Thankfulness is something we don’t often think about much. We simply go about our day and live out of each moment as it presents itself. That’s okay up to a point but if that is our default setting we will be ruled by the emotions of the moment. My life circumstances as I grew up made for the very real possibility of living life as a victim and a someone who felt life owed them.In fact I spent many years feeling ‘hard done by’ and like life had dealt me a real bad set of cards.

One day I decided that if I wanted my life to be different I would have to be different; I would have to see it with new eyes. So I dialed up to mind some things and one was the memory of watching the film Pollyanna when I was small. Pollyanna was a girl who determined that she would find the good in every circumstance, even the difficult ones. So I determined I would find the good in every situation and turn my negatives into positives.

The key to doing this is gratitude; gratitude for everything you have, every day, every circumstance. The Bible puts it like this “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for your life.”  Derek Prince, a well known Christian teacher once said “Anytime you cease to be thankful you are out of the will of God.” Ouch! That stings!

How can you be thankful or grateful in every circumstance? Its all in how you look at it. You see we will only ever be grateful if we decide beforehand that we are going to be, no matter what life dishes up. Otherwise if we leave it until the moment we will default to our normal way of looking at things. If we want to change the way we see things it will take perseverance, it probably won’t happen overnight. Keep at it, don’t give up and you will change the way you see.

A week or so ago I wrote a blog entry called “Sometimes life whacks ya”. If you read that you will be familiar with what I am facing right now, two family members fighting battles with cancer, my  Mum and a brother in law. Mum’s is too far advanced to be treated. Every day at the moment and sometimes many times during them I am having to fight feelings of despair and grief that wants at times to overwhelm. How am I fighting it? There are a couple of ways, one is prayer and stilling myself before God, letting Him fill me with His peace and the other is by choosing to be thankful for what I have now and have had in my relationship with my Mum.

Gratitude or thankfulness is such a powerful key to living a happy life no matter what life throws at you. Our happiness is so often dependent on happenings. If they are good we are happy, if they are bad we most certainly are not. But happiness is an emotion that we determine by our attitude of thankfulness in all circumstances. Why not decide now that you are going to be thankful ahead of time and determine to choose thankfulness in every situation – with God’s help of course.

I was sent this a while ago and it has some good insight in it.

A 92 yr olds take on life

A 92-year-old, small, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” he replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

Life is like a bank account. You withdraw from it out of the account called ‘attitude,’ what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of thankfulness into it! Choose thankfulness now and when life brings difficult circumstances you will find you go through them easier than you would otherwise. You will still have to make the choices in the circumstances to see the ‘good’ but they will be easier to make because you have made a pathway of gratitude to walk on.