God and
His Word in new and fresh ways, even though they started at
6am. Yes, 6am.
29. Dancing in the kitchen, because we can, wanting to show our
kids what marriage looks like and how fun it is.
30. Family filling up the emergency room when a loved one needs
urgent medical care.
As you can see, I can go on and on. I barely got through the first few months of 2018. These are just a few of the events or circumstances that I am thankful for. Even though what we are going through at the time is hard, painful, or out of our control, we can still be thankful IN it, thankful for the growing that will occur IN it, and how God is going to use it. Even when we are being silly, enjoying some laughs and jokes, and maybe almost peeing our pants, we can choose to be thankful.
So, I encourage you, Friends, as we are nearing the end of 2018, to reflect on the year. Look through your journal and pics. Remind yourself of what you can and will be thankful for today as well as how you chose to be thankful in the todays’ and circumstances. Ask yourself how you will choose to be thankful as you take those small and slow steps into 2019. As Paul writes in his letter, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are to “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for your who belong to Christ Jesus.”
For this is God’s will for you. For your life.
Be thankful. In. ALL. Circumstances.
Hugging you so tight,