There’s numerous times during the day that I find myself smiling at my husband and saying “I love our life!”. Most of the time it’s in simple moments like making chocolate cake, watching Heroes, driving through downtown SLO, or playing at Laguna park. There’s so many of these “simple moments” that make me incredibly thankful for all that I’ve been given in this life.
David reminded me the other day of the power of thankfulness. It made me think about how easy it is to get wrapped up in the negatives…
"I love my job…but I can’t stand the way my employees do this or that."
"The place I live is gorgeous…but my house is way too small."
"I’ve been to Europe before…but I haven’t traveled in forever."
We’ve created a habit of slipping in these corrective clauses alongside of positive notations. I guess it has become our way of reminding us that even though we’re happy, things really aren’t as good as they could, or maybe should be.
Don’t read me wrong here, I agree that things always can be better. You probably did deserve a raise 6 months ago. It probably is about time you found somewhere new and exciting to explore. And the people across the counter really ought to treat you much nicer. These situations are all very real and near to our hearts.
I’m thinking of a way to enjoy life more by being genuinely thankful, rather than the ever-so-dismal “thankful…BUT”. There definitely is a much deeper aspect in all of this.
True thankfulness isn’t something you can teach yourself necessarily. It’s not even something you can imitate. I believe true thankfulness is genuinely a choice you have to make daily, minute by minute.
It’s a constant choice and each time you decide “I will be thankful for…” I believe that this Christ-like attitude will fill you with a power that can truly bring you joy. contentedness, peace, and a true spirit of thanksgiving.
Getting a new job has had its challenges for me, mainly because it’s NOT the Llama and I miss my old co-workers, regulars, and our little glass gibraltar tumblers.
This past month at the new job has felt like a strange roller coaster that I wasn’t sure I wanted to strap into in the first place.
I wanted this job. God gave me this job. He gave me the exact schedule I asked for. He blessed me. Instead of choosing thankfulness I subsided to that treacherous form of protective paradigms. I was stuck between two separate statements concerning my job that pointed in two completely opposite directions.
"This specific coffee shop atmosphere suits me…BUT it’s not in SLO"
"I’m able to work as a barista…BUT things are different than the Llama"
"I get to drive Highway 1 to work…BUT it’s a 30 min. commute both way."
How can I honestly be thankful for what God has given me when I’m constantly proving to myself that I’m not actually happy with what I have?
The other day David and I walked into the Elfin Forest. I went about this spiel for probably the tenth time in the last month. He listened, I spieled, until I grew quiet, overcome with unknowing. I truly had no idea how I felt about any of it anymore.
David looked at me smiling and said, “I think you should focus on being thankful. Anytime someone asks about your job, tell them how awesome it is, how much you love it, and how thankful you are for it. Don’t think about the things that bug you, or don’t exactly agree with you. Be thankful. Let everyone know you are thankful.”
I knew in an instant he was right.
Yesterday I tried it, and WOW, what a difference it made. Anytime I felt those negative clauses creep into my thoughts, I warded them off with statements like this, “Thank you God for my fun, exuberant co-workers. Thank you God that our shop is right across from the ocean. Thank you that I didn’t have to get up super early this morning.” I kept this going till I felt full. Full of peace and excitement. All those negative thoughts were gone and I was able again to enjoy those “simple moments” that make me love my life.
Happy Thanksgiving! (not really, but you get it)
[the photos above represent those simple moments in my life]