Monday, November 7, 2016

Lift Your Perspective, Change Your Life

Fall leaves crunch underfoot, beautiful auburn hues paint the trees, and the smell of warm fire fills the cold air. Thanksgiving season is approaching once again...but what happens if you don't feel thankful? In this article for the Redbud Post, I explore the true meaning and benefits of thanksgiving. Find the motivation to treasure every blessing and the inspiration to change your life.

You wake up late and rush through the morning. You haven’t had your coffee, cereal is all over the floor, and the children are screaming. It’s hard to be thankful.
An opportunity you really wanted didn’t work out. You feel hurt, dejected, and maybe even, forgotten by God. It’s hard to be thankful.
You’re pouring yourself into your commitments. Despite your best effort, you see no change, and instead, encounter frustration, stress, and exhaustion. It’s hard to be thankful.
Despite these relatable scenarios, I’m learning the secret to contentment isn’t necessarily a change in circumstances—it’s a change in perspective. Actually, it’s living each day with thankfulness.
In the often memorized verses of Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace…” (NLT, emphasis mine). It’s easy to focus on the prayer and petition part and miss Paul’s encouragement to be thankful. Because let’s face it: Life can give us ample reasons to petition to God.
The Bible says that in this world, we will know hardship. It can span from everyday trials to far graver situations. There can be “thorns” in our side, thorns that no matter how much we pray, sometimes remain and inflict pain. I know those thorns, those challenge-me-to-my-core and all-I-can-do-is-fall-on-my-knees issues, and Paul did too. 
Paul writes Philippians as a man who has known great hardship: persecution, imprisonment, beatings. Yet, he professes to be someone who has learned to be content in all circumstances. His contentment flows from a deep-seated conviction that God will never leave him, and his purpose will be fulfilled through him. This kind of man would not advocate a Pollyanna-world kind of thanksgiving. Paul is advocating thankfulness from the trenches. 
Are you in the trenches today? Thanksgiving not only pleases God, but it’s beneficial to us...
To finish reading this article and discover the three ways that thanksgiving can make a difference in your life, click here. If you think a friend or loved one could benefit from it today, please share it!

Also, stay tuned for November's episode of Chaos to Calm on school social problems! It will air on November 22nd at 9 PM on HomeTowne TV. I'll be talking with a licensed social worker and local school counselor about anxiety, grief, and bullying. Subscribe by email to this blog to have the episode sent right to your inbox!

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