Tough Thanksgiving Lessons on Gratitude

thanksgivingAre you struggling to find something to offer thanksgiving about? Vicki shares.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7).

This Thanksgiving will you, “Eat what they’re serving and be grateful”?

That’s what my grandmother would remind me. Back in the 60’s when I grew up, “Mom-Mom” regularly declared etiquette rules. As matriarch of the family, she knew her decrees would be followed.

So I’d obediently choke and gag on turnips and brussel sprouts. And vowed never to eat them as an adult.

Nowadays I don’t eat those veggies, but I do live life by my grandmother’s advice. There was wisdom in her words. She taught about focus–focus on the giver. Once I learned her lesson, I could easily swallow the sweetness of a host’s hospitality and efforts.

Focusing on the Giver of life transforms my thinking about my multiple sclerosis (MS). God has “served” MS in my life. I can either choke on that fact or trust in His Truth–truth that tells me that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

Each day I’m confronted with difficulties. Routine tasks remind me of my grandmother’s advice. They force me to decide if I’ll accept what God is serving. Will I grumble . . . or be grateful?

Washing my hair tests me. Exhaustion tempts me to feel sorry for myself. Choosing to focus on the Giver transforms my attitude. I’m reminded that God numbers each hair on my head. He cares about each detail of my life, from tiny follicles to taunting fears.

Reflecting on His love fills my heart with thanks. As water flows on my soapy hair, showers of blessings cleanse my mind.

Heavenly Father, thank You that I have two arms that move and am not paralyzed. Thank You that I have hair to wash and don’t have cancer. Thank You for giving me strength to care for myself. . .

Funny how gratitude bring blessings into focus.

Prayer: Dear Father, create in me a teachable spirit. I don’t mean to be a slow learner. My desire is to see Your loving hand in all areas of my life. Open my eyes to the many blessings You’ve given me. Help me accept what You’re serving in my life. And to be grateful for what You’ve spared me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net

Have you been able to find blessings in daily challenges? Have you been able to focus on God in the midst of a difficult routine task?

In this video Jeremy Camp sings “In Your Presence.” Instead of putting yourself down for not feeling very grateful, take a moment to just confess this sin to Jesus right now. It’s a hard one! I struggle with it daily. Ask for forgiveness and then take a few minutes to listen to this song and just praise Him… whether you feel like it or not. We all know our feelings can be deceptive sometimes, so just praise Him for being God. -Lisa

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