Welcome to Thankful Tuesday!
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. People most always forget the key word “in” and replace it with “for.”
You are not to give thanks for the pain and anguish grief brought but give thanks in your grief. The grief monster is scared of you giving thanks because that proves you are not stuck in the muck, which is where he wants you.
There is a lot in your life for you to be thankful for, even while grieving. In the beginning of your grief journey, you can be thankful for the people who helped you plan the funeral, all the lasagna (the most common casserole brought to people), and all the people who took the time to send you sympathy cards.
As you continue through your journey, you will find numerous other items for which to be thankful:
- Sunrises / Sunset’s
- People who help with your children
- Hot ( or cold ) showers, whichever you prefer
Open your eyes and you will see a multitude of items.
One of the way to keep track of your blessings is with a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things in the morning and / or 3 things before bedtime. This way you start and end your day on a positive note.
I’ve also read in order to challenge yourself more, write down 5 or 10 people, places, or things in your gratitude journal every morning and night. The night time is to focus on 5 things that happened during the day for which you give thanks.
The amount does not matter, what matters is that you are writing down your thanksgiving. Writing makes it more personal, more tangible and more appreciated.
My favorite way to keep track of my blessing is to write each one on a slip of paper and put it in a clear vase. Keep the vase on the dining room table or other highly visible place and you will see your blessing grow throughout the year. I started this practice this year.
Then on December 31st, empty the vase and read what your wrote during the year. Reading them will jog your memory and prove just how much you have for which to give thanks. I thank my friend Ferree Hardy at Widow’s Christian Place for writing about this idea last year.
The slips of paper can then put them in a keepsake box, paste them in a journal or make them into confetti. At midnight, start the process all over again for the new year.
Thankful for Grief
Yes, one day you will give thanks for your grief because God used something hideous to grow you and bring some good out of your circumstance. He brought me through mine and equipped me to help others through this blog and being a GriefShare Co-Facilitator for 6 years.
I believe grief to be life’s greatest self-improvement course and pray you will see how God is growing you through your grief, so one day you will say
“Thank You, God for using grief for my growth.”
Resource: Grategy.com – A business my friend Lisa Ryan built on and about gratitude. Sign up at the bottom of her page to join me and others who receive her weekly gratitude email. You can also check out her books here and her Kindle books 52 Weeks of Gratitude: Transformation by Appreciation ($2.99 as of 10/12/15) and 52 More Weeks of Gratitude: Thank Your Way to Happiness ($2.99 as of 10/12/15) on Amazon. (All links are non-affiliate links) I have both books along with a couple others.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
What are you thankful for today?
Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of photography at OgleOhio.com, where she is running the series 31 Days of Autumn in Ohio – because running a 31 Day series on one blog is not enough insanity.