Thankful Thursday (Finding Gratitude in the Everyday and Everyday Challenges)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Have you ever had one of those weeks you thought was going to be amazing, but turned out to be a total dud?
The week began promising; I dubbed it the “week of the five Fridays”. Everyday leading up to the President’s week/February break (perks of being a public school teacher) was going to be Friday , I bought tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen on Tuesday (The play should be required viewing for EVERYONE, but more on Mr. Hansen in another post) and then 10 whole days of lounging, reading, museum hopping and movie binging.
Then a student sprayed pepper spray in the hallways. Then my earpods were stolen. And my charger. And my portable charger. And $20.
The week seemed determined to rattle and sink my spirits. By today my mind, body and spirit became depleted of joy and replaced by discouragement. I walked around foggy, listless, almost apparition like. I became angry at the student who stole my belongings. Angry at myself for putting myself in the position to have my belongings stolen. I called myself stupid, careless, irreresponsible and a whole slew of self-depricating terms.
I neglected praying to God or reading His word. I was too busy brooding about how unfair the week treated me.
Thank God for sisters in Christ.
When I spoke with my spiritual mentor she reminded me to continue the daily practice we established at the beginning of 2020: Write down 5 things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude has a way of reshaping our mindset. The official definition from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines gratitude as “the state of being grateful”. Gratitude becomes a decision. I could lament on my week or I could obey God and give thanks in ALL circumstances. Praise the Lord I was to come up with 10 things I was grateful for. I would love to share my “Top Ten Things Leah Is Grateful for (Right now)
- Love of Christ
- The word of God
- Quiet times with God
- My Parents and brother
- My sisters in Christ
- Two more days until winter break!
- Seeing Dear Evan Hansen on broadway
- The smoothie I had for Breakfast
- A renewed joy of writing!
Wow! I feel better already. Life can be a bummer, but that’s why God gives reminders throughout the day of his goodness. A smile from a stranger. A student telling you that you are the most relatable teacher in the school. A piping bowl of spaghetti. A warm house. A bed.
Although the week started off crummy, I have the choice to walk in gratitude and praise God for the blessings that go beyond the material. When I’m tempted to wallow, I know God gives me the choice to choose joy. Peace. Gratitude.
I would definitely recommend writing down at least one thing you’re grateful for each day. By doing so, you’ll continue to see God’s Grace each day. I certainly do.
The Bashful Butterfly.