giving thanks in ALL things

"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." -1 Thes. 5:18

Giving thanks is what this month is all about.  Facebook has been cluttered with people posting daily what they are thankful for.  Ryan and I have always begun each meal saying something we are each thankful for.  This season I even created something for the two of us to share what we are thankful for each day for 30 consecutive days.  There are SO MANY things for us to give thanks for; many which sometimes we take for granted.

But what about when things don't go the way we want?  What about when something interrupts what we need to be doing or makes it difficult to do what we need to do?  This is not the time we think to give thanks.  In fact, this is the time we get frustrated. We complain and make excuse to others about why we can't do something or be somewhere because something has inconvenienced us.    

At the beginning of this month I read this blog that did a great job explaining this idea.  Check out the blog:

Fast forward about 5 days from reading the blog and I am tutoring.  Time to leave one house and go to another and what do you know, my car doesn't start.  Not what you want to happen when people are depending on you, it's COLD outside, your husband is at home (45 minutes away), and you're trying to save money.  I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't frustrated (naturally, who wouldn't be), but I didn't let it hold me captive.  I looked at all the positive things that came from this that I could give thanks for: 

  1. I was able to walk to the house I had to go to (never before have I tutored and the houses are in the same neighborhood)
  2. Ryan was getting ready to go on a business trip, but he wasn't leaving until the next day
  3. The dad of the family where I was tutoring, taking time out of his night to try to jump my car
  4. Having a warm place to wait for my husband and AAA
  5. Having upped my AAA coverage about a year ago so my long tow was covered
  6. Having Ryan's car to use while he was out of town (probably would have had it even if he was in town!)
  7. Getting reimbursed from one repair shop to help pay for the other for part of what was causing problems with my car

In looking at this list, I had a ton to be thankful for.  There are even some that I didn't mention.

What happened this past week, well Ryan's computer files were erased.  Bad enough right?  Especially since he was speaking and NEEDED his presentations.  To make matters worse, then his computer went dead and wouldn't turn on.  Yea, I'll go ahead and speak for Ryan and say this was frustrating, inconvenient and nerve-racking.  What did we have to be thankful for: my computer that worked, the Apple Genius Bar, Dropbox, and a husband that is a DIGTAL HOARDER.  Yes, Apple let Ryan know that he had too many files so it was an easy fix and all is back to normal.  He may have added another gray hair or two, but the presentation went off without a hitch!  

We challenge you during this holiday season, even when things aren't what you want them to be, thought they would be, something doesn't go the way you want it to, or something happens you weren't planning on, take a moment and think about all the other great things you have or could come from the situation.  It is hard sometimes to find those things. They have to be searched for, but they are there.