We all have something to be thankful for — even just the fact that God let us wake up today. But as Thanksgiving approaches and the holiday season begins, it’s easy to let our minds wander to what we wish our lives were like rather than how they actually are. Our culture is full of idealized images of complete happiness around the holiday season. By comparison, our real lives rarely measure up. So it’s tempting to dwell on the blessings we’d like to have and gloss over the blessings we do have.
In other words, despite our many blessings, sometimes we have to intentionally remind ourselves to give thanks.
It can help to pray for a fresh perspective on gratitude. When we learn to give thanks in all circumstances — no matter what — we start noticing more and more of the blessings that God is constantly pouring into our lives.
A good way to shift your mind’s focus in that direction is to reflect on something new in your life that has blessed you recently. Dwelling on that one blessing will inspire you to discover others, even when you’re going through difficult circumstances. For me this year, that one recent blessing is the kitten who joined our household last month. Adopting Whiskers brought tremendous joy into my life, and pondering that brings to mind many other blessings I’m celebrating this year. Of course, I still face challenges and sorrow this holiday season, as I’m sure you do, too. My life, and your life, will never fit our idealized plans in this fallen world. But still … we all have reasons to give thanks!