As we kick off our series on thankfulness, we must go back to the basics, the fundamentals, the beginning. We must find time to be thankful in the small.
Everyday Thanksgiving // The Small Things
Mornings have always seemed so wonderful to me. There is just something about the way the sun shines in from my bedroom window making the tiny dust particles dance in the air. The way my hound dog wags her tail and wiggles up from the foot of the bed to wish me good morning. The chill in the air, the frost painted over everything outside, the noise my coffee maker makes, and how nice the warm mug feels as I wrap my hands around it opening my Bible to read or slowing down to write. The joy I get from watching the steam dance on top of my coffee as my mind fully wakes up. It is all so beautiful- if they work out that way.
Sometimes… my mornings are more rushed and consist of hopping in my car as I am running late, coffee in hand of course, but with not the time to sit and be still and take in the beauty of simplicity. I can get annoyed at the cumbersome ice chunks on my car windows, or the coldness of my car as I am headed out for my 4am commute to the local Y. It could also be a rushed morning as I sleep in past my alarm clock, can’t find the clothes I want to wear or realized I am out of my morning cereal.
Whatever season of life I am in or however I find myself waking up, each and every morning is different and we have the ability to see how we react. If I am rushed, frazzled, behind or if I am organizes, quiet, and still I try my best to search for something good, something to give thanks in every situation I am in. This is intentional, as some mornings are much harder than others.
Opened Yet Blinded
“In the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened.” -Genesis 3:5
In the beginning our eyes were created to only see God’s glory, designed to see the goodness in everything. We never could have guessed that as soon as our eyes were opened (ate the fruit from the knowledge of good and evil) we would actually become blinded to God’s goodness. This was far more than not being able to walk with Him in the Garden- it meant we could no longer communicate with Him in the same way we did before. Before Eve ate the apple, we could only see His glory and everything good around him, being grateful for all of it. Being intrinsically grateful was part of what we were- we did it naturally. We could walk through life intimately with the Lord because of that, but then, things changed.
Eve ate the apple, and our eyes were opened to evil and the ways of the world and blinded to the pure goodness of God. We now look at the world and first see its emptiness, turmoil, heart ache, and stress which makes it hard to give thanks. Because of this, we harden our hearts, close out the world, and shake our fists, refusing to accept God’s grace.
Thankfulness is counter-cultural, we must be intentional about pointing it out.
It’s More Than a Statement at Dinner
Giving thanks is so much more than naming a blessing in your life around the table for Thanksgiving, or listing of the things you are thankful for during a prayer.
Thanksgiving is a way for us to be in constant communication with our Creator.
It is our way of recognizing that what He creates and does is good, just as God did when He created the world. In fact, He mentions it “being good” 7 times in Chapter 1 of Genesis alone. That’s pretty significant right?
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.” – Ann Voskamp
There is no doubt that we notice emptiness first, but rather than accepting this fact we should be fighting every moment of every day to see the areas in which we can practice true thanksgiving.
We should be searching for something to be thankful for in the small, simple things.
We need to look up from distractions we spend so much time on and search around us for something good. We need to drop the comparisons that appear at any time (think social media) and control our thoughts- and fix our eyes on Jesus. Sometimes I find myself looking through Instagram in the morning, envying someone else’s morning and failing to see the good in my own morning. These distractions and comparisons make us blind to our own lives and all of the blessings the Lord is giving us.
Thankfulness in the Small
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” –Psalm 27:3
Looking back at this verse, mentioned in our Intro Everyday Thanksgiving post, let us remember that there is a land of goodness coming, so until then lets practice being thankful in all that is around us. This is our biggest chance to rise above this world- and stand out in our decision to view the world in a brighter light. My sweet friend, this bright light can be found all around us – much more than just in the mornings.
I pray we can all step back as sisters in Christ, and decide to search for things to be thankful for in the small parts of our lives:
Thankful in the colors of fall, reminding us that there is beauty in everything.
Thankful in laughter with friends, revealing to our hearts that there truly is a time for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Thankful in steam dancing on top of your coffee as you rush off to wherever you need to be.
Thankful in the small, celebrating giving thanks because our God loves us so much that He created this incredible way for us to talk to Him throughout our days. Whatever they may look like.
Today, on your Everyday Thanksgiving worksheet, your challenge is to write down 5 small, simple things you are thankful for. It is one thing to think about these things, but another to write them down. When you physically write something, you remember it so much clearer, and by the end of the week will be able to look back at all the things you were grateful in that week.
PLUS, if you post a photo and tag @livesalted and hashtag #livesalted, you will be entered to win a pair of Tom’s sunglasses and our soon-to-be released Salty Christmas Present!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, we would love to hear!