Give thanks. 1 Thess. 5:18

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We’re kicking off November, the month of gratitude. Do you ever feel, like me, that being thankful is a bit of a challenge and mystery?

I set out to do good then someone cuts me off in traffic and I’m growling behind the steering wheel like a rottweiler in yoga pants.

I want to give to others but the lines at the store tempt me to give the grouchy woman in front of me nothin’ but a smack on the bottom.

I’m carrying the pumpkin pie to the table only to stub my toe on the cabinet corner and have oh-so-not-nice words flash through my mind.

My real-life friends and fellow writers, Suzie Eller and Jennifer Watson, recently sat down with me to talk about “Gratitude When You Have an Attitude.”

{Subscribers, if you can’t see the video click here. Also, a disclaimer: I have no idea why I’m making kissy lips at the camera when this starts. Ha!}

As the three of us talked, it seemed God brought a particular verse to mind. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). There’s one little word in that sentence I suddenly realized makes all the difference: We’re to give thanks in all circumstances but we’re never told to give thanks for all circumstances.

We live in a fallen, broken world and often what we experience is far more serious than the silly examples I gave above. Husbands leave. Diseases ravish. Funerals happen. We are not made for any of this.

We thank the Giver so if something is not from Him, we do not have to force ourselves to be thankful for it. Whew. Does that make anyone else sigh with relief?

What we can choose to do is find His goodness right there in the middle of it all anyway. We can ask ourselves, “In spite of this, what can I be grateful for today?” It can be something small like a cup of coffee on a cold morning, a text from a friend or just opening our eyes for another day. It’s not the size of our thanks that matters; it’s the heart behind it.

We also don’t have to feel thankful. Our brains are wired with a negativity bias. This means we tend to pay more attention to what’s wrong (like a bear charging at us). This instinct keeps us alive but it also means our emotions and perspective can take time to catch up with our wills. God knows this and we don’t have to feel shame or guilt about the disconnect.

This November let’s be grateful. But let’s also give ourselves lots of grace. For the stubbed toes and the long lines and the moments when we’re just not at our best. This is the one thing we can always say, “Thanks, God, for loving me the way I am today.”

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days - Holley GerthXOXO

Holley Gerth

p.s. If the holidays are tough for you or someone you love, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days will be a daily encouragement. It’s six weeks long so it will take you right through Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

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I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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