Do you have a favorite outfit? You know, one that you love to wear and that makes you feel great? My favorite outfit is a black sweater that I got for Christmas a few years ago. It's my "go to" outfit when I need to wear something casual but nice... and when I wear my red hat too, I feel great. In fact, it's the outfit I wore for our family pictures a few years ago.
My three year old has a favorite shirt. It's his beach shirt... a muscle shirt with a beach scene that he discovered this summer. When I tell you it's his favorite shirt... I'm not kidding. If it's dirty, he asks me every day if his beach shirt is clean. (Trust me, I'm not exaggerating... How's that for some encouragement to do the laundry?) And when I wash it, he thanks me... and quite often puts it on right away. Over Thanksgiving, he wore it while we traveled to Ohio, and the next day too. I think he ultimately wore it three days in a row... and he knew it was due for a washing by then. On the third day, he proudly reported in his cute, mischievous voice "I have on my beach shirt, Mommy" and snickered.
Now that it's winter, a muscle shirt is not the best choice for cold weather. Not to worry... he puts it on under long sleeves and when he reaches his destination, the long sleeves come off and the beach shirt is proudly displayed. He takes great delight in wearing his favorite shirt. And here it is:
My desire is to wear thankfulness like my son wears his favorite shirt. I want to be obedient to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and "give thanks in all circumstances," which means I need to wear thankfulness every day. Through this experiment, I've discovered that some days my thankfulness shirt is in the wash... those are the days that I'm not so great at choosing thanksgiving. But other times, the Holy Spirit helps me wear my thankfulness shirt throughout the day. As I practice thanksgiving more and more, maybe I'll wear thanksgiving more and more frequently. Are you wearing your thankfulness shirt more often since you started The Thankfulness Experiment? I think I am... and I hope you are too.
I realize that you might be thinking, OK, Heather, wearing a thankfulness shirt all the time is kinda silly. (Unless you have one of The Thankfulness Experiment t-shirts... and even then, wearing it every day is a bit much, I agree.) However, the Bible actually supports this idea. Isaiah 61:1-3 explains:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the
prisoners... to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion
- the bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the
display of his splendor. (Italics mine.)
These verses are filled with reasons to thank our Lord... things like God has the power to heal our broken hearts; He can set us free; He comforts us when we mourn. And not only that, our Lord gives us new clothes to wear... things like a crown of beauty and a garment of praise. That's the kinda wardrobe I want to wear. Thanksgiving has the power to transform our outfit
from one we despise to one we adore. Let's keep choosing to wear our thankfulness each day... because it makes for quite an attractive outfit!
Today, I am thankful for...
1. Quiet time with Christmas tree lights twinkling
2. Fun Bible Study wrap-up
3. Celebrating the courage and bravery of ladies in our group
4. Going to lunch with my friend at a restaurant where "everybody knows my name" (OK, not my name, but they know what I'm gonna order)
5. Waterproof rain jacket
6. Changing my shoes after noticing the sprinkles... flops and socks are miserable in the rain
8. Grocery shopping with both boys
9. Cheesy potato soup & cornbread
10. Questions about heaven from a three year old
11. The sweetest love note from my son
12. Encouraging words
13. Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas with each son snuggled next to me
14. Walmart Grocery just around the corner so my late night grocery trip didn't take too long
15. Getting to serve my hubby
16. Picking up the toothpaste I forgot this afternoon while at the late night grocery run
17. Two extra lines opening up shortly after I got in line
18. Getting started on a Christmas present
19. God's redemption and how He always pursues us
20. Listening to the prayers of my sons
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 6,126 to go...