Lately I’ve been finding myself wishing some things were different. I’ve been spending a lot of time wishing I had more money, more time, more cooperation from people, more of just about everything. All of that wishful thinking makes for a very unhappy person. Why? Because when you spend so much time focusing on what you don’t have, you miss out on the joy that comes with concentrating on what you do have.
I’ll give you an example. I have a small side business and I’m currently terminating my relationship with my online shopping cart provider. Right before the account was terminated, I received one last order from a customer who bought a significant amount of merchandise. I was so thankful for the purchase and began processing this customer’s order, thinking all the while about what to do with the profit. I have to pay a monthly fee to be able to accept credit card payments and that service had not yet been terminated, which means that the fee was drafted from my account even though I had insufficient funds at the time. So you know what that means: overdraft fees. My business account was now in the red and I immediately started throwing myself a pity party. Why would God take this blessing right from underneath me so quickly? Why couldn’t I have this? Why couldn’t I do that? Woe is ME! But then I stopped myself when I noticed something. That customer’s purchase was just enough to cover not only the fee, but any overdraft charges I would incur as a result. The surprise order was actually the solution to a problem I had not yet seen, but because I saw the solution before the problem I concluded that the problem was robbing me of a blessing. Not so! The solution was the blessing! It meant that I wouldn’t have to come out of my own personal funds to cover a business expense, thereby keeping more of my own money in my pocket. But because I chose to focus on what I thought I had lost, I didn’t stop to thank God for what I managed to keep.
So now I’m making a conscious decision to be thankful in everything.
Recently on my personal Facebook account I started going on a “thanking spree.” Over the past couple of days I’ve been endeavoring to visit my friends’ pages and leave a short “thank you” message on their walls. I’ve been thanking them for many things; for their friendship, their example, their inspiration, or anything they may have done to make my life or the world better. I’ve thanked my husband, my parents, my family members, my friends, even people I’ve only known through “cyber space.” I want them to not only know they’re appreciated, but to be inspired to thank someone else as well. Imagine what kind of change we could make in the world and in ourselves if we took just a portion of our day to be truly thankful.
I’m not living in my dream house, but I do have a house. It’s warm, cozy, inviting, and meets my family’s needs. No, everything isn’t in place like I want it to be even after four years of living there, but that just means I have more opportunities to create a deeply personal space and make the home my canvas. Our cars aren’t the newest, but did you catch the fact that I said we had “cars,” as in more than one vehicle? We are blessed to have mutliple transportation options! We don’t eat out at gourmet restaurants on a regular basis, but we manage to put something in our bellies every single day. Money runs low sometimes, but somehow our bills always get paid.
The world’s most confident people are those who truly know how blessed they are, and that simply can’t happen without a deliberate effort to be thankful. Sad is the existence of one who lives her life without ever stopping to appreciate how blessed she is. I refused to be one of those people!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
P.S. – If you’re reading this blog, I want to personally thank you for allowing me to share with you.10 Comments