With Thanksgiving just past and the memories of laughter and good food still lazing through our minds, it’s important to remember that we aren’t supposed to save all of our gratitude and thankfulness for one day a year, we are to be continually giving thanks to God for all that he has done for us. Sometimes it can be hard to think of something that we’re grateful for, especially if we’re in a season where it seems like everything is against us. But the truth is that even in the darkest of places there’s at least one thing to be thankful for, even if it’s just the fact that your heart is still beating. Having a jumping-off point can be very helpful in getting the gratitude ball rolling. One method that I use a lot is the ABCs of Thankfulness (which I know is a cheesy name, but if it works it works), where you go through the alphabet and name one thing that you’re thankful that starts with each letter. Sometimes it can be a little tricky, but it’s a great way to visually see all that you have to be grateful for in life.
I’ve found that there is power in not only taking time to count our blessings but to also write them down or say them out loud. When we make physical space for them it helps our hearts to realign with the overflowing love of God. It brings us out of the hectic headspace of the world and lets us slow down to appreciate the way God’s moving in our lives. So below are some of my ABC’s and I’m beyond grateful to God for each one of them:
Admiration – I’m so thankful to be able to have so many people that I admire in my life. People who I can look up to and reach out to for help because they’ve been walking this path a lot longer than I have.
Books – These have been a constant source of companionship and escape for as long as I can remember. Their pages are filled with places that I love and friends that I cherish, and I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to my shelves.
Chocolate – Need I say more?
Dawn – Sunrise is my favourite time because it shows you that the darkness never lasts forever. Even the hardest night comes to an end with the sun breaks across the sky.
Enough – I always have enough of what I need. I’m always taken care of; even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, looking back I can see that in every season of my life, I’ve been the exact portion of what I needed. And that portion is always enough.
Family – Whether it’s a blood relation, soon to be family members or people who’ve become family over the years, I could not go through life without these people. They’re my rock and my lifeline, they help me stay grounded and to turn my gaze forward and upward.
God – I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for God and His eternal grace, love, mercy, patience…everything for me.
Horses – This probably sounds cliché, but my life would not be the same without horses. They’ve shaped me, changed me, broken me, and healed me. Every single day that I get to work alongside them is a blessing, and I’m beyond thankful that God has allowed me to spend my hours with them.
Instrumental Music – While I can’t read music or play an instrument to save my life, I love to listen to instrumental music, especially while I’m writing or unwinding at the end of the day.
Joy – Life isn’t always mountain top moments of celebration, sometimes it’s valley paths of growing and strengthening, and sometimes it’s slogging through bogs of despair. Whatever the case and no matter where you are, happiness doesn’t always cut it. Joy is choosing to look for God in each moment and see where he’s leading you; it’s not a feeling it’s a choice. And what a difference that choice can make.
Kindness – The world is a better place when we’re kind to one another, and smiles are more abundant when we choose to show kindness…even if the situation makes us want to act differently.
Love – I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely awestruck I am by the love of God. There aren’t enough words to explain how much it means to me and how much I want to share it with others.
Mornings – Those moments right before the sun comes up, when the sky is starting to change colour, the world is a hazy grey, and most people are still asleep; that is my favourite part of the day. Within that sacred silence, I find communion with God as I seek His word and will before entering the world.
Notebooks – Writing has been a soul-saving activity for me, and that could not be done without notebooks and journals. My mind would be a messier place, and my emotions would be far more out of control if it were not for them.
Outdoors – I love spending my days outside in the wilderness, surrounded by the beauties of nature. It’s there in the middle of creation that I feel closet to my Creator.
Puppies – They make everything better. There can never be too many puppy kisses and cuddles.
Quiet – Whether a calm space or a quiet heart in the middle of chaos, growth happens in these places and spaces because we are no longer distracted by the hustle around us and can fully focus on the voice of God.
Relationships – There are some people that come into your life and turn your world upside down. These are the people who step into your circle, and before you know it you couldn’t imagine your life without them. They challenge and encourage you, fight for you and laugh with you. They’ll go on adventures with you but also binge watch Netflix alongside you. They are the people who leave their messy fingerprints all over your heart (and windows)
Sabbath – For a long time, I never took a day of rest, I just powered through my weeks and then wondered why I felt so frayed at the end of the day. Over the past couple of months I’ve been more intentional about taking a Sabbath day, and it has changed my life.
Tea – You can never find a mug of tea big enough to suit me, but I’ll keep on trying anyway.
Unity – When we come together, we can effect change. When we raise our voices and stand up against injustice, we can change the tune. When we stand united we cannot be shaken.
Victory – Through Jesus, we have victory over everything that comes against us. I am so thankful that I do not have to win my battles on my own, and that Jesus has already declared victory over my life.
Wasting Time – So often we confine ourselves to schedules and to-do lists that we miss the beauty of wasting time connecting with friends or wasting time with God. We get so caught up in efficiency that we forget that life is about so much more than how many items we checked off of our lists.
X – “X” marks the spot, “X” for kisses, this letter stands for many things but is used in very few words and I appreciate that. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not; it just does its thing no matter what.
You – I’m so thankful for every one of you who reads these posts and encourages me to keep going
Zest – Sometimes, you need your food to be a little zesty to add that extra kick, and sometimes you need your life to be a bit zesty. I’m thankful for people in my life who do both of those things.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17