It has been a while since I have written a Thankful Sunday post. I have a few readers that really love them, but to be honest, they are mostly for me. Making myself sit down at the end of every day and write what I am thankful for is such a good reminder. However, the last few months have not made it easy for me to remain thankful. Recently, I posted about the loss of my Dad. Losing a parent, needless to say, doesn’t really put you in the thankful mindset. So this Sunday is just as important for me to write as it is for me to share. Thankful Sunday- giving thanks during a stormy season.
Thankful Sunday- Giving Thanks During a Stormy Season
When you are in the midst of a stormy season, it can seem like you have nothing to be thankful for. Stormy seasons tend to give us tunnel vision, where all we see is the bad. However, stormy seasons have the potential to teach you the true meaning of gratitude and are a true test of faith. Sometimes, it is important to remember that giving thanks isn’t just about saying “thank you.” It is also about truly meaning the words “thank you,” and staying faithful that no matter where life takes you, it will be more than ok because God is in control.
“Rejoice always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
So how do we remain thankful when we feel like our world is falling down around us?
When life seems to be getting the knockout, find something small and cling to it. I try to always start with the basics:
- I’m alive.
- The roof over my head.
- Food on my table.
When you really stop to think about these “little” things you will soon realize that they aren’t “little” things after all. In all honesty, the things we might consider to be “little” are actually very huge. Each thing I mentioned above is life-giving and life-altering, so why do we see them as “little” things to be grateful for? Why do we forget to include them so often in our list of gratitude? I believe it is because these things are familiar and we tend to take them for granted.
Pause and notice these “small” things. Give yourself a minute to truly be grateful for these blessings and I think the challenges that you are currently facing might start to seem a little smaller.
Do Something You Love
I will be the first to admit that I don’t like feeling like I am out of control. So when I lost my Dad, I tended to gravitate to things that I could handle. For example, I like to organize so I pretty much re-organized every single room in my house. What is something you love doing or something you are really good at? Whatever it is, do it. Cook, bake, paint, fix a leaky faucet.
A lot of times, darkness likes to play games with our minds and make us think that we have nothing or that we are good at nothing. However, that is a big load of malarkey. Push through and do something you love, once you are finished you will have a completed project that you can be grateful for and a reminder that you are good at many things and you have many talents.
Help Someone Else
Everyone has their own set of troubles, sadly, sometimes we tend to forget this when we are wrapped up in our own stormy season. Now is your chance to help someone else during their time of need. Bake some cookies for a sick kid from church, do some chores around the house for the elderly couple on the corner, volunteer at the local soup kitchen or to deliver meals.
When you take the time to reach out to others, you change their day and give yourself a boost, whether you realize it or not. We all have our trials and tribulations, it is nice to remind each other that we aren’t alone. Put a smile on someone else’s face and I guarantee a smile will show up on yours too, even if it is only for a short time.
Forgive And Let Go
Forgiveness isn’t always easy. However, it is one of the best things you can do to help yourself cultivate a heart of gratitude. I know that it can be easy to say, why should I forgive someone that hasn’t apologized? The truth is that forgiveness is just as much for you, if not more than the person you are forgiving. It is hard to have a thankful heart when you are holding onto a grudge. Forgiving others can bring you peace, which can help to bring calmer seas during a stormy season.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sometimes it can be that simple. Turn on your favorite song and sing at the top of your lungs!! I love listening to the praise and worship station K-LOVE. It is truly amazing to see the power of a good song. If nothing else, maybe singing can help you forget for even just 2-3 minutes about your challenging season.
I find such comfort in my quiet time. I immerse myself in my Bible and read over the words of my Daddy that he shared with me in my Bibles. Find what you believe in and hold tight. I find comfort in prayer, Bible study, and reminding myself that God is in control.
Cling To Hope And Keep Your Joy
Find your hope and what gives you joy. Don’t let anyone or any situation steal your joy. I know it sounds weird but you can still have joy with sadness. The loss of my Daddy has given me such sadness and days of darkness. However, I still have joy when I think about the memories that he and I made.
I am not naive in thinking that this is going to be easy. We only lost my Daddy four months ago, so we are currently in the midst of all the “firsts.” First birthdays, first Christmas, first Thanksgiving, etc…so I am very aware of how difficult it can be to remain thankful when it feels so hopeless. I will see my Daddy again one day and I want to be truly present for my boys so that one day they can cling to our memories when we are no longer together. Hold tight for the break in the storm and the joy that comes in the morning light.
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18