Being Thankful During Ungrateful Days

It’s November, and even though most of us consider this a Christmas pt. 1, Thanksgiving is still a thing and while I won’t argue with the history around it, this month is still a time when people turn their attention towards being thankful.

Thankfulness isn’t something I’m fantastic or even decent at.

Growing up (and still occasionally) my mom had my siblings and I list five, ten, or more things we were thankful for when we were complaining or being negative, and while I have so many things to list, my mind would always go blank when told to make a list. Yes, I’ll acknowledge the fact that it was and is horrible of me, but still, in my negative state, it truly felt like there was nothing and that everything was going wrong.

I wish I could say grew out of that.

Recently, I’ve been struggling a lot with being positive and being grateful for all that I have in this life. I’ve always struggled with feeling really negatively about myself and that negative outlook has spread to other things like the disease it is. I had a week of ungratefulness. I wish I could say that I truly fought through it, but honestly, I started to give up until my mom tough loved me out of it.

It was like I had been in a bad dream that I finally woke up from only to see a lot of things I had been working on falling apart after I neglected them.

I can’t do this constantly, I realized. I can’t lose whole weeks or even months because I forget to keep sight of the good.

I have to be stronger, I have to fight back harder.

Maybe you’re like me in some way, big or small, and also struggle with not being thankful, then this post is for you and for us.

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”-Colossians 2:6-7

As someone who didn’t grow up in the church, I was blown away by how amazing the Lord and His church is, and how glad I was to be a part of it. Every Sunday, Wednesday, and every time we gathered together as Christians, I would look around and be so grateful to be there, I felt like I didn’t deserve it, and it was so overwhelming and humbling and I felt so much joy.

I’ve met many people who grew up in Christian homes, and I was taken aback by the ones who didn’t seem to realize the beauty of it all or the magnitude of the truth and how lucky we are to know it.

However, like so many of those people I have met, I too have become complacent, forgetful, and ungrateful.

How do we fix this?

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”-Colossians 3:15-17

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..”

I don’t know about you, but I am not always good at hiding God’s word in my heart (Psalm 119:11) or reflecting on it throughout my day as I need to.

I have a note card stuck above my doorknob with Proverbs 7:2-3 written on it (yes, the notecard has for sure seen better days by now, but that’s not the point). I placed it above my doorknob so that every time I reached out to leave my room I would be reminded to keep God’s commandments and live, to bind them on my fingers, and to write them on the table of my heart.

Sadly, that notecard has become something I no longer take note of, but the point past Grace was trying to remind herself of remains:

We need God’s word. We need His word dwelling richly in us, because His word is life and truth, and part of the truth is that we have so much to be thankful for, we have so much to rejoice over.

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”-Philippians 2:16

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I find that every time I start to be negative and ungrateful is because I have stopped dwelling on the word of God, I have stopped clinging to it, and I have started forgetting the gift of God and the gifts of God.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”-Ephesians 2:8-9

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”-James 1:17

Thankfulness can be challenging at times, but I know we both get out hearts back in the right place.

Let’s start by not only acknowledging all the things the Lord has done for us, but praising Him for it.

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”-Psalm 106:1

We’ve got this. ❤

October

It’s been a while since I’ve done a wrap-up, partly because I have social media and it feels kind of moot to post the highlights on here too now, and partly because a lot of people I know personally have told me that they’ve started reading this blog and it feels weird.

However, I know that a few of y’all did say you enjoy these, and if you still want to see/read them, let me know, I do love writing and I want to post content y’all want to read (even though I barely post anymore).

So… October!

Well, it started with my mom, my little brother, and I going to a homeschool football game, it was very nostalgic and even though we had to wear masks and follow weird rules, it went ok.

However, my mom and I made the mistake of hugging a boy I used to babysit and go to worship with that I hadn’t seen in a long time… the next day his mom, who we also talked to briefly, messaged us abut being positive for covid.

Thus, October started out in quarantine for us. We were and still are completely healthy, I think my mom was lowkey hoping we’d get it just to get it over with, but that hasn’t happened yet, so we have continued to live our lives as usual, just with a mask on occasionally.

