Do you ever get so concerned with the big picture that you miss what is right under your nose? I know I do. Especially around the big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we moms have a tendency to think big all the time. We need this dinner to go perfectly and that list of gifts to come together just so. Christmas cards need to be sent in a timely manner and the Thanksgiving table needs to be staged as if Martha Stewart herself were coming to dinner. We concentrate our time and energy on all of these big, huge tasks and we end up finding ourselves worn out, tapped out, and dried up. But what if we concentrated just a smidgen of our energy on the tiny things in life? What if we leaned in and looked just a bit closer? Could we spend a few minutes a day offering up a million little thank yous?
best laid plans
I am a planner, a list-maker, a detail-oriented hostess. I line out to-do lists for each day of the entire week leading up to Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s normal, maybe it’s a bit much. Who knows? It is what it is and “I yam who I yam and that’s all that I yam” — or so says Popeye.
So, imagine my dismay when my youngest decided to start running a 102.5 fever this past Saturday! How in the world was I going to do everything that I needed to do AND have a sick kid…possibly many sick kids…possibly get sick myself (horror of horrors)?
I won’t lie. My brain immediately went to the worst case scenario. We were all going to come down with a horrible flu. The 25-lb bird thawing in my fridge and the $200 worth of groceries I just bought were all going to go to waste. We were going to leave family and friends completely abandoned on my favorite holiday of the year. It was going to be horrendous!!
change of mind or change of heart?
Last night, as I wallowed in my self-inflicted despair, Greg came up to me and said, “You know, I think this is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.”
I looked at him like he was crazy and asked, “Why in the world do you say that?”
“Because of all of the thought and work that you are putting into it. Regardless of who is sick – which is probably not going to be anybody, you know – it will all be wonderful.”
UGH! OK, then. Fine, husband. Once again, you are calling me to grow and be a better person and all that annoying jazz.
At that moment, I decided something needed to change. Whether it would be my mind or heart (or, more likely, both), I wasn’t sure. But I knew it was time to look at things a little differently. It was time to look at the little things in life and be grateful. Instead of looking at all of the minutiae surrounding one day, I need to look past the forest and past the trees. I need to say a million little thank yous for those tiny, everyday blessings that are so easily overlooked.
starting my list of thank yous
As I sit here this morning, still in my pajamas at 11:00, my to-do list for the day is about 20 items long. That little girl who ran a fever this weekend is upstairs playing with legos. Naturally, she didn’t quite make the “fever free for 24 hours” rule so that she could go to school today. So I thought this would be a perfect time to sit down and start that list of thank yous! Would you join me?
Today, I choose to be thankful. Today, I’m going to keep a running commentary of “Thank you, Jesus, for”… Here’s where I begin.
thank you, Jesus, for…
- Lucy being fever-free through the night
- second cups of coffee
- quiet time with the Word before the rest of the family wakes up
- salted caramel flavored K-cups from Aldi (seriously, they’re amazingly delicious and cheap!)
- multi-colored flair pens (affiliate link warning!) that make my to-do lists so dang cute
- snuggles with a sleepy girl
- Disney+ and the “open vault” it gives us access to
- a husband who offers to take the healthy kiddo to school on his way to work
- a 9th grader who takes voluntarily takes advantage of before school tutoring sessions
- online shopping for far-away nieces with birthdays
- finding matching Christmas jammies for all 6 of my nieces and nephews in the right sizes
- dishwashers that run on timers
- the Farmstand Festival scent from Yankee Candle (omg…yum!!)
- bright sunshine and cool mornings
begin a list of your own & our own!
Alright, my friends. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Let’s work together this week, shall we? Let’s remind each other of our blessings by taking the time to make a giant list of a million little thank yous before we deep dive into the gimmes and gettings of Christmas.
Whether you’d like to start a list of your own OR if you join our community list on Facebook or Instagram, it’s time to get real with the gratitude. Wherever you see this picture above, comment with some of the little things in life that you are thankful for! We can even use the hashtag #amillionlittlethankyous. You never know when something you’ll mention will cause another person to see something beautiful in their own lives they may otherwise have missed.
And oh!! I forgot!! One of the many things I’m thankful for today is YOU!! Yes, you! Now, go forth in gratitude this week, friend. And remember…
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Photos edited from the work of: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash