It’s November! It’s dark when I wake up and dark when I’m eating dinner! The weather is colder and the brilliant yellow leaves are now mushy wet piles on the ground! I need to buy Christmas presents soon even though I have no money! I need….this sucks…..he’s such a ……if I only could….if she only would….wah, wah, wah. Sound familiar?
Stop it. Right now. There are so many things in our lives that we can complain about and the complaints just seem to roll out of our brain & out from our mouths like a fountain that spits water. Except it isn’t pretty.
Even if I’m not verbalizing complaints, I’m thinking it. And I’m guessing you do too. So, this month we kick of the challenge of practicing thanksgiving, and not just on the day we eat turkey and pumpkin pies. This month my double-dog challenge to you is to stop grumbling and start being thankful. Hopefully, I’ll become less of a jerk and so will you 🙂 Since this is an inward choice that gets reflected in the ways we treat ourselves and other people it can be difficult to measure. So that is why I’m going to have a different challenge to practice gratitude and quantify it each week.
Ready? This weeks challenge: Express gratitude for the people that serve you. the crazy target ladyThe subway sandwich artist. The person at the toll-booth. The lady who swipes your card in your college cafeteria. The clerk at the DMV. All of those people who serve us everyday that are so easy to overlook and forget that they are more than just the next cog in the wheel for getting our groceries home. I got this idea from the sacred matters blog. I kind of had a hard time coming up with a list because I typically don’t make it a point to stop look people in the eyes and say “thanks for not putting my milk and bananas in the same bag! how’s your day going?” This is more than courtesy I’m talking about- it’s acknowledging that everyone is created in the image of God and that to thank someone affirms them as a person who is loved by him. Even if you don’t believe in God this is a great way to care for people who blend into the visual white noise of our lives.
Let me know if you’re going to participate this week! Leave a comment in the next week about how practicing gratitude has impacted your life and the lives of people around you. At the end of the month I’ll select a comment that is especially inspiring and you’ll win this book:
Here is an excerpt: “With gleeful exuberance, Ben Patterson submits his compelling case for joy. His winsome stories and thoughtful reflections show how even traditional disciplines such as (yawn) churchgoing and (gulp!) tithing can be hilariously fulfilling when lived out of gratitude for God’s gracious gifts. Once we start to think about all that God has done for us, our thoughts turn inevitably to gratitude and ultimately to gladness. And that is only appropriate, for he has made us to be glad.”
Even if you don’t submit a comment this week about practicing gratitude for people who serve you, leave a comment during the next few challenges & you may just win this book!