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Thankfulness ABCs

Amanda, Audrey, anise, and Abercrombie T-shirts for a dollar at a yard sale.  This is part of my “A-list” of things I’m thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving Day is a little more than a week away and I’ve been enjoying the posts of many of my friends who are taking part in Facebook’s “ month of gratitude “.

I haven’t been posting regularly in the Month of Gratitude. That’s partly because I somehow missed it until it was well underway. And also because I knew I would get writer’s block trying to think of something “profound” to write in that public arena every single day for a month. 

I went back and forth about it in my mind. So what if it’s not profound? So what if I miss a day?

As a rule I am a thankful person, and I’m usually pretty vocal with my thanks. But I had to laugh ruefully when I saw myself in a Facebook post: It said something like, “Facebook, where we express thankfulness for one month and then gripe for the rest of the year.”

I am thankful, but then again, I do gripe. (I like to think of myself as a balanced person.)

No doubt Myles Standish and friends did a bit of griping before that day they got together with the friendly Indians for the first Thanksgiving Feast.  But then they were thankful. We know the Israelites griped all the way through their 40 years in the wilderness. But then they wrote some wonderful songs of thankfulness after they adjusted their focus. 

Sometimes, things are hard. Or sad. Or wrong. The gripes or sorrow or anger just push their way to the front of the mind.

In her bestselling book, Unglued, Lysa Terkeurst says, “I can’t authentically praise God for anything that is wrong or evil, but I sure can shift my focus to all that is right and praise Him for that.”

I woke up thinking about this a few days ago. Thankfulness. A thankful life. 

100_7457What if I made it a point to write down one thing I was especially thankful for every day of the year? Maybe it would help me keep “an attitude of gratitude”.

If you know me at all you know how I am about alphabetical lists, so I hopped out of bed and went to my computer to make my alphabetical thankfulness list. Two weeks of thankfulness beginning with the letter “A” …two weeks of “B-thankfulness” etc.

The list is hanging on the pantry door in our kitchen, and by the time I get to the end of the alphabet 52 weeks will have passed.  It will be next Thanksgiving.

By that time I’ll have three pages: a three-foot-long list of things I am thankful for.

And I’m pretty sure that my brain and heart will be stirred up to write a new list of things for which I am even more thankful!

As Lysa reminds me, “The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing, the less room I have for grumpiness.”

(Let me know if you’d like me to send you a copy of my A-Z thankfulness template.)