I'm finding it very hard to be thankful when all I can focus on is the lack of money in the bank account, how freezing cold it is outside, and the lack of energy I'm feeling right now. It's funny, because this morning I kept complaining to the Lord about all my woes, and sure enough I open my Bible up to Psalm 147 and the first words I read are "Praise the Lord!". Not only does it say that in Psalm 147, but that is how Psalm 147, 148, 149 AND 150 all begin. Do I think the Lord might be trying to tell me something? Yes...but do I chose to listen? No.
It's hard to be thankful and praise the Lord when I set my mind on all the things that I see are wrong around me. When I focus on the negative, the world looks darker, more ominous, and it seems like everything is too big of a mountain for me to climb. I moan and groan; I complain; I'm not a very nice mom, wife, or friend; nothings gets done around the house; and I am just miserable. The last thing I want to do is sit down and praise the Lord.
Funny thing is though, it's the same the other way around. When I am choosing to be thankful and praise the Lord, the world looks brighter, those "mountains" look a bit more like rolling hills, I'm able to shift my focus off of myself and see the blessings around me. I'm a bit more joyful; a much nicer mom, wife and friend; things still may not get done around the house, but at least everyone is fed and happy.
I can see that even though there is no money in the bank account, there is food in the cupboards and refrigerator, we have heat in the house, and the kids are all healthy. I can look out my dinning room window at the amazing view of the mountains and be thankful. I can be thankful for the white snow that covers the ground, the animals we have, and that we just so happen to have a full tank of gas. I can be thankful for my amazing husband who is so patient with me and loves me through my weaknesses and failures. I can be thankful for my four amazing children who have taught me so much about the love of Christ. I can be thankful for the job my husband has and that he gets to come home this evening, the community we are a part of, and our wonderful church family. I can be thankful for the small things too, like hot coffee, Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer, and the two new Curious George movies that are on Netflix right now.
Yes, I can choose to be thankful. I can set my heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3) and I can praise the Lord (Psalm 147, 148, 149 AND 150). Today I choose to be thankful.