There is nothing better than waking up early in the morning, and starting my day before anyone else is awake. It’s quiet. I’m alone. Life is still. The world is mine. The chaos of the day has yet to begin. I’m free to read, think, dream, pray… and just be still with my Maker.
But sometimes these quiet moments of reflection and prayer quickly turn to panic as my mind wanders to the hopes and dreams that have yet to materialize in my life, and all of my unmet goals. I worry. I doubt. I feel behind. I compare. My faith dissolves to fear… my peace is replaced with anxiety… my joy turns to jealousy… my healthy ambition changes to a competitive spirit. I rob myself of happiness as I focus on all the things I want, instead of rejoicing for the things I have.
It’s ungratefulness that feeds this downward spiral.
It’s ugly… I know it.
I also know it’s a choice and that the only thing I can control in this life is my attitude and the choices I make.
And so today I make a different choice. A choice to live in thanksgiving for the abundant life we are blessed with.
I choose to refocus my mind on the things that matter. I will reflect on what is true, what is noble, what is right… what is pure, lovely and admirable. I will think about those things that are excellent and praise worthy.
I choose to love others more than I love myself. I will take my mind off of myself, and my dreams, and look to the interest of others. I will find opportunities to give and to serve. I will see others’ needs as greater than my own. I will rejoice when my friends succeed, and cry with them when they hurt. I will remember that there is no greater love than to give your life for a friend.
I choose to see God’s faithfulness and his endless provisions over the years. I have never gone hungry. My head has always been covered with a roof. A loving mother… a faithful wife… committed friendships… my life lacks no good thing.
I choose faith. I will believe in what is unseen, hope for what is to come, and trust God with all that I have.
I choose to be filled with joy. Prayers may seem to go unanswered; dreams might not have yet come true. But true joy comes from a thankful heart that finds contentment in the present, whether living in plenty or in want. In both seasons, I will choose joy.
Jamie and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Our hope is that somewhere in the midst of all the cooking, eating, football watching and time spent with family, that you will take a moment to reflect on the abundant life you are blessed with, and choose to live in thanksgiving.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
photo credit: Matthew Land Studios
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