• Tara Banks

A Different Kind of Thankfulness

Today, I’m thinking about a different kind of thankfulness. The holidays can admittedly bring a wide variety of emotions, and this one is no different. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful, especially when life has been, well, extra.

Due to a variety of circumstances and distances, I’m not able to be with most of the people I love today. And while I would love to be with them and can’t, I’m preaching to my own heart today to stay grateful. I also want to acknowledge, fellow Wait-er, that you may be struggling with your own response to thankfulness today due to your variety of circumstances. But, in it all, I want to say, He is near. And in my experience, shifting our perspective, even for a moment, on the small things helps me to assess the larger, more painful things with a different kind of gratitude. So, in light of that, I’m hoping to spin thankfulness on its head today and shift my perspective on what it means to be thankful. Will you join me?

Am I thankful for the people in my life that I love? Absolutely - they mean the world to me.

Am I thankful for the life and home and jobs and activities I get to enjoy? Absolutely - I do feel genuinely blessed.

Is all of it perfect? Not at all.

Is it messy? Most of the time.

So - in light of that, and to renew my mind*, as I was reflecting on some very normal things in my life and pausing to hear God’s voice in each of them - I came up with a little list of thankfulness from things just around my house to help me keep my perspective rooted in everyday gratitude. So, here are a few not-the-normal-things-you’d-say-around-the-table-things I’m thankful for today:

Laundry that doesn’t stop - because it means that my family has clothes to wear, no matter how smelly.

Dishes that pile up and take on a life of their own - because it means that my family has food to eat.

Bills that come out of nowhere - because it means that we have an opportunity to see God show up, even when the numbers don't make sense.

Making beds and changing sheets (and learning to fold the fitted ones)- because it means we have a warm, soft place to rest at night.

A garage door that is slightly dented in and makes the worst noise you’ve ever heard - because when it goes up, it means my husband is getting ready to walk through the door.

Dusting the hundreds of things - because it means we have furniture to enjoy and, honestly, so much excess.

Home projects that never end - because it means that we've been given the responsibility to steward a safe haven for our family and make it a place where people feel welcome.

Vacuuming the floors and carpets and rugs - because it means we have rooms to care for and three very fuzzy dogs.

The years of picking up toys - because I don’t get to do it anymore, I actually miss it, and because it means I have two boys who have brought me more joy than I could ever express.

Run-of-the-mill thankfulness. These things can be things that I can grumble about and miss the opportunity to be thankful for - OR -they can be daily reminders of God’s presence, goodness, and faithfulness in my life in so many ways.

I love the way the Message version states Psalm 100:4

“Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.”

No matter your circumstance - the password to His presence is “Thank You.”

Today we might be gathered around tables with people we love or not. We might be in the very best or most challenging year of our lives. Regardless, let’s be found today being a grateful people as we remember in everything, He is still worthy of all praise and thanks.

(I'm so thankful for you.)


*Romans 12:2


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