Always Be thankful – Never take anything for granted

It is September 2, 2020. And while I would love to put the brakes on and hold on to summer as long as I can, I can’t.

I can’t ignore the fall decorations, Halloween inflatables, or the pumpkin wagons being parked at the local Co-Op and parking lots.

Fall is coming and bringing with it pumpkin-spiced everything, fall colors, and signs with words on them, such as; Thankful…Grateful…# Blessed.

Whatever the word combination, they are everywhere. And, I am wondering, will we be more thankful this year than last year?

I can’t help but think back to February, when we knew about the virus, but didn’t give it much thought. But come March, everything began to hit the fan. The first weekend in March was our ladies scrapbook retreat at our church, and news began trickling in; schools were closing, people were going crazy, and soon it hit us.

On March 8th, we went to church in the morning, our doors were closed that afternoon. Not because of the virus, but due to the state order.

My Dad got temporarily laid off from his work, and so, life in “quarantine” began, something that was at first, very weird.

But, thankfully my two good friends from church also felt the same way, and together, we kept each other sane.

Each of us “coped” a different way at being stuck at home. Aspen made over 120 bracelets and wrote tons of letters to friends and family. Claire read a lot of books and took bike rides.

Me? I discovered a very tiny part of me that was crafty and took up painting and abstract art.

And together we sent each other over 730 emails in 73 days.

That’s the keyword here, 70+ days. While Claire and I got to see other people, Aspen saw no one but her family for 70 days.

On May 17th when our church doors were opened once again, we came back with a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude. Thankful to see each other and our church family, and to be back at church again.

Going to church was something I’ve done since I was born. My Dad was a Pastor, so going to church was very much a part of our lives, and being thankful for it never really crossed my mind.

It was just one of the many things we took for granted during our 70+ days in quarantine.

We are, I think, never fully thankful for something until it is taken away from us. Many things were taken away from us when our state shut down, like seeing family, going to the store, going to church, browsing the shelves at the library, jobs, and just simply living “normal.”

It’s been months since our state reopened, and since then I’m sure we have lapsed, somewhat, back into taking everything for granted.

Don’t do that.

Every time you can go to church in person, and not have to watch it online, or for us, having Sunday school/church on Zoom, be thankful.

When you can see family and have them over, be grateful they are not on the other side of a screen.

If you can go to the store and get what you need and not see empty shelves, that’s something to be thankful for.

Yesterday I got my hair cut, we made the appointment last week. Back in March, you could not do that, so if you can get your hair cut, be grateful you can.

Everything we have back could easily be taken away from us again, so don’t take it for granted.

When we start plastering our homes and social media pages with thankful-quotes or #Blessed. Mean what you plaster.

The words ‘thankful’ and ‘grateful’ tend to be overused. Because the words sound good or fit in with our sentences. But, do we really know what it means?

Thankful – Definition

Feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

Gratitude Definition

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. A feeling of being grateful or thankful

Being thankful means to fully appreciate what we have. All. The. Time.

I Thessalonians 5:18 says

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Another version says

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Often, we tend to be in a thankful state of mind when everything is going well. When we have blessings coming our way or we see a prayer answered. Which yes, we should absolutely give thanks in those situations, but we should give thanks in all circumstances.

That is not easy, but doable. If we have a roof over our heads, food in the kitchen, clothes to wear, a car to drive, stores to shop in, then we already have so much to be thankful for.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

Always be Thankful

Never take anything for granted.