As a recovering perfectionist who is also a systems, process and change guy, I kinda suck at being thankful. I tend to focus way too much on the things that still need to be fixed, updated, improved or changed—and I completely miss all the great things that are going on. Maybe you can relate.
Thankfully, God has put me on a journey over the last few years that as finally begun to help me change this attitude. Part of this has been realizing that there really are a lot of great things going on in my life right now, and to miss them would be a tragedy. I have also tried to be more intentional about seeing the good, and not stressing as much about the bad.
I’ve not mastered this yet, but I see progress. Which I suppose is something to be thankful for in and of itself. I went to a neighboring church this past Sunday night to hang with my friends Van and Duke, and as you might expect the weekend before Thanksgiving, the message was on giving thanks.
The teacher gave us several suggestions for cultivating thankfulness in our lives. One was to translate our birthday (month & day) into a time—for me that’s 3:14—and set an alarm to give thanks for something every day at that time for a week. I chose to add a PM to the time, but you can do what you want. I’ve done that two days this week, and already see a change in my attitude.
So in keeping with the idea that expressing thankfulness will encourage me (and possibly you) to be more thankful, here are some things I’m thankful for.
My wife—she puts up with a lot from me; my crazy schedule, my constant day dreaming, and the time it takes to maintain this site. She’s stood by me through a few failed business attempts and multiple cross-country moves. That’s not so bad.
My girls—both are wonderful women who have great ministries in our church to students and kids. It’s cool to see how God is cultivating their hearts to serve His people.
My friends—I have several close friends who I am so very thankful for. I also have a ever-widening circle of friends who I’m getting to know better and better; and even though I’m an introvert, I treasure all of those folks.
My church—I can be critical of my church at times, mainly because things aren’t changing as fast as I’d like them to. However, the reality is, it’s staffed and led by some really wonderful people who care more about the people who make up the church than becoming the next big thing. When I remember that, my perspective changes.
My readers—When this blog was started over five years ago, I had no idea it would one day be read by over 10,000 people all over the US and internationally each month. Lately, I’ve been on the receiving end of some really wonderful e-mails from people who seem to appreciate what we’re doing here. And, thanks to my sponsors, it’s been possible to send my daughter to the school of her choice without it being a huge financial burden. How cool is that?
OK, that’s a partial list from me. Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?