With Thanksgiving just a few days away, and the month of November dwindling down, it got me (and I’m sure a lot of people) thinking about thankfulness.
Every year it’s the same thing on Facebook. Thirty days of Thankfulness Challenge. I never participate. I enjoy reading the different things that my friends are thankful for, but I’ve never been good at remembering to do something and I wouldn’t want to feel forced to be thankful for something and share it, but then as I thought more, I realized that being thankful is something that is forced.
I’m a glass half full kind of gal. I am genuinely a happy person. I can usually make the best out of every situation, and the silver lining tends to catch my eye, but I’m not sure that I am genuinely thankful.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I mean a whole lot. But most of the time I think that I should just have those things because, well, because I deserve it. Because I am a nice person Because I am good. Because I do good things, and then I realized how terrible that actually is. I don’t deserve any of it. Like Any. Of. It.
On Sunday, our Bishop began talking about being thankful all of the time. I brushed it the idea off because I was convinced that I was thankful for most things, i.e. my children, my family, my house, my car, etc. But then I began to reflect and well, nope, turns out, I’m not thankful all of the time, I’m not even thankful most of the time.
So what would it look like to be thankful all of the time? I’m trying to change my attitude and truly be thankful all of the time. I can tell you it isn’t easy to maintain a thankful heart, it’s easy to find what you are thankful for, but it’s easier to get mad and angry then it is to praise God for providing it all to you. Let me give you an example.
Last night, my sweet husband shipped a package for She Made It Homemade’s. It was my first sale on Etsy and I was super excited about it. I was thankful that I was able to make my first sale. I charged my customer $3 for shipping. After all, it was just a small package of Lactation Cookie Mix. I even thought that $3 might be high, but I based it on what everyone else was charging for shipping. The total cost for shipping plus the mix was $7. I would make $4, minus the monthly charges, but it was no biggie. So back to my sweet husband. He went to the post office for me. (thankful) He put my mix into an envelope. It was even cushioned because he was going the extra mile for me. (thankful) He waited in line while only one person worked behind the counter. (thankful) Not to mention he had just had a long day at work. (thankful) And it was pouring down rain. (thankful) He was also running to the grocery store for me too. (thankful) But then he called me after he left. I had missed his call because I was helping Jaxsyn. I called him back only for him to tell me that he had just paid over $9 to ship my mix. I didn’t even know what to say. I listened to him tell me that he couldn’t understand the postal worker and that he was just ready to get out of there. I listened to him tell me about the huge line behind him and how he didn’t want to be a pain to those people. I listened to him tell me that he didn’t understand why it had cost so much, but that next time we would do a little more research on our shipping options. I listened to all of it, but I was mad. Not only did I end up paying way more for shipping than I had ever expected, but I had actually lost $2.62 on my first sale, meaning I was under by $2.62. The last thing on my mind, at that moment, was being thankful.
So, I’ve been doing this new thing where instead of yelling, or screaming, or getting mad at others, I yell and scream to God. I tell Him exactly what’s on my mind (I mean, He already knows anyways) and I let Him take it from me. So I did just that. I yelled. I screamed. I told Him how angry I was. And why? “Who loses money by making their first sale?” I was furious. But then, I remembered what we learned in church on Sunday and I tried to change my attitude from ‘angry’ to ‘thankful’.
Immediately, my attitude changed. It wasn’t hard at all to find the things that I was thankful for.
I was thankful for:
1. Having a shop on Etsy
2. Having a husband who was willing to go to the Post Office whenever I asked
3. A car that my husband could drive to the post office
4. The fact that I had the money to cover the costs before I received payment
5. Someone who wanted to buy my products
6. An important lesson before I ship anything else
Those were just a few, to be honest, the list goes on and on. And when you learn to have a thankful attitude, it never stops.
We shouldn’t thank God when things are good. He provides it all. ALL OF IT. And so even when things look bad, He’s got a plan. He knows what He is doing. And so yes, I did lose $2.62 on my first sale, but later that night, I had more customers interested in getting their hands on some She Made It Homemade’s products, and then the $2.62 I was upset about was nothing compared to the sales I was making.
I know that Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful, but I want to encourage you to be thankful all of the time. Look for thankfulness in everything. It’s not hiding. It’s there, it may be harder at first, but once you figure it out, you’ll notice a big change in perspective, and an even big change in your heart.