Monday, November 30, 2009

Living a Thankful Life

Last Friday my mother and I took my daughters to the mall to pick up a Christmas present. My three year old, who has only been to a mall a handful of times in her short life, was mesmerized by the Christmas decorations ("Mama! They have snow here and it's NOT REAL!!!") but I was more struck by how quickly my own attitude changed in the atmosphere of acquisition. The day before we had celebrated Thanksgiving together and yet as we walked through the mall I found my sense of gratitude slipping. As I looked at things I had not previously even wanted, I found myself thinking, "Wow, wouldn't life be great if I had...."

There is of course nothing inherently wrong with having nice things or buying Christmas presents, but I think spending too much time longing for more and more things can be the enemy of contentment and simple living. What do we really need? Where should our focus be during the holidays? Can we be thankful for the myriad blessings we have received without constantly coveting more?

We did have fun at the mall and I enjoyed observing my daughter's sense of wonder at the decorations, but most of all I'm glad for the little reminder that I need to cultivate an ongoing attitude of thanksgiving, not merely put it on the shelf until next year.

1 comment:

  1. this is so true...i find myself struggling with the balance of it all...then i come home...home with my family and realize where our treasure truly lies. within us and being together.
    thanks for your constant reminders of what is important.
    happy november.