The Thankful Challenge
Does the daily news get you down? Ebola, ISIS, political infighting, and negative NFL behavior can be discouraging. “What is this world coming to?” you may ask. We aren’t the first generation to ask this question. We are, however, one of the first to be bombarded with the negative news all day long through social media as well as the traditional news media, TV, radio and newspapers. This fall I discovered a helpful antidote to all the negativity.
At the beginning of September my daughter, Betsy, challenged me on Face Book to list three positive things each day for seven days. It was a busy time of year with school starting but I couldn’t say no to my daughter, could I? So I agreed. At the end of the day I focused positive events. Some days it was easy but not always. The weather, grandchildren, dinner with friends and the fall garden were some of my positives. I went to bed feeling more content then with my usual routine of watching the news, brushing my teeth, then crawling into bed.
On September 28, my cousin Wendy, challenged me in a similar way. I was asked to list three things I was thankful for each day for one week. I took the challenge hoping I would, again, feel like I had a more balanced perspective on life. Being thankful went a bit deeper then just being positive. I thought about the people who had impacted me over the years and those who are always there for me right now when I need a shoulder to lean on. I thought of the people who make me smile because they know how to smile. For example, my family friend, Doris. We chatted at church one day and she mentioned how good she felt when visiting with her friends at her senior housing apartment that week. She realized she was the youngest one in the group at 92. They were all middle to upper 90s! Now there’s something to smile about. She chuckled about it as she revisited the experience.
These two challenges have changed my attitude on life. I hope I can keep refocusing on my blessings to balance the negatives we all hear repeatedly. At first I waited until the end of the day, looking back to see if anything good had happened. Then I began expecting good things if I looked for them. It‘s like looking for the ways God is constantly working in our lives. If we aren’t watching, we miss the miracles!
This November I challenge each of you to list three things you are thankful for every day. Write them down so you can revisit them. It will help you find positive meaning in your life. You will see the little miracles God has in store for you! Happy Thanksgiving!