Am I the only one that knows I should be thankful this time of year (and always), but haven’t really felt deep down truly grateful?  I could post some stuff everyday on Facebook and make life sound great.  I could give a nice speech and easily offer comments about the people and things for which I’m grateful.  Then when I get home all alone and quiet, in the deep, down center of my soul I just haven’t felt that grateful lately.  There’s just a lot of hard, bad stuff in this world that I’m allowing to feel bigger than the good things.

There’s got to be somebody out there who can relate?

As I look back over what I’ve learned in the last four years these are the critical points where I choose to wallow in self-pity and reverse progress, or I make the conscious choice to move forward towards becoming healthy and whole.  Just because I feel like my problems are big doesn’t mean my feelings are right.

I’ve spent some time praying about it this week.  I understand that I’m not being logical.  I’ve tried to beat down the bad and bring up the good.  The Little Farmer learned a great song from Vacation Bible School a couple years ago and the tagline is, “Let’s have an attitude of gratitude.  Thank God for everyday.  Let’s have an attitude of gratitude.  Thank God for everything.”  Yes, I do make him sing it and I sing it to myself.

I’ve been listening to a great sermon series by James MacDonald called “Big God, small me”.

I think another thing that will help me re-focus again is talking less and listening more to others.  Like today, the Little Farmer and I just crashed a really nice family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Three years ago on Facebook my friend’s mom posted something to the effect of “Anybody is welcome at my house for dinner.”  I didn’t have plans, so guess what I did.  I’ve gotten a personal invitation each year since.

This year was cool, because their daughter brought some of her neighbors from the Chagrin Falls area.  The man grew up in communist Poland, the woman in England and their son is a first grader and pure American it appears.

This will shock you – pork came up as a conversation topic around a turkey filled feast.  The man shared how he remembered helping butcher hogs growing up and he said they used every part but the hair.  The conversation transitioned to growing up in a communist country.  He said sometimes they had nothing for dinner and they would go into the woods and try to find mushrooms or berries.  Food distribution was handled by the government.

This dude isn’t too much older than me.  Listening to him for three minutes reminded me I’ve never come close to having legitimate problems like that in life.

Another tactic I recommend to beat down the bad and bring up the good is referring to scripture.  That’s how we’ll close.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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