Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Thankfulness. Such a simple word, but a treasure chest full of meaning. In light of this past month, thankfulness is probably running in short supply and as hard to come by as is the toilet paper on the shelves. But regardless, this simple word can change one's perspective from dreary to cheery.
(Ok yeah, "dreary to cheery" was a little cheesy...but you get the point;))
A couple years back I was having a bad day...like REALLY bad day. And as bad is it was and as overwhelming and depressing that day seemed, can you believe that I can't even remember what it was about?! But I DO remember this. I was struggling so much that I sat down with a large mason jar and lots of slips of paper and began writing. On each paper was inscribed something that I was thankful for. And you know what? It's hard to be upset, depressed, and anxious when you decide to fill your mind with the many many blessings you DO have. It recalled to me other times in my life, when bad stuff would happen, that I'd often have a friend tell me, "Andrea, name 10 things your thankful for RIGHT NOW!" Guess what? It works. It doesn't make the bad stuff go away. It doesn't necessarily take away all the anxious thoughts. But that doesn't mean that it's not good.
So what exactly should I be thankful for? My brain likes to compartmentalize my "grateful things". I group these into 1) blessings things, 2) not-so-good things, and 3) the things I take for granted things.
When I think of "blessings" I think of the things that are not only my favorites, but they are the things I don't deserve. Let's say "the cherry on the top" things. Thus, mine are:
- My Savior Jesus Christ
- Our Families
- Our Apartment
- Church Family
- Jobs that I love
The not-so-good things are those things that I DON'T like. But why should I be grateful for the bad? Isn't that silly? Well, I don't think so. When I read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and in Philippians 4:6-7, they say the opposite. They say "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." and "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Wow seriously? Yup. God's got it. He understands and He sees the bigger picture that I can't see. So what am I thankful for that's not-so-good?
- A broken shower head
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Snowing outside when I really want spring
- Quarantined inside due to Covid-19
This one is easy. What are things I should be thankful for on a daily basis that I probably take for granted? These are the things that you don't really realize how much you appreciate them until you have to go without them.
- Hot Water
- Hot Chocolate
- Toilet Paper
- Cell Phone
Now, my friends...what are YOU thankful for? I challenge you to make a "grateful jar", a journal, or whatever works for you and start listing everything that pops in your head. May it be said of us that we were a grateful group of people during these times, and more importantly, our life.
All photos are property of Josh and Andrea Photography, LLC