Are you a grateful person? Do you immediately look for the negative side of any good thing that happens, or are you able to enjoy something for what it is? Some people seem to have a more positive outlook than others, but unless there’s a medical or psychological reason for this it makes me sad that someone would choose to not be happy most of the time. We’re alive, we’re not incarcerated so we have of freedom of choice and can decide each day what we want to do, even if we wish we had more options, even if we wish we had better options.
A negative outlook is poisonous: negativity breeds more of the same, and worst of all it spreads, especially to sensitive people who let others affect their mood more than they should (not that I have any familiarity with people like that; ahem).
I could look up grateful and thankful in the dictionary to be sure, but I see gratefulness as an attitude that leads to the action of giving thanks. I give thanks to God every day because I’m grateful that I’m still here, especially when people are dying every day from all sorts of things: terrorist acts, crazy weather, allergy-related deaths, car accidents…the list goes on. This month I’m sharing the things that stood out. To me they aren’t coincidences or stuff that “just happened”—they’re acts of divine intervention.
- I’m thankful for my (non-designer) eyeglasses! They’re a different look from my old pair and I’m enjoying the change.
- Two weeks ago my right eye started to feel like there was a small grain of sand under the eyelid. No amount of rubbing, blinking and wiping could get rid of this piece of grit, and worse, no one could see it. I shared the issue with my friend Ves a couple of days later and she mentioned that it might be an eye infection, however my eye wasn’t red (which was a surprise, given all the rubbing I was doing). She suggested that I buy eye drops but the drops I wanted to buy were sold out at the store that I went to. There was another type of eye drops that might have helped with my symptoms but I deemed it too expensive. I decided to pray for this irritant to leave my eye and when I didn’t get an instant answer to my prayer I got annoyed, then I checked myself and just told God that I trusted him to make my eye better again. One or two days later, just as I was starting to think this would be my new normal unless I went to a doctor, I realized the gritty feeling was gone—I’m very thankful for the relief! Conveniently the whole experience reminded me of the gossip blog post and the “log in your eye/speck in your neighbour’s eye” passage from the bible.
- I’m thankful that a friend is pregnant despite the challenges that went along with it, due to an earlier medical situation.
- I’m thankful for the treat of a dinner date with Allison, and for her career-related achievements.
- You know how some answers to prayers are multi-step? For example, someone praying for a spouse may go through the following steps:
- Meet a godly person
- Both parties think the other person is swell and worth knowing
- Start dating
- Grow to know and love one another
- Decide mutually to marry
- Someone proposes
- Marriage ensues
I am thankful that things are unfolding nicely for a friend. The situation isn’t marriage actually, but I’m thrilled about the progress.
- Two sweet babies that I love, a girl and a boy, celebrated their first birthdays this month. The sweet girl is the one in that picture above.
- I’m thankful for mental and physical health, especially when I consider how quickly both can deteriorate if we’re not careful. This increasing awareness that I can’t just eat what I want and not move my body becomes more nagging as I get older. In order to accomplish everything that I still want to do, I need my health. Given all the information that we have access to it’s hard not to be a bit of an hypochondriac at times, so when I’m feeling worried I say this rhyme I made up to myself: I am healthy, I am whole, and my God is in control. It calms me down…until the next moment that I find myself repeating it—oh well!
- Health insurance (provided by my employer) is a wonderful thing! My dentist recently told me that she thinks I may grind my teeth and suggested a fix—I told her that I think the problem is that I eat unpopped popcorn kernels and crunch on bones, things she’s told me before to stop doing in the past. Dental appointments aren’t cheap but they’re waaaay more affordable with health insurance!
- Finally I give thanks for my mustard seed sized faith when it comes to finding love and losing weight. I know what my part is in making these things happen, so I’ve started saying to God what the father of the demon-possessed son said in Mark 9:24: I believe; help my unbelief.
And those were the highlights of this month, from a thankful perspective! I hope you had some things to be thankful for; share some of them below if you dare!
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