This has been a special year for Arise Single Moms as we’ve celebrated our 20 anniversary. We’ve highlighted this momentous marker by writing various blogs called “20 Things.” This month’s is one of my favorites.
If you’re like me, I’ve never really considered until the last few years the POWER, yes POWER, of thankfulness. It’s often more natural to focus on what’s going wrong than considering how thankfulness might lift us above the negative, mundane, hurtful, or uncertain future. After all, it feels unnatural to express gratitude when one doesn’t feel like it.
So I did a little experiment. I put the word THANKFUL on a post-it-note on my steering wheel. Some days I discovered it was easy to express gratitude and other days…well, not so much. I began thinking, “Why would God tell us to be thankful “in” all things (notice he didn’t say “for” all things)? So I began a WHY BE THANKFUL list.
1. Thankfulness is not a 2nd tier virtue. It impacts how I respond to EVERYTHING.
2. Thankfulness defuses worry. It causes my negative thought patterns to grow weaker. I “worry” less when I “thank” more.
3. Thankfulness enlarges my perspective.
4. Thankfulness allows me to see what I have rather than what I don’t have.
5. Thankfulness reduces toxic emotions.
6. Thankfulness energizes me to take my eyes off myself and do something for someone else.
7. Thankfulness turns what I have into enough.
8. Thankfulness protects me from the enemy’s attacks.
9. Thankfulness turns my chaos into order.
10. Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.
11. Thankfulness is one of my greatest superpowers.
12. Thankfulness becomes easier and easier when I practice it on a daily basis.
13. Thankfulness is a contagious asset to those around me.
14. Thankfulness brings resilience into my emotional quotient.
15. Thankfulness puts me in a position to receive God’s “more.”
16. Thankfulness improves my mental health (and that’s even been scientifically proven)!
17. Thankfulness makes me a nicer person.
18. Thankfulness produces supernatural peace.
19. Thankfulness opens the door for stronger relationships.
20. Thankfulness feeds my soul. It’s what my innermost being most hungers.
God’s Words says He indwells our praise, our thanksgiving. It’s the place he can both give us joy and empower us to live within and above the difficulties of life. It’s the parent of all other virtues. The more thankful we are, the more beauty we see. Perhaps that’s why God said in Ephesians 5 to give thanks “IN” everything. I’m thinking maybe he knew something we didn’t.