Updated: Nov 21
When my kids were little, I taught them how to play something we called the thankful game. Sometimes we played it around the kitchen table, or in the car. Each person took a turn saying what they were thankful for until we ran out of ideas. (Of course, in the Lennon house, we all wanted to outlast the other players and be the winner!)
We played the thankful game when our attitudes were bad or if we felt like someone else's life was better than ours. I was amazed by the difference a quick round of the thankful game could make in our perspectives, especially mine. The game is simple and kind of silly, but it reminded us of a valuable lesson: there is always something to be thankful for... ALWAYS!
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us about the importance of thanksgiving in our uncertain moments or anxious times. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
How do we get past our worries and stress to this peace? Paul says that we need to bring our requests to God with thanksgiving. Thankfulness is a powerful commodity because it helps us to see all the ways that God is present and active in the middle of our uncertain moments.
Have you noticed how easy it is to focus on the things that are missing? Sometimes we obsess over the idea of more stable finances, a new relationship, improved health, or maybe new opportunities. Thankfulness helps us to regroup and focus on the things God has already given us, not on the things He hasn't. Thankfulness helps us to see how God is present and faithfully providing, instead of asking Him to provide what we think He should give us. God's blessings come in unexpected ways; if we're not careful, we can easily miss them.
Maybe you are going through a season of anxiety or struggle. Maybe you can't sleep at night, or you don't know what will happen next. Try pausing the worried thoughts and play the thankful game! Remember that God is in control and that He gladly offers His peace to you.
I'll go first. I am thankful for faith, forgiveness, family, life, health, friends, love, hope, jobs, freedom, and lip gloss. (I really do love lip gloss. It is a gamechanger on a rough day!) Now, it's your turn. What are you thankful for?
I had the best time joining my sweet friend Claudia McDivitt on her podcast Boldly Living Your Everyday! We talked about gratitude and ways we can cultivate grateful hearts. We both got to share examples from our own journey . One thing I have learned is that what we cultivate is what grows in our lives. I want to cultivate a heart that gives thanks no matter what. Click the image below to enjoy our conversation! (Or Click Here)
I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!