Wednesday, November 23

When We Don't Want To Give Thanks

Borrowed from InCourage.Me

Giving thanks. Sometimes it’s hard to do when the holiday set aside for thanks-giving involves in-laws, slushy weather, disastrous kitchens, and crazy kids, not to mention those deeper extended family issues that materialize only on these blessed events.

 But nonetheless, we are to do so.

To give thanks, that is. And if you’re like me, continual thanksgiving conjures an image of this mama who smiles with a knowing head shake at the eternal stickiness on the doorknobs. A risen-early woman walking amongst the fallen leaves in grateful worship to her Creator. Perfectly fine with the dirty dishes. 

These can be true. But they’re not usually true for me, if I’m honest. When I’m in the liturgical rhythm of laundry, laundry, laundry, my natural instinct is not to lift my arms in praise. I wish it was.

 You know the only way I’m able to change my attitude from grumbling to grateful when I just don’t feel like it?

I just choose to say thanks.

I don’t wait for my emotions to change. I change Finn’s dirty diaper, I scrunch my nose, and I murmur without a smile on my face, “Thank you God for this little body You’ve entrusted me with.”

I open my inbox to untold unread emails and say, “Lord, thanks for this technology and these people in my life and this laptop.” I’m still bummed about all the email I need to process.

I open the minivan door and witness the horror that is the cacophony of clutter, and I say, “God, thanks for these little people that are home with me.”

And slowly, slowly, something miraculous happens. My heart changes. It really, really does. It’s usually not unicorns and sparkles outwardly, but it is prettier on the inside.

 I’m still not in love with the poop or the what-is-that-on-the-floorboard?, but I’m a little more in love with the Giver of Life. I’m more aware of the unbelievable gifts soaked in my life. I’m humbled. And so it is the same on Thanksgiving Day. There’s people and noises and casseroles and chaos, and often a sweet potatoed floor. And those perpetrators are reasons for thanks—they’re gifts from God.

 This season, don’t wait for your feelings to flourish. Say thanks anyway, and see what happens.

Written by Tsh Oxenreider

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