It is hard to be thankful when your current circumstances seem dark and bleak. I know, I’ve been there. As I approached this Thanksgiving, I started reflecting back on the last few holidays my family went through.
5 years ago: we were unemployed.
4 years ago: we lost our house right before Thanksgiving.
3 years ago: we had just been informed by our landlord that she wished to sell the house we were in and we had until New Year’s to find a new place to live.
2 years ago: we were experiencing intense financial difficulties.
1 year ago: we were in the midst of changing ministries and preparing to move across the country.
Every year as Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around, I felt anything but jovial. I wanted to pull the covers up over my head and let the holidays slip by. It was hard to be grateful when our lives were dark and difficult.
Yet it was during those very times I found small things to be thankful for, the things we usually pass over because life is going our way. Little things like beauty of a crisp, winter morning. The warmth of a fireplace. The wonderful aroma of something in the oven. The tenderness of a child’s hug. The joy in singing carols together. The gratitude of good health. The wonderment of unexpected gifts received. The goodness of God’s love.
I had to dig deep to find things to be thankful for, and what I found I always had. These things had always been a part of my life, but I never noticed until they were all I had.
This year is a quiet year for my family. There is nothing dark or looming in our lives (a first for us in a long time). But because of our past, I find my heart turning towards all I have to be grateful for. Every morning I wake up and I thank God for our home, for our church, for our family, for our health. And then I thank God for the little things too.
How about you? Are you having a hard time finding something to be thankful for this year? What is something little you can find, perhaps something you never saw before? Share in the comments below 🙂