“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~Henry Ward Beecher
I find that in the times of my life that I am really focused on being thankful, I am the most at peace. If I am busying myself with looking at all the blessings, I don’t leave room for the other stuff to creep in.
In the moments when I allow myself to take my eyes off the many things I have to be thankful for—even for just a second, that crack is juuust big enough for the ick to find its way in into that creaky door.
In comes the negativity.
In comes the bitterness.
In comes anger, frustration, worry.
Who’s feeling me on this? Anyone?
So what can I do? Well, what I have to do is work to keep that door closed.
How? How do I keep the door closed?
How I keep the door closed to the ick is with gratitude.
I must choose gratitude. Just like I must choose love. It isn’t always easy, nor is it, in all honesty, my immediate response to many of the situations life brings my way. In fact, my natural response is to be annoyed, frustrated, distracted or just plain freaked out!
Gratitude is something I must wake up and choose each day. To wake up and begin each day by simply saying “Thank You” and to get my mind and heart headed into a thankful state, sure does save me a lot of grief later on.
Some days that is easier to do than others. Some days I have to dig my heels in, lean forward, and puuuuush with all my strength to close that icky crack in the door. And when I do, it is a much better day—a day where peace rules.
And who doesn’t need that??
My prayer is that when I practice living each day with a thankful heart for long enough, that it will become my first response. And my life will be filled with not only thankfulness, but also with peace. Seems to me, they go hand in hand.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful.” ~Colossians 3:15 NIV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
With that in mind, today my heart is thankful for my family.
- For a husband who loves me, inexplicably, whether I am fat or thin, cranky or pleasant, whether or not I have all his underwear washed, whether or not I have dinner on the table. It is a mystery to me that I will never understand. And I am thankful.
- For parents who raised me with so much love, prayer and support. And who still love me, pray for me and support me.
- For the two incredible people who are my children.
- For in-laws who have always loved me and treated me like their own daughter and sister.