Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thankfulness - Keeping the Focus in the Right Place

My devotional today in "Jesus Calling" talked about thankfulness.  I feel like it's a topic that is discussed often.  Yet, maybe it is regularly discussed because we do it so little!

The author highlighted that we will focus on the one thing we don't have (or don't like) and obsess until it is fixed.  Instead, we should be looking at all we do have and be thankful for each thing.

A few things immediately came to mind...
...instead of focusing on the struggle I'm having with one student, I should stop and be thankful for each student I haven't struggled with.
...instead of focusing on the weight I need to lose, I should stop and be thankful for the strength I have.  This last week someone commented to me "You're really athletic."  It was a great compliment to me and very encouraging.
...instead of focusing on the one time my child(ren) disobeyed this morning, I should stop and be thankful that my children baked together happily, helped clean up cheerfully, and asked me to cuddle!
...instead of being sad about the grey day, I should stop and be thankful for the water for my grass that I don't have to pay for!
...instead of looking at my week ahead and worrying about what's to come, I should stop and be thankful for my job, God's provision, the gift of Joel being able to go to seminary, my children, my mom living with us, my coworkers, my friends, the youth we get to serve, and all the million other "little" things I easily overlook every day!

Thankfulness and gratitude really do change your attitude.  I was irritated today when I found out no one had bought ketchup even though it had been on the shopping list.  I'll be honest and say I was really annoyed.  We were having burgers and, well...I really love ketchup!  I took a break and went to my room to put something away.  I sat for a moment and thought about my reaction.  How petty and childish. This is one of those moments where I should be grateful for everything else I have and realize I have plenty.  I'm happy to say, that timeout was just what I needed.  But, too often, I don't take the timeout and I let my attitude get soured by focusing on the lack or disappointment.  I'm hoping thankfulness will flow more readily from my heart and my lips this week!