Ouch! That sounds horrible, right? Maybe you have never said that. I don’t think I ever have, but I sure have acted like it. Have you?
I’m willing to bet I can include you in these thoughts…We have complained about little things that don’t really matter. Someone cut in front of us in line at Target’s check out (who really cares? You’ve filled your cart with things most of the world can’t afford). Your neighbor across the street has failed to rake their leaves and it is hampering your view (really? Then go do it yourself. Be kind). Once again, Wendy’s failed to include the ranch dipping sauce and you are not going to drive back there, but you thought about it for a minute (come on! You should be so lucky to have a body that can tolerate eating that food, finances that can afford to buy that food, and safe transportation to get there and back).
It’s all about perspective. God knows our private thoughts but our kids and those around us just see our behavior. Are you showing thankfulness?
This weekend I visited my brother’s family and they have such a great ongoing tradition I have to share it. (I’m sharing a lot today). Each member of the family gets a turn to say what they are thankful for. It can be something simple or deep – doesn’t matter. It gets everyone in the practice of being thankful.
Why do most people tend to only do this on Thanksgiving? Or wait until November and do it just during that month? Why?
I’ve created 5 options when you are feeling and acting ungrateful:
1) Send a card to someone who is going through or has been through a hard time (even if their loss or struggle happened years ago. Pain lasts longer than you might think…And by card, I mean a real, send-through-the-mail, card. Spend $5 with your Amazon Prime and you’ll have a box of cards at your doorstep in two days.)
2) Look around you: turn on your water (fresh, clean, cold & hot), open your fridge and cupboards (you aren’t starving), step out into the sun, fresh breeze, or refreshing rain….
3) Look at your kids (or nephews/nieces): miracles, God-sent, reflections of you…
4) Pray to God and ask for help! “God. I don’t feel grateful right now. Help me. Help me to be humble and not take you or anything you’ve put in my life for granted. I pray for those who don’t have even the basic necessities. I pray for patience. Please and Thank you.” **Hey – it’s already working – you’ve thanked Him at the end of your prayer!**
5) Turn to scripture for the truth about gratefulness. Here’s one:
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalms 9:1)