I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1
Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Notice, I didn’t ask, “Are you thankful?” I believe there is a difference. Gratitude is an attitude, not just a one-time thankfulness. I go through my day, and so many things happen that I should be grateful for.
I woke up.
I have clothes to wear.
I have food to feed my family.
I have transportation.
I know how to read and write so I can work.
I am healthy.
My family is healthy.
The list could go on and on! Does it mean that my life is perfect? No way! It means that I am choosing to be grateful for what I have. Are you a glass half empty person or a glass half full person? I have developed into a glass half full person. I don’t feel like I was always that way. Over the years, as things have transpired that are out of my control and I have seen the Lord work in and through those things, I have learned to be grateful.
Even in the darkest of days, we can find something for which we can be grateful. In Deuteronomy 8, we see Moses reminding the Israelites all that they have to be thankful for. God gave them manna each day (8:3), He provided clothes for them, and their feet did not swell (8:4). I need some feet that don’t swell after that Chinese food I had today! Have you ever thanked God for feet that don’t swell?? I haven’t! In the pit of life, we have so much!
I was telling my kids a story about being in 8th grade. My parents were divorced, so times were lean. My mom had a credit card to a major department store. It was a store that we would not normally shop at. Because of the divorce, when our clothes wore out, she would have to put it on credit until she could pay it off. The upside for us was when we did get something new, it was a designer label. I know, every 8th grader’s dream!
Because of the lean times, we wore our clothes until they were rags. Literally. If I put a hole in my jeans’ knees, my mom would have my grandmother patch them. Grandma thought it would be “cute” to use a strawberry patch. It’s not easy going to junior high with two strawberries on your knees! I had one pair of shoes I wore regularly. Well, those shoes finally wore through, and I found myself with a hole in the bottom. My mom had a solution that would fix the shoes and avoid using the store credit card. We would cut a piece of cardboard and put that in the hole. Viola! Charlyne, the shoemaker, solved the problem!
I was sitting in band class next to my friend, Jennifer. I could tell that Jennifer’s family had more money than us. She wore nice clothes and had many different shoes. One day she noticed the patch job on the sole of my shoe and made a joke. At the time, I was devastated. How embarrassing! I remember insisting it was time for a new pair of shoes (and maybe a pair of jeans minus the strawberries).
Do you know that to this day, I am so thankful for a new pair of shoes. All four of my kids seem to have adopted the same attitude, “I have one pair of feet, I don’t need 92 pairs of shoes.” My husband is very grateful that at the tender age of 14, I had a shoe crisis that seems to have carried into my adult life.
Your kids may be the ones wearing the strawberry patch on their knees to school today. You may be the one sticking cardboard in your shoes to avoid getting wet when walking through a puddle. You know what? If that is you, there is still so much to be grateful for!
I challenge you to adopt an attitude of gratitude!
Did your car break down?
- Thank You, Jesus, that You will provide a way for me to pay for that repair.
Is there no money this week to buy groceries?
- Thank You, Jesus, that I can do a lot with a loaf of bread! (I could write a whole article on eating lean on one income. My mom was the queen of box mac and cheese!)
Are you angry your spouse is not home yet?
- Thank You, Jesus, that You are caring for me and helping me grow in You during this season alone.
This week, I challenge you to write down five things each day you are grateful for. It’s time to develop an attitude of gratitude!
I would love to see one of your gratitude items. You can share it with me when you visit here.