1 Chronicles 16: 8-12
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
see his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced….
As we move toward Thanksgiving I am reminded of how sometimes stuff gets in the way of our gratitude and it may become difficult for us to remember to be thankful for all that we do have. Sometimes life happens and our world seems to be filled with hurt, pain, suffering, and general negativity. We are surrounded and flooded in all that seems rotten – how can we feel in our hearts a genuine sense of thanksgiving when there is so much hurt going on all around us?
It is well researched and documented that people with positive attitudes are happier, healthier and live longer than those with a habitual practice of focusing on the negative things in life. Research also has found that it takes approximately nine positive things to undo the impact that just one negative experience has on our psyche. You do the math. If you subject yourself to hours of negative news reporting, crime dramas, Real Housewives of whatever county, 24 hour news channels, etc…how many positives do you need in your day to undo the impact of all that negativity?
If you are working in a negative working environment or with negative people, if you have recently suffered from illness or a loss, if you are looking at any change of life that could be difficult (empty nest, surgery, divorce, death, loss of job, loss of neighborhood, etc.) all of a sudden you need to really bring into focus and actively search out all of the positives that you can. How can you do that?
I often will encourage my clients to start keeping a beauty journal writing down 10 beautiful, happy, positives that occurred with them during each day. It is often difficult for most people. So start simply…”the pen I picked up has ink in it; the car started when I first turned the key; I love the smell of coffee in the morning…” I promise there are beautiful things surrounding you every day, if you are just open to seeing them. You have to train your brain to register them.
That is one of the best parts. Our brains are trainable. We can turn our negative focus into a positive one. It just takes time and a deliberate effort to start looking for those positive things.
That is what is so incredible about God. In the midst of everything we seem to mess up, he still delivers beauty! He fills our lives with his presence and sends us positive reminders all of the time. But…are you looking for them? Are you open to them?
You can’t experience them if you aren’t looking! Are you? Enjoy!!!!
Heavenly and generous father,
We praise you and thank you for your presence in our lives. Help fill our heads and hearts with an awareness of the blessings you shower on us daily. Please help us remember your promises of love, hope and joy. For you are ultimately the most beautiful gift of any we could possibly imagine.
Please be with all of your people as we gather together this holiday season. And help us remember that your presence in our lives makes everyday Thanksgiving Day.
In your precious son’s name we joyfully sing out in thanksgiving…”AMEN!”