Being continually thankful
We are a few days into the New Year and already many of the resolutions people made on January 1st will have been broken. I don’t make resolutions. I choose a word for the year that describes what I want to see more of in my life. Last year’s word was ‘connect’ because I wanted to have more connection to my family and friends, to my creative work and to God.
This year’s word is gratitude or thankfulness.
In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Recently the whole month of November has become synonymous with thankfulness and people have been encouraged to keep a gratitude journal. But thankfulness should be a year-long habit – a lifestyle – not something we keep on one day or for one month.
There have been many studies done on the value of being thankful. It turns out that gratitude is good for our mental health.
We don’t need to keep a gratitude journal although writing things down always helps. (There are also Apps available.) One thing we can all do at the end of the day is think of 3 things that we are thankful for. We could start the day that way too. And having thought of the things, we can thank God for them.
Thanking God in prayer is powerful. We can thank him for what he has given us already and we can thank him for things he has yet to do in our lives. We can thank him for the promises he has made us that are not yet fulfilled.
You might like to do a study of the words thank, thanks, or thanksgiving in the Bible. There are many examples. Let’s ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name’. Psalm 100:4
New Year’s resolutions or contemplation of lifestyle changes almost always consist of activities we must do or change usually around diet and exercise. We say to ourselves: ‘This is THE year when we will lose that weight or improve our core strength’! But thankfulness is a habit we can easily incorporate into our lives. And instead of rushing to add even more activities to our hectic lives why not quiet down and be thankful. Becky Webb recently shared with us about incorporating rest into our lives: Sustainable Mission
We can be thankful as we rest. Let’s make 2018 the year we learn to be continually thankful.