Are you ever a whiner? I am.
Not so very long ago, I was sitting on my kitchen floor, bemoaning all the things going wrong in life. I felt pretty justified about the pity party going on in my head.
And then, out of nowhere, a peppy little melody and annoyingly cheerful lyrics popped into my thoughts. I remembered the song and decided to give it a listen:
It was a much needed kick in the pants! I felt challenged to sit down and deliberately take stock of what I have to be thankful for today. The list grew in my head, and I thought, “Hey, I should write these down. It might change my perspective to have a visual reminder of these blessings.”
I thought I’d share my list with you and throw out a challenge, as well.
The first five items on this list are true for anyone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ. They’re true all the time, whether we feel them or not. The last five are my personal, here-and-now blessings. These are circumstances in my life that I’m thankful for today. They aren’t ultimate truths, and they’re subject to change. But I think it’s healthy to reflect on the good that God has given us in the here and now.
So, here’s my challenge to you…Take these first five truths to heart. Then add your own five “here-and-now” blessings – those circumstances that you’re thankful for in your life today.
Once you have your list, place it somewhere strategic, where you’ll be reminded daily to thank God for the blessings He’s given you. I’ll be doing the same, and I pray that for all of us, it contributes to a grateful, joyful mindset, even on the hard days.
Five Ultimate Truths Every Jesus-Follower Can Be Thankful For:
Number 1: I have salvation and forgiveness through grace.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. – Ephesians 2:8, NLT
Number 2: I am not alone.
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:20, NLT
When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. – Psalm 91:15, NLT
Number 3: I have hope that stretches past this life.
This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God–who does not lie–promised them before the world began. – Titus 1:2, NLT
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. – 1 Peter 1:3-4, NLT
Number 4: Someone loves me no matter who I am or what I do.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39, NLT
This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – 1 John 4:10, NLT
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. – Jeremiah 31:3, NLT
Number 5: God is bigger than any problem I might face.
The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude – Psalm 46:6-7, NLT
I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? – Jeremiah 32:27, NLT
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O LORD. You kept me from falling into the pit of death. Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:2-5, NLT
Five Blessings I’m Thankful for Here and Now:
Number 1: My husband and kids are alive.
In the past three months, I’ve had two very potent reminders that life is precious.
First, Josh was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Despite the shock, I can’t describe how grateful I am that he should be fine after treatment.
Second, our one year old son choked – bad. As I pounded his back and screamed in panic, my worst parenting fear seemed to be unfolding in my arms. I held that baby good and long when his airway was finally cleared.
My resolve: we never know what the next minute will bring, so I am committed to treasure the life God has given my family.
Number 2: I have a healthy marriage and supportive husband.
We’re far from perfect. We have ups and downs. Life isn’t some long, romantic walk in the park, gazing into each other’s eyes and whispering sweet nonsense to each other.
But we work at our marriage every day. When there’s conflict, we resolve it. I love that we’re able to agree to disagree and be completely fine with each other. We’re both committed that the health of our marriage is far more important than any point one of us would like to make or argument we’d prefer to win.
Josh makes me laugh and points me to Jesus. He provides for our family. We accept one another. We’re there for each other through joys, horrors, and lots of adventures. We’re learning daily what it means to truly love each other.
Number 3: I have loving extended family and friends.
In recent months, I’ve been left speechless by the support we’ve felt from family and friends. Some have offered practical help – watching our kids, offering to bring meals, inviting us over for dinner. Others have sent messages or made phone calls to say that they’re praying for our family. One friend organized for people to take selfies with handmade notes of encouragements to send to us before Josh’s surgery.
Sometimes missionaries feel that “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon. These months have proven to me how much support we have in multiple countries.
Number 4: All my basic needs are provided for, and then some.
We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear. We’re not rich, but we’re very comfortable. We’re able to treat our kids to little gifts and enjoy a meal out together. God has provided again and again for both small and big needs. I feel the truth of the statement: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.”
Number 5: I get to live in a country I love and serve in ministry that I’m passionate about.
I grew up on the mission field and then lived in the States for about six years – going to college, getting married. It was always my fervent desire to return to missionary life.
What a blessing that God has brought our family to L’viv! We’re privileged to serve with amazing people in our church there and to be part of God’s work in Ukraine. For me personally, it’s an honor to raise our kids in a cross-cultural setting.
So, What’s Your List?
I can tell you – just writing down these blessings has given me a more joyful, hopeful mindset. Give it a try! What are your five “here and now” blessings?