Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving thanks

It's easy to focus on the negative. On what we DON'T have. On what is lacking in our lives. It's easy to let our circumstances dictate our attitude.
OR we can pick gratitude.
Gratitude is contagious.
It's infectious.
It changes things.
I live a life of abundance. I have SO much. My life is so rich. Sure, there are things in life that I am lacking. Things I desire. Things I wish could change. But I live a life of incredible abundance!
I've been seeing people's posts on Facebook about their 30 days of thanks. I love it, but I wonder, shouldn't we live a LIFE of thanks? Not just a month? The holiday seasons are hard. We are bombarded with bigger, better, newer, shinier, fancier, more expensive things. We start thinking "maybe the 20 pairs of shoes in my closet AREN'T enough. Maybe I DO need a bigger TV, a newer car, a better phone..." It's in these moments that I'm reminded of the hundreds of faces I saw while in Africa. The children begging for as little as an apple. The teeny, tiny little kids who didn't have ANY shoes, who were lucky to eat one meal every other day, who lived with 7 other people in a "house" that we would consider a small closet. I remember hearing my dear, sweet Leah tell me of how, after her mother died and her father abandoned them, she had to do "horrible things" to provide food for her and her two younger siblings. She was 6 at the time. Six years old. She was a child, carrying the burden of an adult.
And it's in those memories, those moments that I am reminded of just how incredibly lucky I am. How much luxury I live in. How much I have to be thankful for.
I was given an INCREDIBLE education. For free.
I got to eat three meals. Every single day.
I never shared a room. Ever
Every year, I got at least one new pair of shoes.
I have lived a life of absolute abundance.
I have SO much to be grateful for.
And trust me, I get it, my life has NOT been perfect. I have had my fair share of heart ache and pain and suffering and brokenness. But that doesn't mean I can't live a life of gratitude. That doesn't mean I can't be grateful.
It's challenging. But I think it's a challenge we absolutely need to approach.
Our lives need a huge dose of gratitude. And not just once a month. But once a month is a beautiful place to start. 
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