Over the last twenty or so years, at the end of the day, I find a reason to be thankful. Every day, we are faced with tests, trails, and victories. It is easy to stay focused on the hurdles and the dark places, but I want to encourage you to find a reason to be thankful. I focus on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 when dealing with everyday life situations. “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
As I sit at my desk reflecting over my day, I can tell you that my day started slow. I had plans to wake up early to get to the Meijer grocery store before the rush, but somehow, I could not get moving.
I had the crazy idea to host Thanksgiving dinner at my home with my mom and dad, my siblings, and all their children and grandchildren. Plus, my door is always open, so my children invite their friends. Honestly, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving when everyone is in my home, laughing and enjoying rich conversations. However, I must plan the day and menu. I wanted to be at the store by 7:00 this morning, but that did not happen.
Allow me to give you a peek behind my curtain of everyday life with Gail Dudley.
I closed down my office late Thursday evening to take time for myself. I am not returning to work until December 2, 2019. Every year this time, I shut things down to celebrate my wedding anniversary. I’m usually somewhere warm sitting on a beach, but this year things did not turn out the way I had hoped. Yes, I’m a little sad, but we decided to make the most out of our anniversary.
It began on Friday as we drove to Cleveland, Ohio (not the best place in the world), where my husband served as a speaker for pastors and lay leaders conference. What a way to start an anniversary week! Yippie, right? NOT so much. I love his preaching and teaching, so at the end of the day, I found a reason to be thankful. I received a solid biblically-based message, and I was able to hear from tenured professors, and seasoned senior pastors around the state of Ohio use words to describe my husband as brilliant, dynamic, intelligent, and a man after the heart of God.
Then it hit me. I was away from home, spending time with my husband at a charming hotel paid for by the sponsors with three meals a day for two days. Now that’s something to be grateful for.
One of our dear friends who we had not seen in several years was also at the conference. He asked if we wouldn’t mind staying over another night because he wanted my husband to preach during Sunday worship. I hesitated because I knew what was before me on Thanksgiving week, but God knew better. We stayed. That was another fabulous hotel stay, food, friends, laughter, and a worship experience that had me filled with amazing joy!
Tweetable: “At the end of the day, I found a reason to be grateful.” @GailDudley
On yesterday, as I prepared to take my car to be serviced, my cellphone rings. It’s the dealership asking me if I needed my car to be looked at to drive out of town. No, sir, I answered. He said, “Great! We have people needing their cars serviced, and we are backed logged. If you don’t mind, he said, we will move you to next Monday and give you $100.00 off your service.” “I’ll take it,” was my reply. At the end of the day, I am finding a reason to be grateful.
This day that started slowly became a day full of blessings and thanksgiving. What I have shared may be small things, but at the end of the day…
You see, it’s how we look at things. I could have been depressed for canceling our anniversary trip this year, especially since it lands on our wedding day of Saturday, November 30, 2019, where we will celebrate 28-years of marriage. At the end of the day, I find a reason to be grateful to be married to the same man for 28-years. No, every day has not been blissful, and yet, we keep pushing forward.
What’s my point? I want to encourage you as I encourage myself to look at things differently. No matter how small or how difficult, at the end of the day, find a reason to be grateful. I guess one could be upset with the car service people, but why when I’m not going anywhere, and I get a discounted rate. I could be disappointed about not going away to a warm place to celebrate my anniversary, but why, when I will be around family and friends as I host Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, both of my children will be together and will have me laughing most of the week.
Oh, about the grocery store run, I wanted to take place at 7:00 am this morning. When I arrived at the store around 10:00 am, a nice lady was putting her groceries in her car. I said, “Good morning! How are you?” To which she responded, “Good morning! You are the first person who acknowledged me today. I have some Meijer coupons bucks.” She handed me about $40.00 of coupons. At the end of the day, I have a reason to be grateful.
I could. I could. I could. Yet, at the end of the day…
How will you look at things differently at the end of the day?
What scripture will you use to see the manifestation of God’s blessings upon your life?