I think I generally am a grateful person. I am generally optimistic and look "on the bright side" in most cases.
But I get it.
This time of year can be HARD.
While I am no less grateful, I have moments of sadness as I miss my parents. (For those of you who do not know, I lost my dad about 10 years ago and my mom just over 2 years ago) Sometimes it does not seem to impact me that much and other times, I struggle.
I also struggle because I have little to no contact with my siblings. Another loss and not how I wished it were.
As a therapist, I see the struggles that others have, between dysfunctional relationships, struggles with finances and their own thinking about life or themselves that contribute to a sour outlook.
I sometimes catch myself feeling sorry for myself that I don't have family around me. BUT then I am reminded that I DO have family around me- just not every one that I wish was here. My parents, obviously, but that sentiment also applies to other family that I wish were closer. You know??
However, in 1 Thessalonians, it talks about "give thanks in all circumstances" and that means EVEN in our hardships.
I mean, it is often in those DIFFICULT places that we grow. We are stretched. We might be struggling but it is an opportunity to Shine. To show others- and prove to ourselves- what we are made of!
I think in the hardest times, I would like to think that I reflect Jesus. I know I have not always. For SURE not always! However, it is my intent to refocus my eyes on Him.
Sometimes life just is not what we wanted. We miss people. Or wish things were different. We struggle to see ourselves in the way that we are created and truly believe that we are created in HIS image. Even when we know, we struggle to accept that as TRUTH.
However, in this season of GRATITUDE, that is my desire. To focus on the TRUTH, whether I accept it fully or not, and stay in His Presence.
It is when I am in HIs Presence that I can find more gratitude and hope.
We all know the world around is is hard. We live in a broken world and it can be easy to be discouraged. But when we keep our eyes on things above, we can refocus and feel a sense of peace and gratitude.
So, as we head into a Day Of Thanks, and the Season of Christ in the weeks ahead, I encourage each one of you to remind yourself daily of the ways you are blessed instead of focusing on the things that are missing. It is too easy to go down that path if we allow it.
***Do Any of you have a Regular gratitude practice? If so, I would LOVE to hear about it! When did you start and what did you notice when you did?
Making a list of what you are grateful for is a great practice! Here is a short version of mine....
I am grateful for each one of you. My husband. My children. My parents and all they have taught me. My mother-in-Law and all she contributed to my sweet husband. I am so very blessed! I am thankful for my business and my desire to help people in this broken world. I am grateful for the tools that I have learned to help me increase my own health and support others on their journey.
Be Blessed and Know you Are Loved!
Grateful for you!