Thanksgiving Day Musing: The Challenge of Gratitude

Here in the United States of America it is Thanksgiving. A legally mandated day set aside to express gratitude and give thanks. Being thankful is the order of the day. It is true that for ordinary day to day things it can be easy to forget to be grateful. We at times have to be reminded to count our blessings. It is important to not take those day to day and important matters for granted and to have and express gratitude. Sure, sometimes that may seem trivial and unnecessary so of is ignored but engaging in being grateful is good for overall wellbeing.
Now gratitude for the blessings is actually the simplest aspect of being grateful. There is a much more difficult challenge in having a grateful attitude. The real challenge of gratitude is not being thankful for our blessings. No, rather it is being thankful for that which is unpleasant. It is being grateful for harm done. It is being grateful for pain and suffering. It is being grateful for loss. None of those areas are where one is able to be naturally grateful. Gratitude in such events is contrary to our own inclination. It is very tough yet that is what the Bible directs of each of us. The Bible directs us to “rejoice in the Lord always”(Philippians 4:4) not just when I feel good about things. The Bible directs us to “Give thanks in all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20) not just be thankful about what is good for self. It is not be grateful for good stuff and curse the occurrence of bad stuff. It is in all things be thankful. So why does God gives us such direction? Be thankful about bad things happening, really? Wow! Pretty challenging!
The reason why God directs us to do so is it is taking focus off of self and onto God. No matter what occurs if the focus is being thankful the focus is taken off self. It is important to note that it is not really being thankful about the events, the good or bad things that happen. The thankfulness is something that is beyond what is happening for it is not about such things. Rather, our being thankful is about God and who He is. It is growing in awareness of the goodness and love of God. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” (Psalms 107:1) Our thankfulness is about God, not about self. True thankfulness in all things takes one away from the ups and downs of life to the constancy of God which is always good. And it is with God’s aid that we are able to enjoy and endure whatever may occur for with God all things are possible. So, today, be Thankful, in all things, and where you cannot turn it over to God and ask Him to help you to be thankful: for God is good and His does endure forever; embrace it; be thankful!

Advertisements

Personal Update: Time to Refocus, Renew, and Move Forward

Okay folks. Admittedly I let myself begin to get mired down and disengaged rather than moving forward. It is easy for me to find plenty of things to “fault” for my retreat into silence. The falling back is quiet the opposite of the varied ways feel led. Perhaps it was feeling and knowing the struggle against reluctance that was approaching following the AACC conference. Hard to really put a finger on it. Now in this all, in spite of my reluctance and difficulty moving forward God still is moving things forward. Connections have been made and relationships renewed and refreshed that will result in getting pieces further in place. Overall, today is a day to begin the personal process of refocusing on what God has before me and on him, renewing what God has already started, and moving forward on that which he has stirred.

Goals:
1: Renew personal growth, study, and time with God (Once start slipping on daily time and filling with other space, it is tough to get back up and restarting.)
2: Refocus on Blog Writing (Start the mental health blog and be consistent with writing for both)
3: Return to facilitating forum discussions. Without my ongoing input the forum has gone very quiet.
4: Get started with book writing project.
5: Follow up on own with credentialing
6: Get private practice website operational
7: Start individual marketing of private practice
8: Build efficiency will current jobs, which also involves moving past reluctance.

Oh and sorry that this blog article is not well thought out examination of these subjects, as it is more just a personal reflection of what I need to do. Each day have choices to make. Move forward or stay in the muck. Now admittedly it is difficult to get up from the muck once got stuck. It takes work but it is a necessary thing to avoid further difficulties. In wrapping this post up, where are you in your own walk and journey? Are there issues you know you need to address but are avoiding? Are you at a “stuck” place? Are there things you know you need to move forward on but facing both external and internal resistance? Are you falling short of your own intentions? Did you face set backs, difficulties, or failed expectations that make it tough to move forward? Hopefully in this blog and other things to come there is seen growth and others are encouraged from the journey of the posts on the blog, on the forum, and anywhere discussions become engaged. Please also if I go quiet for an extended spell again drop me comment or word of encouragement.