The college students from my congregation and a few other congregations had a fall retreat, it was good! The lessons were phenomenal and on love and unity, which is something I think is really needed right now.

Our local college students

Our congregation also put on a trunk or treat for the little kids and a friend and I went with a hippie theme.

Emotionally, I feel like I’ve been through a lot this month and the last few months, but I know I am growing that I am stronger because of it all.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about pro-life and adoption and how those two don’t go together when they should, so stay tuned for a post about that soon(ish).

And… that’s all I really have…

How has your month been?

Coffee Dates: What I’ve Been Up To

Hello, how are you?
I didn’t mean to fall off the face of the blogging platform, yet, here I am and it’s been weeks since I’ve posted.

I’ve been busy with work and other things. I’ve learned that it’s good for me to be busy, but at the same time, I haven’t done an amazing job at allowing myself time to just think and be and that’s hurt my blogging life.

Work is going great, I’m babysitting almost every day for a family, I help out with housework, homeschooling, and getting meals on the table and kids in the bath at the end of the day. I enjoy it a lot more than I would enjoy any other job, and I love “my kids”, but that doesn’t mean I’m not tired. I also occasionally babysit for another family, so between that and my current job, my days are usually filled with work, which is good because work equals money, the very thing I took a gap year to gain and save up.

I also got accepted into Southwest School of Bible Studies, which is exciting and overwhelming. I’ll be a student come August 2021, and no, I don’t have a single clue what I am doing. I did, however, visit the school and sat through a few classes and I greatly enjoyed it and feel secure that my choice to spend two years of my life there was indeed the correct one. I’m ready to devote myself to the Bible for two years and I hope to throw myself into the homework and really give it my all.

The other day, my mom and I were talking about my responsibility to not only learn and do well at Southwest but to take what I’ve learned and do something with it. I hope too in forms of evangelizing more, maybe working on teaching children and women’s classes in the future, and whatever else I can do. I know I’ll take what I’ve learned and use it, maybe even on this blog, who knows?

So, what’s really been going on with me?

If you’re reading this, I suppose you’re either curious or bored.

I’ll admit it: it hasn’t been all roses, as much as I would like to say that life is currently me rolling up to work with a tall yeti of coffee and then going to devos at night, it’s for sure been more than just that.

On the positive side, I think I am starting to get better at not only reaching out to people but at working on making more friendships. It’s been discouraging in the past, living in a college town as a younger person, and even though I’ve graduated early and have realized that I’m pretty much the same as the other girls in college who are now only one, two, or three years older than me. There have still been times when I felt that all people saw when they looked at me was my age or lack thereof, but I’ve realized that it’ll always be the case.

There will always be people who are older than me or in a different season of life and decide treat me differently for it.

When I’m nineteen, I won’t be twenty. When I’m twenty, I won’t be thirty. When I’m dating, I won’t be engaged. When I’m married and have kids there will always be people who will say things like “oh, you can’t talk about being tired until you have four kids,” and then if I had four, they would add to that number.

I guess that’s my longwinded way of saying that I’ve realized that there will always be people who will look down at me for my place in life, even if that place doesn’t affect who I am or what I can do.

This realization has helped me shrug my shoulders when I feel alienated or pre-judged by others based on my age because there will always be people like them. There will also always be people who will like you for you, regardless of if your place in life seems lower, less important, and less smart. I cannot let them make me feel like I’m less of a person, because I know that Timothy is told in first Timothy to not let others look down on him because of his age, but to set an example in his life, and I know I can do the same.

I think I’m doing better at no longer letting that feeling and vibe others give off at times get to me, I’m starting to push away the thoughts of “they wouldn’t want to be friends with me if they knew my age” and have started reaching out more.

People need friends, I need friends, we all need connection. My age might not let me vote or drive more than one minor not related to me in my car, but it doesn’t prohibit me from being a friend and encouragement.

I’m not really sure how to end this post, I feel like I’ve mostly ranted, but this has been on my mind.

So, I guess all I have left to say is:

Yes, I graduated early. Yes, I’m seventeen. Yes, I’m trying my hardest and always will.

How have you been?

What have you been learning?