Thankfulness is a mindset.
Being thankful doesn’t happen in my life because I recognize that others have less – nor does it merely happen when our culture reminds me that it’s time to count my blessings. Being thankful is a learned perspective. Henri Nouwen says it so well:
Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
I want to slow down and mindfully re-notice.
… to marvel over the beauty of a goose’s wingspan rather than the frustration I feel when its loud honking periodically wakes me up in the morning.
… to focus on the incredible intricacies of the human body rather than the odd sore muscle.
…to remind myself that being satisfied is about contentment with less, rather than accumulating more.
…to take ten minutes, twice/day, while I’m lying on my odd-shaped pillow (stretching out my upper back) to consciously muse over all the blessings in my life.
…to live like I truly believe that difficult times can truly cause deep change and healing, rather than settling on quick relief.
…to take and make opportunities to express and show my love for my family and friends in ways that matter to them.
…to embrace and celebrate, rather than tolerate differences.
…to move towards that which I fear.
…to laugh. Always laugh.
Sometimes, I am so thankful, I feel like I’m going to burst. Other times, it’s just pure discipline that opens my heart to gratitude.
I long to praise my Savior and Lord for each breath of life gifted to me.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good thing he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Psalm 103. 1-5 NLT