Show me what I have to be thankful for

Lately I haven’t really written a lot in my thanks journal.  I haven’t been finding things to be thankful for.  I was looking for big things.  What’s wrong with looking for little things though?  Aren’t we supposed to be thankful in ALL things?  Not just the awesome, big, spectacular things?

During chapel this morning, we watched a video where a guy laid down in bed and prayed “Lord, I’m struggling.  Show me what I have to be thankful for.”  He wakes up the next morning, and as he goes about his day, a list scrawls across the page of things he has to be thankful for.  It was pretty convicting.  Things like “I can move.”  Things like “I can walk without pain; I can read.”  I have added them all to my journal, because they’re fundamental!  They should be things I’m thankful for every single day without question.  When I can’t find anything else, why wouldn’t I be thankful for the fact that I have a family that loves me, that I have friends, that I have shelter, food, clothing, and clean running water.  Well…. most of the time I have clean, running water.  This morning, Camp had none… but that’s a Camp problem, haha.

Let’s look at this really clearly and objectively though… if you can’t be thankful for things like opening your eyes and getting a chance to go again in life, how are you going to be thankful when you get hurt, or when someone dies, or when something really bad happens?  Simple answer – you won’t be able to.  Gratefulness is practiced.  It is learned.  It is not just acquired overnight.  You don’t just wake up and go “I’m gonna be grateful from now on” or EVERYONE would be able to do this.

So today I crossed over the 100 threshold because I pilfered 18 things from this video in chapel today.

92. Friends to keep me accountable to my desire not to eat piles of candy.           …. I went to the tuck shop, grabbed a pack of Reeses, and the two girls who were running tuck for me today yelled NO!  You said NO CANDY!  Put it BACK! at me…. it was sad, but awesome at the same time.

93.  I can move.

94. I can walk.

95. I rarely worry about my safety.

96. I have a job.  A really well-paying one, actually.

97. I have skills.

98. I own a car, and owe nothing on it.

99. I have friends.

100. I have a family that loves me!

101. I have shelter.

102. I can afford food.

103. I can see.

104. I can hear.

105. I can write.

106. I have clean, running water… most of the time.

107. I have plenty of clothes.

108. I have a healthy heart.

109. I can walk and run without pain.  Well, I have pain when I run… but that’s from running itself and using muscles more than I’m used to.  That’s from exercise, and that’s ok.

110. I can buy coffee… every day.  I don’t, but I could if I wanted to.

111. I have plenty of vacation time, and somewhere to go for free.

112. I can sing.

113. Nice sunny days after several gloomy, rainy days so I could finally do laundry and hang it out on the line.

114. A culture of friendliness where it’s fun to hide this stupid Boobah toy all over Camp.


All photos taken by me.


6 thoughts on “Show me what I have to be thankful for

  1. I just love that Pooh image! Your points about gratitude are spot on. It is so difficult for us to see the abundance in our lives because it is always there, and we take it for granted. And yet, we often don’t see very much to be grateful for.
    I have seen this as a real stumbling block to greater happiness. It’s not that folks are ungrateful, it’s just that they don’t know how to see.

    It compelled me to write a new free booklet for my site, which I am in the midst of finishing: Practicing Gratitude and Discovering Joy-30 Days to a Happier You.
    Barring any further technical or internet issues (grrr-oops, grateful when I do have internet! :-)), I hope to have it available by the end of the week.

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