Friday, January 4, 2013

Learning to Always be Thankful

Being thankful is something that we think should come naturally, but it always doesn't.  It's easy to be thankful when things are going well, but what about when things aren't going well?  Of course, that is when it gets harder.  In the life of a cancer patient, the thankfulness can easily come and go.

2012 ended with much thankfulness for our family.  I am on a treatment that is working and I am feeling better than I have in years.  I have more energy and I feel almost normal again, or at least what I think normal should now be.  But the beginning of 2012 was not like that.  I got sick very quickly.  I was admitted to the hospital three times.  I had to take an ambulance to the hospital because I couldn't breathe, and my children saw that ambulance in front of our house.  I had liters and liters of fluid drained from my abdomen and lungs.  I had to rest for three days just to get to my children's big events.  In some ways all of that seems like a dream now.  But I do remember that it was hard to find those things for which to be thankful.

But when I look back at the beginning of 2012, I can more easily see that there were things that make me overflow with thankfulness.  Our family got closer; our faith grew stronger; we were never without help.  These are all big things, but I'm sure there were many little things that I should have recognized and in turn been thankful.   

That sign above is like a slap in the face, isn't it?  Even in our struggles we are called to be thankful. 

This year I want to strive to be consciously thankful of things every day.  I want to learn to look for the little things to be thankful for, not just the big things.  It won't always be easy, but I will strive to do it.

To accomplish this goal I will have some help.  On New Year's Day a friend posted about this same thankful journey she was going on.  It's called  The Joy Dare.  (The link right here explains what this author, Ann Voskamp, is trying to do and encouraging others to do.)  When I looked at the pdf file I noticed how unique the things were that she was looking for.  I knew instantly this was something I wanted to do.

But the tricky part always is accountability.  I thought about writing everything in a journal, but journal writing for me comes and goes.  Then I remembered my other goal of 2013 was to do some more blogging.  And God, as he always does, helped me realize this was the perfect way to do both.

So throughout the next year I will be posting about the things for which I am thankful.  I will just keep it to one blog post per month and edit it, hopefully, every day.  By the time I am done I should have at least 1000 things that I have been thankful for over 2013.  It's going to be an amazing journey and I hope you enjoy going along with me. 

My prayer for all of us this year is that we can see God in so many more ways than we even thought possible, from the best of the best, to the small of the small.

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