Remember when you had little to be thankful for?

It’s so much easier to be grateful after you reached the end of a trial.  To look back and see that you persevered through a time of difficulty, and to experience relief from the pain and suffering (even if it’s only partial relief) provides a whole new perspective.

I was contemplating this today as I began preparations to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Last year at this time, I wasn’t feeling too well physically, and I didn’t enjoy very much of the holiday season.  It’s much easier for me to be thankful this year.

And yet, I am thankful for the season of struggle itself.  I learned a lot about myself and drew closer to God than ever before.  I have no doubt that the strength I gained will benefit me in future trials.

I’m reminded of a few other holidays when I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the season due to circumstances in my life.  I wonder how much better it would have been if someone had just given me a word of encouragement, or simply an acknowledgement of the hard time I was going through.

So, today I sat down and made a list of people I know who probably aren’t feeling terribly grateful right now.  Not only am I committing to pray for the people on my list, but I’m planning to find ways to show them I care.  It might be a phone call or email, an anonymous gift that shows up at their house, or a hug.  They need to know they are loved, both by me and by God.

How about you?  I bet you know someone who needs their spirits lifted in the midst of all these commercials that make us feel guilty if we have a less-than-Norman-Rockwell-type-Christmas!  Think about people who lost loved ones in the past year – this will be their first Christmas without them.  Think about people who suffer from a chronic disease, even if they look ok to you from the outside.  Think about elderly people who might be lonely, single parents who might be struggling, couples going through infertility or miscarriages, and military families.

In the spirit of the Pilgrims, let’s show our gratitude by sharing our abundance (emotional as well as material) with those who are lacking.  Go ahead, make someone’s day.




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