Giving Thanks: A Lifestyle Not a Holiday

1 Thess 5_16-18Thanksgiving was a few days ago and I read so many messages from people sharing what they were thankful for.  I think it is sad though that Thanksgiving is the only time some stop to count their blessings.

It is so easy to get caught up in the details of life, careers, children, family, relationships, finances, etc that our vision becomes clouded and we can’t see the testimony in our test, the message in our mess, the blessing in our burdens, the sunshine in our struggles or the calm in our chaos.

I was guilty of this just Friday.  Fresh out of giving thanks the day before, I woke up complaining to my husband about a situation we were going to encounter over the weekend.

The situation had not yet happened, but I was already complaining.  I had already made up in my mind that the situation was a burden. Before I became too worked up and frustrated, I had to stop and challenge myself to see the blessing in the situation.

“Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

I know that scripture may sound unrealistic, however if we stop and think about all the situations that God brought us out of, then we can “rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances” because we know that in the end everything will work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

When my husband lost his job during our engagement it was a devastating blow to him.  He did not see it coming and was in no way prepared.  I surely did not see it coming and was not ready for the gossip and negativity that would be said about us.

While going through that situation I will admit I could not see the blessing. I did not understand it at all. It was a difficult period in my life.  All we could do was stand on the word we heard from God and trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

One day I will share the full story of how God completely turned that entire situation around and has blessed us beyond what we could have imagined. I shared that because now when things come up I have to remind myself of situations that He brought me through, and trust that He will bring me through whatever I am going through at the time! That reassurance in knowing no matter what God is with me, makes it easier to “give thanks in everything or in all circumstances.”

I challenge you, and myself, to purpose as much as possible (daily, if possible) to see the blessings in our burdens, the message in our mess, the testimony in our test, the sunshine in our struggle and the calm in our chaos.

There are times when you may find it hard to “give thanks” especially when you have lost a child, lost a parent, lost a job, are sick, facing foreclosure, are barren, going through a divorce, etc.  I promise you if you look hard even in these situations, there is something somewhere in your life you can be thankful for.

Maybe you lost your house, but your family is closer now than they have ever been.  Maybe you lost a child, but it brought you and your spouse’s relationship to another level of love, trust and closeness. Maybe you are going through a divorce, but in it you learned things about yourself that you would not have otherwise learned and now you are the better for it.

I have said it before, but if you do not have a Gratitude Journal, start one.  Daily list at least one thing you are thankful/grateful for.   It helps to look over it during difficult times. Remember that Thanksgiving or giving thanks is not just a holiday.  It is a lifestyle.

Prayer:

God, it is so easy to allow life’s circumstances to blind me of the beauty in each day I am given here on this earth. Help me to find the joy even during my most difficult times. When in doubt, help me to believe that all things really will work together for my good. So right now God, I thank you for everything, even the little things, you have blessed me with and I even thank you for everything you have kept me from.  Help me to make giving thanks a lifestyle and not just a holiday. Amen

If you liked this post, you may also like, “Count Your Blessings, Not Your Problems” and “When Life Happens, How Will You Respond

Image Credit: The above image was found here

~Keishawna

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15 thoughts on “Giving Thanks: A Lifestyle Not a Holiday

  1. What a great reminder! It’s amazing what happens when we begin to chronicle and journal things we’re most thankful for. We realize that we have more (+)’s going for us than (-)’s. Great post, thank you!

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    • Hi Mel,
      Thank you so much for the nomination!!! I will definitely visit your blog for instructions. I have actually been meaning to write you for awhile now to tell that whenever I have an opportunity to read your posts they always bless me. I’m glad I found your blog!

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  2. This is so good Keishawna! It’s so important to thank God every moment of our life not just because we need to for a “holiday tradition”. It should be a daily “tradition” in our life. I’m looking forward to reading about how God turned your and your husbands story around for the better. He sure has a way of using terrible situations in our life to show us how faithful He is in coming through for us and giving even more than was taken away!

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    • Hi Anna,
      Since I wrote that post a lot of crazy things happened that made me want to complain, but I remembered to give God thanks. I’ve been purposing to have an attitude of gratitude and it’s been a blessing. Yes, I look forward to telling the story one day about my husband. It’s truly an example of “all things work together for our good!” As always, thanks for visiting!

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  3. I whole-heartedly agree. I had so many crazy things going on the week before Thanksgiving: storm damage to the house, someone hitting our fence and leaving the scene, and to top it all off, a deer hits my car the day before Thanksgiving. I had to stop and say, “At least me and the deer walked away from this!”. Even though it’s hard, seeing the blessings in things is something we have to try and remember to do. I’ve started to see “issues” as just a way of God tapping me on the shoulder, helping to remember how blessed I am, despite the bad I have to encounter. Great post!

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    • Hi Michelle! Wow! You had some week. I praise God that you were kept safe through it all and that you remained thankful through it all. I pray your family recovers quickly from the storm. Be blessed!

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