Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
So, many times lately when I'm alone, I'll sit and ask myself what I'm thankful for. You know--count my blessings, name them one by one.
My first thoughts jump to my kids, my husband...all the usual answers. Those are solid responses, but something is bugging me: I often have a hard time identifying anything specific.
Is it just a matter of my brain struggling to break things down into smaller, precise blessings--sort of like learning to show instead of tell--or is it that I'm not cultivating a truly grateful heart?
It could be a bit of both. But why is it so difficult? I mean, I can honestly say I am so grateful for God's faithfulness, but it isn't as easy to specify the ways He's shown that faithfulness to me. Not without falling back on yet more generalizations.
That bothers me. Because I know if I were paying attention I'd see it in a thousand different ways every day. So what gives?
The truth is I'm often not very thankful.
The truth is I'm often disappointed--In my circumstances, in myself, in my faith. Ouch.
But the bigger truth is...He loves me anyway.
And honestly, that is one thing I am very very thankful for. Because I'd be doomed otherwise. I complain SO MUCH. Maybe not out loud, but in my heart I hear the chorus "If only this...if only that...."
And I know it's ugly. I HATE it when my kids are like that--the ungrateful, discontented little buggers.
Praise the Father he has more patience with His children than I do with mine.
It is so true what Paul says to Timothy:
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6.
If I could learn true contentment, I would be...well...content!
No more whining, no more frustration, no more feeling less-than. No more disappointment or restlessness or striving to measure up. Stress levels would plummet. Laughter would increase. Depression would vanish, sleep would be deeper.
It would probably be great for my skin and hair but if not, I wouldn't care! (Not to mention how much I'd enjoy the holiday goodies all season long without freaking out over my waistline.)
So what it comes down to is this: I am thankful for the life, the family, the opportunities He has blessed me with. For His faithfulness to watch over my family and over me through all our different seasons. And I'm so thankful for His loooongsuffering with me when I'm so far from perfect.
Thank you, Jesus that you are still working on me!