It's around this time of year that we all enter into a different state of mind. A thankful, holly-jolly, candy-cane-infused and pumpkin-spice-everything state of mind. We see posts about 30 days of thankfulness on our social media platforms, and do our best to keep that perspective long after we post it to our page.
This year, in Target's dollar spot (a fave of mine), I found a "thankful tree". A little wooden tree that came with sticky leaves sits on my buffet in the dining room and each day we add a leaf. As we started our tree a week or so ago, I explained to my three-year-old what it means to be thankful. I then asked her what she was thankful for. Her reply: bananas. It so happened that she was currently eating that delicious fruit at the time of questioning, and the thing she was most thankful for was the thing right in front of her.
How often are those the very things we forget to see? To her, the immediate answer was obvious. Her mouth was filled with this delicious treat and for that, she was thankful. Sometimes, in the "task" of being thankful, that sometimes it becomes, we overlook the simple, seemingly insignificant things that God has miraculously given to us. While a banana may not be a leaf on your thankful tree, what are the immediate things that you pass over daily, taking for granted the blessing that they are?
I sat in a waiting room this week, for tests for this same banana-loving-daughter. Tests that would either declare her body whole or would deliver catastrophic news. Fear entered. Fear filled my mind as I looked around this children's specialty center at all the little ones there. I saw moms with folders of medical records, presenting them to the registers office and asking questions I was now praying I'd never have to. The things I had taken for granted, were now at stake to be taken away....an energy-full three year old who talks non-stop from the minute she awakes, a toddler who's imagination often requires my involvement no matter how long my to-do list, a picky eater that demands my preparation of a select menu, and a cautious heart that is learning to be brave. Waiting for the results of said tests, I began to thank God for her, for all her quirks, all her energy, all her "ways", all her heart, her sweet spirit and her loud self.
Later, her doctor called and spoke the only words I was ready to hear "all the tests results came back negative. She's perfect!". Thankfulness filled my heart and tears filled my eyes. While I always see her as a blessing and reason for thanks, the challenges she presents sometimes don't seem to be that equal. When her tantrums resound in defiance and screams that persist to the highest of decibels, I don't often remain thankful for a healthy, emotional 3 year old who is learning to process her feelings, thoughts and emotions. When her ways challenges my parenting skills, I fail to be thankful for the opportunity to extend grace and show her Christ through mercy.
The very things that are right in front of me, are the things I often overlook. Like a banana in the hand of a three-year-old, are the health, provision and love of this 34-year-old mom. What things do you often overlook that today could be a reason to recognize God's favor in your life?What pages of your life have been written in a voice of defeat that could now be read in love of lessons learned and progress made? Today, as you take account and make your daily post, sticky leaf on a tree or real recognition of blessing -don't overlook the things that may seem a challenge, or the obvious. It's often the things that are obvious that we become oblivious to!