Sometimes I forget to be thankful. I am not proud of it, but I do. I get distracted by the cares of my daily life, and my focus on petty, unimportant things. Sometimes I forget to look around me at the precious people and bountiful blessings God has graciously allowed in my life, especially on days like today when Lupus would seem to get the better of me.
On days when I wake up filled with aching, pain, and brain fog and just wishing I could curl up and go back to bed, this is when I must remember the most to be intentionally thankful.
It takes no effort or purpose of thought whatsoever to think inwardly, or to focus on myself and dwell on my own troubles and hurts. Only with intent and decision can I look outwardly at the positives that fill my life, starting with the most basic of blessings as a jumping off point.
Today, I have purposed to be thankful and take note of everything that I can think of and notice that creates the positives in my life. Even my lupus has its positives, and even for these unlikely things I am thankful, too. I should not reserve thankfulness for the fourth Thursday of each November. I need to remember to remember these blessings every day, of every month of every year of my life, including today!
I am thankful for life. This is a distinctly something I can take no credit for myself. I didn’t give it to myself, cause it or even sustain it. It is a gift, that I believe came from my Creator. A gift cannot be earned, it is bestowed in love from the Giver, and it is accepted graciously. Only an impolite person would not acknowledge the giver, and show proper thankfulness and gratitude. Today, once again, I wake up and realize I am alive! I am truly thankful.
I am thankful for love. This, too is not something I can really take any credit for. It was not my idea, I didn’t think it up, but it is something I can give and receive. I am blessed by the gracious love of God, husband, children, family, and those few precious souls who become dear friends and choose to love me for no clear or mandatory reason. Love warms my heart, gives me calm assurance and helps me realize that there is more meaning in life than just my own concerns. I am grateful for love.
I am thankful for liberty. This may sound a little corny, but I am loyal, patriotic and proud of my country, or rather both of them. My birth country is the United States of America, and I am proud of her. Not that she always acts corporately as a perfect motherland, but because she is great, influential and has a long history of standing for freedom, and standing up for the oppressed and downtrodden people of the earth. I am thankful for my other country, the far country ahead that I seek in faith, whose builder and maker is God. It represents the freedom of my heart and soul no human government can protect. This freedom I know in Jesus Christ gives me dual citizenship, now in my earthly motherland, and in eternity in a land beyond. I live as a patriotic, loyal citizen of both homes of my liberties.
I am thankful for people who bring joy to my life. My husband, children, children-in-law, grandchildren, parents, siblings, siblings in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and every member of my extended family. These precious people make up a layer of social warmth and love that surrounds my life, a band of loyalty who will always love me, accept me, want the best for me and gather around me and each other to support, encourage, comfort, exhort and accept. I am thankful for my family and extended circle of loved ones who make life more sweet, precious and pleasant.
Then, once I am rolling in a thankful mode, it is hard to know where to stop! A multitude of blessings continue to flow through my heart and mind as I continue to reflect on God’s gracious goodness and mercy filling each day of my life.
- Great job, career, bosses and coworkers, health insurance, retirement savings, a regular paycheck
- Wonderful home, cars, furnishings, yard, dog and every human possession I really need for a comfortable life
- Wardrobe, shoes and accessories that help me feel poised, comfortable and confident when I approach the various activities and responsibilities of my life
- Abundant sources of healthy and enjoyable food, able to nourish and meet every real nutritional need
- Available and affordable medication and healthcare, and support of others as I face the challenges of living with lupus
- Available bounty of knowledge, educational opportunities, libraries, schools, books, internet resources to learn about nearly anything I find interesting at any time, grateful for the rare time in history in which I live, when knowledge flows freely, and is available for picking anytime I please.
- Bible, church, pastor, friends, opportunity to take part in music ministry of my church, and the freedom of speech and religion to have liberty to share my faith and talk freely about what I believe with others, and to assemble with others for worship in security and safety without fear of persecution
- Ability to pray and commune with my Creator and express my gratefulness to him directly each day
So, today I venture out into my daily life, with a reminder to myself to look intently for the blessings that brush up against me today in the midst of every experience and encounter.
Today, I have purposed within my heart to remember to be truly grateful, and to say “thank you” to the Giver of life, liberty and true joy.