A few years ago, it was The Thing on Facebook to post something that you are thankful for every day during the month of November. Everybody was doing it. I think only one of my friends is doing it with me this year. But I'm keeping it up because I think it's a good spiritual exercise. We aren't nearly grateful enough.
This year, however, it doesn't seem quite as easy to come up with stuff to post every morning. I'm not quite sure why. Might be because I'm working again, and my brain is more occupied and doesn't roam as easily. But I think it's more that my perspective has been changing. I'm still thankful to God, but for different things.
I'm still glad that my family and I are healthy and safe. But I'm thanking God for the struggles we have had over the year that remind me that my family is in His hands . . . that I am not as powerful as I think I am.
I'm glad when I have a good night of sleep. But I thank God for the nights that I can't sleep and I realize how helpless I am to take care of even my most basic needs . . . and I learn to depend on Him.
I'm glad that we have such conveniences and luxuries as television, internet, and cell phones. But I'm thankful to God for the conviction I get on a daily basis that I'm using these devices as an escape . . . that I have been put here on earth with actual people he intends me to interact with and have an influence on . . . and that my tendency to escape into these virtual worlds shows how un-Christlike I am at heart and how amazing it is that my Savior chooses to love me anyway.
I'm glad that I have a job I enjoy, that uses my gifts well, that makes me excited to work every day. But I thank God that I am reminded every day that anything good that happens in my classroom is not a result of my planning or my brilliance or my talents . . . it's a result of God working in these kids' lives . . . hopefully through me, but often despite me.
I'm glad that I am not experiencing the trials many others are facing today. But I thank God for the trials I AM facing . . . because I am increasingly more desirous of an intimate relationship with God than I am of an easy, comfortable life . . . and I know that God only allows the trials He does to build that desire and that relationship.
And I'm thankful for the little inklings of that desire in my life. Lord knows, it is not natural to me.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May we all be truly thankful.