by Tiffani Long
Don’t panic! That’s not a typo in the title. If you’re like me, you maybe even cringed a little that a publicly published devotional allowed a “misspelled” word to get through editing! But, if you’ll grant me a little vowel swapping for now, I think you’ll see why I did that.
November is typically the month of “thankfulness” with many people posting on their social media outlets a “daily thankful” post and stores selling everything from wall hangings to napkins with words like “give thanks” written on them. Even though I would appreciate reading those sentiments year round, with those words and ideas ever before us this month, it’s the perfect time to truly reflect on our own attitude concerning thankfulness.
Now, back to my vowel swapping. In order to truly be thankful, I believe we have to be “thinkful”—meaning we must really ponder our daily bread. Did God provide my needs TODAY? Yes! Will He do it again tomorrow? GUARANTEED! Mindfulness reaches into those selfish places inside our hearts and minds and replaces our greed with gratitude.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine)
We can’t complain and give thanks with the same breath. It’s either one or the other. If we are thinking on true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things, there simply isn’t room for complaining or discontentment.
Each morning as I allow my mind to ponder what the day may have in store, I know that great days are certainly not guaranteed, but neither are bad ones. Life is amazing. Life is HARD. Will I choose to be thankful that the delay with traffic granted me some sort of heavenly protection against harm? Will I see that the piles of laundry means that my home is filled people that I desperately love and want to serve? Will I choose to feel that “no” from someone today means a greater “yes” in God’s time? Whatever the day has for me I will THINK on thankfulness no matter the situation.
I want to spend my evenings in the same way, reflecting on all that happened that day to be thankful for—a bargain on a pair of pants my daughter had been wanting, a seed of hope planted during a conversation with someone who is hurting, a new truth discovered while studying His Word, a corn dog at the fair, extra fuel points while grocery shopping…
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17
Yes, that includes a hand-dipped corn dog and extra fuel points!
Sometimes the second an utterance of discontentment or ungratefulness leaves my mouth, I wince at myself. What in life do I truly have to complain about? And yet the Enemy would love nothing more than for us to live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. Nothing robs our faith and joy more than wishing for something else, feeling neglected or that we deserve something better…thankfulness is the antidote to that. We must use our minds to be “thinkful” and our hearts to be “thankful”—friends, we are blessed, indeed.