Day 16 talks about the highs and lows in my days. More specifically, being thankful for the highs and lows in every day life. It is easy to be thankful for the good stuff and ignore or even be mad at God when bad things happen (even “simple” things like a missed cab or getting cut off in the grocery store!). But just like all the other days, having a grateful heart revolves around being able to recognize and appreciate that sometimes bad things happen but they are all for the purpose of making you the person God knows you should be.
When my kids were little, we had a practice of starting each dinner by going around the table and talking about our days. Each person would say something bad that happened, something good that happened, and how they would make tomorrow better. They were not allowed to say anything insignificant or lame. I know that even small things can make a big impact in our day but truthfully, they were likely to say something just to have their turn be over. By making them pick something significant, I was making them really think about the responses before they gave them. The point in starting this tradition was not to instill a grateful heart inside them but rather to have an opening to let them tell me about their day without being a nag or without them saying “fine” when I asked how their day had been. Now that my daughters have children of their own, they have told me they wanted to have that same talk over the dinner table when the kids were old enough. They recognize that it was a good way to have a conversation with moody kids!
I would like to say that I practice gratitude in all parts of my life but I would be lying. I am grateful for the difficult stuff when I am writing in this blog but not in every day life. A new habit I need to get into is saying thank you when someone cuts me off at the grocery store. Maybe I will get back into the habit from long ago and tell God the good the bad and how tomorrow will be better!
Give thanks to our Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. And say “Save us God of our salvation, gather us and rescue us from the nations so that we may give thanks to your holy name and rejoice in your praise.1 Chronicles 16:34-35