This past Thursday was my favorite holiday of all: Thanksgiving. I love the idea of taking a day to reflect and be grateful for all the blessings in our lives, all while eating super yummy and overly carby food. Sometimes, it’s easy to find things to be thankful for. The food before us; the great weather; the family around us. Other times it can be hard to find things to be thankful for. The food before us has some weird smell and looks gross; the weather is super cold and nasty; the family is hard to be around and trying a lot of the time… some of them also have a weird smell. Finding things to be thankful for is like trying to scrape the last bit of peanut butter out of the jar. You know it’s in there, but man it’s a lot of work for just a little bit of goodness.
I’m thankful for my kids. Both my kids are super bright, but they are both at the age that they know everything (from what I understand, this happens a lot when kids are growing up… thinking they know everything). My two-year-old is 2 going on 14. To put a positive spin on it, she knows what she wants and will not accept anything less, even if it is cookies for breakfast. I love cookies too and would go to town on some Oreos for breakfast, but I have to set a good example or something. My four-year-old is super smart. I’m not just saying this because I’m his mom; I’ve had other educational professionals tell me he’s smart. It’s great that he’s bright, but his intelligence, height, and size aide in my forgetfulness that he’s only four. Since I teach young elementary students, which my son is bigger than, I have a tendency to hold my kid to emotional standards that he is not capable of meeting. You know, like not freaking out when I tell him it’s time to take a nap or that he can’t watch some PBS kids show. I love my kids, but I have to remind myself to be thankful that they are bright and still learning how to control their determination and drive. Instead of getting angry about their independence, I have to remind myself to pray that they will continue to be independent thinkers when the enemy tries to lure them away from the Lord.
I’m thankful for my husband. He’s super supportive of me, even when I have my crazy moments of being overwhelmed with life. He lets me just talk things out without interrupting, so I can hear my own thoughts. Does he have flaws? Yes, as do I, but we made a deal early in our marriage to only talk good about each other to our friends and family. There’s no need to bring other people into our marriage, especially through the path of drama.
I’m thankful for strength. In this season of my life, my thankfulness may seem a little shallow to some, but the backstory makes the sincerity. I recently had to make some tough choices that may not be popular, but I know it’s what’s best for my family. I had to say goodbye to some toxic relationships that were on life-support in order to protect my kids. I’m thankful for my family, but I’m also thankful for the wisdom and insight to know when to say no to certain people. It’s not a popular choice, but after much prayer and tears, I had to let go.
Psalm 118 has been my psalm recently. It starts off with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (Thanks Chris Tomlin for making this into a song; now, everytime I read this passage, I start singing in my head.) The psalm continues talking about the faithfulness of the love of the Lord. In good and bad times, we can find refuge and strength in Him. The author talks about various highs and lows, yet God remained faithful. The last verse in the psalm is the same as the first, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! He faithful love endures forever.”
You may enduring a time in life where everything is good and giving thanks is easy, but you may not. It may be hard to scrape the peanut butter of thanks off the side of the jar, but I can assure you there is at least one thing to be thankful for: the love of the Lord has never and will never leave you. People may come and go, situations will change, food will be gross, but God’s faithful love endures forever, which is way better than any carb-filled meal.