Stay Thankful

A critical attitude can ruin anything. Trust me, I know. When I see a glass that’s either half-empty or half-full, I think, that’s not even the right kind of glass.

I’m not usually that bad, but I have my days.

We just had Thanksgiving here in America, which ironically provides people everywhere with a long list of things to gripe about:

  • Travel delays!
  • Handsy security personnel (a rare example of healthy paranoia)!
  • Weird relatives!
  • Leftover turkey for weeks!
  • Early Christmas decorations!

Thanks for saving our lives... even though....

And even if we do think of some things we’re actually grateful for, we can definitely think of ways they annoy us:

  • I’m thankful for a family that loves me… even though they’re insane.
  • I’m thankful that I have a job… which is a mind-numbing grind.
  • I’m thankful that I live in a free country… even though our economy is poo.
  • I’m thankful for this video game I get to play… which is lacking the following features….
  • I’m so thankful for my cute little daughter… except when she makes that awful noise for no reason.

We feel compelled to complain, sometimes. And because of that, so many of the blessings we have are negated in our minds.  We criticize the good stuff and emphasize the bad stuff.  We qualify our thankfulness.

Try this: drop the qualifiers.

Be grateful that the good stuff happened at all. It didn’t have to. Emphasize the negative, and that’s all you’ll see.  I’ve been trapped there before. Sometimes all you have to do to get out is take a second to recognize the good and let yourself be glad.

And hey, maybe some really awful stuff from your past has ruined your holidays. I’m not making light of that. But you can still praise God for this: it doesn’t have to be like it was.

Give thanks, and keep giving thanks. It makes life better.

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About Brian Armitage

Struggling to live like Jesus, celebrating mild successes.

Posted on November 26, 2010, in Christianity, Holiness. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I live surrounded by indigenous tribal settlements here before the Conquistadors inflicted christianity upon them ( the Jemez and Zia allow only the Catholic Church and no others and when the Catholic Church can no longer sustain a tolerated presence, that’s it on their rezes and they’ll simply practice their own religion that is publicly practiced in tandem with the catholic ceremonies).Interspersed between are settlements of meztizo Isapno penitentes whose people were also here before the Pilgrims gathered together to mooch ingratuitously off of the indigenous over on the Eastern seaboard. To make a long story short, your inspirational message was the kindest treatment of Thanksgiving that i saw from my ridgetop, though a little tardy. Living out here and morphing to a mesabilly has taught me to keep Thanksgiving “under my vestido’ and try to make everyday Thanksgiving. As I’m off-the-grid for electricity and don’t secretly crank up deisel generators as I sincerely practice voluntary simplicity, I honor Thanksgiving in an abstract way, no trimmings. It’s alright. What’s in the heart and soul is where it’s at. Maybe i’ll get through the eye of that needle after all, but one must always be humble and discernng and never think one knows they can fit through the eye of that needle easier than a camel.

    • Soooo, what you’re saying is, there aren’t a lot of natives and mestizos carving up turkeys where you are. Yeah, fair enough.

      Great point about being thankful every day. I think if we really keep a humble perspective, we’ll find ourselves being more thankful.

      Sounds like you’ve got a fascinating setup! How do you blog if you’re off the grid?

      • I have battery banks inverted to photovoltaic panels with wind turbine backup.I built my home myself just under the code-change here and have, at minimum, 45 more years to go with solar, wind and water catchement rights appurtenant to my property claimed and declared (got that under the wire and grandfathered before a legislative change also).These rights are grandfathered as transferrable but it would be advisable to do a joint tenancy upon death and quit-claim out or one-on-one trust to the next owner to lock it in tight as a bug’s behind smashed on an eighteen wheeler’s windshield. Seems like the local coop=powered phone company squeezed me in with a landline connection and some kind of high-speed braodband/DSL hybrid connection. I,m able to internet between 10AM and 5PM MST in the winter when there’s a lovely La Nina effect like we’re having up in this Jemez Mountain calderito right now. It’s fifty-three degrees and clear as a bell.You are doing a great service for keeping personal spirituality in focus.

      • That’s AWESOME.

  2. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I find that that my being exposed to 1.) the lifestyles of ascetic Franciscan priests in the Jemez Pueblo Mission and 2.) absorbing what my better half tells me about what she learned about voluntary simplicity ,when she was being considered to be the ceremonial assistant of a Dine “singer” (medicine man), as well as 3.) being off-grid in another house I built earlier (started building in 1976), La Bolsa, out in the boons of Santa Fe County (it was in the boons until 1992 and then the County government encroached), has brought me close to Jesus’s worldview. However, I’ve always gotten a spooky feeling when the self-sufficient fishermen stopped taking care of themselves and followed jesus and had to depend upon standing around him at The Mount and waiting for him to hand out the fish that he got from somewhere, nobody but he knew. But when i think about how I keep managing somehow to keep going at what I’m doing ( I can’t accept awesome as the word, thanks though, the word is more like …well, I don’t know) I do think that a balance between things out-of-my-control and my tenacity to go on must be maintained…that’s Faith in a nutshell. I am doing housecleaning on my Facebook Page, in preparation for Inviting you. My only Friend, at present, is my woman. She’s a good girl and looks forward to your being a Friend-of-a-Friend.

  3. O.K. So, I’m back again after I said I would abandon my thread. Well, it was either override that notion and hope you check on this or open up a link that I prefer not to open up smackdab on my new post. of couse, one never knows who will be browsing through your comments but more likely they’re on a mission can get into.Go to http:bloggerhoggering.blogspot.com/ and keep going down to the bottom of the site where my Facebook Page Badge is located side left. I reset my e-mail address for jackl.piper@windstream.net but i don’t know whether the e-mail options Facebook offers works for my set-up. Try it and if that doesn’t work I’ll need your e-mail address so you can Author something on my Blatheringpost. I can’t get send you an Invitation because all my searches for your e-mail address hit a wall.perhaps the Lord just intends us to stay on your wordpressblog and i can dig that, too.

  4. Oh, well, that’s supposed to be http://bloggerhoggering.blogspot.com/, Friend, I think the light is getting low and even the format of your comment boxes is getting wearing on the old peepers. Laters.

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