November 24, 2015

5 Unlikely Things I’m Thankful For

It’s easy to be thankful for obvious stuff. Around Thanksgiving, we naturally get swept away by the contagiousness of gratitude all around us and on social media. I love that. It positions our heart in the right posture. Usually when I consider...

5 Unlikely Things I’m Thankful For

It’s easy to be thankful for obvious stuff. Around Thanksgiving, we naturally get swept away by the contagiousness of gratitude all around us and on social media. I love that. It positions our heart in the right posture.

Usually when I consider what I’m thankful for, I think of all of the most obvious things: my health, my family, my job, mint Oreos—you know, all of the usual stuff.

But there are a whole lot of other things in my life that I label as “bad,” “boring,” or “tedious.” They usually don’t come to mind when I’m thinking of what I’m grateful for. But they are also things that I can actually be thankful for if I just look at them with a slightly new perspective.

After all, the difference between something you have to do and something you get to do is just your attitude. 

So here is my list of five unlikely things I’m thankful for (and why):

1. Grocery shopping. I put this first, because of all of my household responsibilities, I hate this one the most. But when I remember that shopping means I’m able to help buy, provide and cook food for my family, I become very grateful. There are so many people that would love the opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy a cart full of food.

2. Dirty floors. I have to vacuum dog hair off of the carpet approximately every seven minutes. This is because I have an amazing, beautiful and healthy Bernese Mountain Dog that has been by my side for my entire adult life. There will be a day in the future when he’s no longer with me, and I know that when that day comes, I will give anything to have those dirty floors again. When I think of it that way, I am very grateful for my shedding dog and dirty floors.

3. Taxes. No one likes paying taxes, right? I don’t. But then I remember I pay taxes because I have a job that pays me well to provide for my family. When I remember that I pay taxes because I make money, I’m grateful for taxes.

4. Household chores. I don’t get excited about household chores in the slightest. But when I remember that dirty dishes means I had food to eat, and laundry means I have clothes to wear, and fingerprinted, smudged windows mean I have a precious baby toddling around, then I look at chores differently. They all become a reminder of how many wonderful things I have in my life.

5. Waiting. I can’t stand waiting, and I am painfully impatient. In our culture of having everything we want right when we want it, as well as information available instantaneously at our fingertips, my issue with waiting has only gotten worse. But waiting produces so many good things. For one, it gives me time and forces me to think things through. It also helps me slow my life down from my usual breakneck speed. And most of all, it invites me to pray and trust God with the outcome while I wait.

What is on your list of unlikely things you can be thankful for? Thanksgiving is not only a time to be grateful for the good things. If we choose to, it can be a time to be grateful for everything.

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Leave a Comment

  • Teresa says:

    Your list and mine are very much alike. I don’t like the grocery… or cleaning… or taxes.. but the reminder of the attached blessings is priceless. Thank you. I needed this.

  • Tasha says:

    Well said. I needed to read that this morning. I guess I’m thankful for fights with the husband because I have a moral imperfect man to drive as crazy as he does me. Also, pumping gas in the cold because it is so much better than walking.

  • Christina says:

    After turning down a lucrative opportunity this week based on my personal code of ethics, I needed this reminder. It’s not always easy to wait for the right option, but it is worth it. I have so much to be thankful for.

  • Donna says:

    Just the other day I went to take out the trash and my seven year old said “You have to take out the trash.” In a nanana booboo kinda way. A tinge of gratefulness flooded my senses and I replied ” Have to? I get to, I’m so glad that I have a trash bag and a container to put our trash into.” Mind you, I’m not usually of such sound reasoning. Thank you for sending all of your words of wisdom to reflect on and with.

  • Rori Jensen says:

    Yesterday, at 2pm, I braved some Thanksgiving shopping at our local Costco and I thought I was crazy for attempting this. I parked at the far end of the parking lot, thankful that I have the ability to walk that far, and went in. I immediately walked out again because it was so packed. I was going to go back, a 45 minute round trip drive, tomorrow morning. Well, that was not going to be efficient with all the prep I still had ahead of me. I changed my attitude and purposely told myself I was going to be the blessing in lots of people’s harried lives this shopping trip. I smiled, slowed down, let people’s carts go first around the congested corners of the isles and I actually enjoyed the excursion. I also was thankful for the ability to fill a shopping cart with groceries in order to bless and share with my family and friends. Thanks Christy for the reminder to be thankful in all things, at all times.

  • Dot says:

    I am thankful to be able to actually celebrate an American Thanksgiving, in America, at my house, with some of my children and my grandchild, since my husband died of cancer. So thankful that His grace has brought me this far.

  • Dot says:

    I am so thankful for the reminder that I am able to celebrate American Thanksgiving, in America, at my house, with some of my children, and a grandchild since my husband died of cancer. His grace has brought me so far. So very thankful.

  • Jennifer Haston says:

    Yes!!! “painfully impatient” fits me to a “T”. We really want to have a baby and the “waiting” is (reframed of course) as great because it means more time that “just the two of us” have together. Thank you Christy!

  • Rochelle says:

    Thank you for your list!!! Great reminders!! I am thankful for:
    1. A God who loves me and is with me today and everyday!
    2. Its snowing today and so beautiful
    3. I get to workout today
    4. I have friends that love me
    5. My family