Choosing Thankfulness

Do you ever have those times when you’re choosing thankfulness while still asking for more? Even though you’re thankful for what you’ve been given, you’re still aiming higher. And yet, you have to stop and remind yourself to be thankful for what you’ve received that’s less than what you were aiming for. Sometimes I feel like I aim for the stars and then find myself utterly disappointed when I end up lower than what I’m aiming for. Maybe my goal is the red carpet, but I’m walking on a beautiful red or golden carpet of leaves instead. And I stop to capture the moment with my camera. Because I am truly thankful for the beauty I find around me. (And isn’t a leaf carpet way cooler than a red carpet any day?)

 

The yellow leaf road
The yellow leaf road

 

With my mom’s cancer, I’m praying for a miracle. We Need a miracle. What we’ve received is a modern medical breakthrough in treatment for her type of cancer. I was hoping this would be the miracle we needed. I’m finding out that really, a person on this new type of chemo just has less of the chemo side effects, and the average person in their clinical studies made it 10.3 months longer than someone on other types of chemo. While I’m grateful for this new drug – just FDA approved a little over a month ago, I found myself being bitterly disappointed that this was not, in fact, going to cure her, just prolong her life. I was putting my hopes in the newest medication out on the market only to have them dashed to the ground.

 

Moody Hellebore
Moody hellebore

 

Does that mean I didn’t stop to take the time to thank God for the small medical breakthrough we received? No. I keep thanking Him for it almost every day. Most of the times with tears streaming down my face because I know it’s not going to cure her. Just buy her time. But I thank Him anyway.

Does that mean I stop praying for a miracle? No. I know modern man and medicine can’t cure her at this time. I have to remind myself to put my hope in God, not in man. Does that mean I’ll get my miracle? Not necessarily. It just means that I’ve set my sights higher.

 

Gorgeous red vines on a fence.
Gorgeous red vines on a fence.

 

Sometimes we need to make a choice to be grateful even when we don’t like what’s happening around us.

Don’t like the new president? Well, just be thankful we don’t have a dictatorship type of government and that ultimately, the president doesn’t have the final say in how this country is run. He has to get all of his ideas approved through congress. Be thankful for that.

 

Autumn Reflections
Autumn Reflections

My father didn’t get to go back to Papua New Guinea for the dedication of the mini Bible in our village on the 25th (which will be our Thanksgiving day over here as they are a day ahead of us.) I’m sure he’s disappointed that he’s unable to see the culmination of a project he’s been working on for over 30 years of his life due to my mom and his own medical issues right now. …I am thankful we’ll all be together for the holiday.

 

Autumns glow
Autumns glow

There was a time in my life when I felt like I had nothing good to be thankful for. My ex-husband was abusive and and I was always walking on eggshells, never knowing when he might blow up. I would sing the song ‘To God Be The Glory‘ – sometimes through clenched teeth because I was so on edge. Mostly through tears. I didn’t really know what I was thanking Him for or why I was thanking Him. I had no reason. I was making a choice during the worst time in my life to thank Him anyway. I think there’s something poignant to God in those moments where you choose thankfulness, knowing you’re in a bad place and need something more. You’re making a decision to give thanks despite whatever awfulness is going on in your life. That moment you’ve come to the end of yourself and surrender it all back to Him.

 

There's beauty all around us, if only we open our eyes to see.
There’s beauty all around us, if only we open our eyes to see.

 

Whatever is going on in your life, good or bad, choose thankfulness.

 

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