It's hard to believe it's already mid November, and since it is the month of thankfulness I thought I'd share some thoughts on what I believe it means to be truly thankful in every season and to live from a heart posture of gratitude. This post will be a little different than what I normally do. Usually I write about places and things, but this will be a little snippet of something that's been growing in my heart. Don't worry though, there's still going to be plenty of pretty pictures! :)
All the photos are taken in Montana. The fall colors are over now, it's a short season for fall up here but it sure is beautiful while it lasts!!
So earlier this year I was pondering and asking myself what it means to truly enjoy life and to be present in every moment and season. I'm quite sure there are a lot of factors, but what I kept coming back to was thankfulness. I believe thankfulness is at the core of everything we aspire to be.
Living a life of gratitude goes deeper than just saying "thank you" when a person does a nice gesture, or being thankful when we're happy, it's the posture of our hearts. And when we think of it that way everything else falls together even on those not so perfect days.
No matter where we are at in life there is always a reason to give thanks. And when thankfulness is fully engrained in our hearts it becomes the core and foundation to which we can build upon and pour out of and possibly might be the way to find complete contentment in life.
So how can we have an overflow of gratitude amidst the highs and lows and the mundane of life? Pretty sure I'll be trying to figure that one out for quite awhile ;)
But so often in life it's too easy to get caught up in the events and looking ahead to the next big thing and thinking "life will start then...", or "I'll be happy when I..." And it's easy to go through life with that mindset, but it only robs us of the present moments.
It's wonderful to dream and to reflect back on life, but it's when you bank too much of your "happiness" on the future or the past moments that it robs you of what is right in front of your face and the opportunity to settle down and be thankful today and for all the small things.
And anytime we spend too much time dwelling on the past or future, it takes down our ability to be thankful in the present.
I know I sure have been guilty of living too far ahead to where I miss the beauty of the moments I'm in!
I like to think of thankfulness as the anchor that brings us back to earth and keeps us grounded in the moments that need us the most - today. It bridges the gap between the past and future, regret, and dreams unfulfilled.
One of the hardest things (myself included) is to show up and be ALL there in the moment and I believe it might be that way until we learn how to truly have a thankful heart in everything. It's impossible to be mad or depressed when you're listing off to God what you're thankful for!
We have to trust and surrender our life to God and thank Him that he is in control of everything and is faithful. When we do, it gives us the ability to rest and know that where we are at today is good, and we can be thankful for even the tiniest and simplest of things.
Being grateful for the small things in life opens our hearts to receive every good moment in life.
Acknowledging that where we are at in life is all part of God's plan and the bigger picture, allows us to surrender all our hopes and dreams to Him and then the outflow of our hearts becomes thankfulness as our focus shifts to aline with His.
The hardest part is staying in the correct heart posture, which brings us back to why "In all things give thanks" is so important. If we learn to give thanks for the small things, the good and even bad , it opens our heart with the ability to be all there in the present, no matter if we're living our dreams or standing on faith for them to be fulfilled.
Gratitude is a choice we make each day all year long, but I love how as Thanksgiving quickly approaches it's a reminder to take a moment and be thankful for all that we've been blessed with. It's my favorite holiday and it's also my favorite meal to cook, so I'm super stoked about baking the turkey and making everything to go with it! I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have on what being thankful means to you.