|Family Thanksgiving Challenge|
Intentional thanksgiving has helped me recognize and take hold of the graces the Lord holds out to me at various moments in my life. I have oh-so-many reasons to complain, from little irritants to trials that have completely contorted the direction I expected my life to take. I could focus on them day and night and build up quite a litany against God. Yet when I turn my perspective around and focus on the blessings He has given, my litany of praise to God never reaches an end. For every complaint I uncover 10 or 20 or more gifts from Him, preparing me for the challenge I faced, guiding me through it, encouraging me despite it, strengthening me afterward, bringing me blessings out of the difficulty, and showering me with more graces unrelated to the situation. And as I thank Him for those gifts, I uncover even more that I would have missed out on if I only paid attention to the irritants and difficulties. Then I'm able to receive His grace for the big (eternal salvation) and the small(-er) (patience for the moment). I'm sleeping through fewer opportunities, recognizing more of His miracles, responding to His grace more frequently.