On Gratitude and Choosing Joy

thanksgiving day catholic reflection

Thanksgiving seemingly always comes out of nowhere. Isn’t that the case every year? Suddenly it is that time of year in which we are running around, making plans, preparing good food, and gathering together with family and friends. Life happens quickly, there are lots of to-do’s and to-go’s and to-see’s. And with that said, it is also one of my favorite times of year, hustle and bustle included.

What Thanksgiving is All About…

Of course, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. But there’s so much more to it all, isn’t there? It’s about taking a moment or two or a few more than that to realize how much goodness our lives truly hold–regardless of the hard things and the tough things and the not so easy things. There is so much goodness to find and seek and take delight in, always.

Thanksgiving, and this time of the year, remind me of just that. As the year comes to a close, I am reminded to not only appreciate all that has occurred within the year, but also to delight in all that didn’t occur, all that didn’t go as planned, all that was surprise. And as I take a moment to reflect on this day of Thanksgiving, I am reminded–most of all–of His goodness and guidance throughout it all.

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Choosing Joy

Gratitude and choosing joy aren’t always second nature in our lives. We experience suffering, hardship, challenge, confusion, and sometimes question why things happen as they do. Not to mention all of the hustle and bustle that our lives can sometimes be. Sometimes pausing to delight in the moment we are in is a task too tedious.

Yet through it all and in it all, goodness remains. And so I choose to intentionally seek and find it. I choose to reflect and smile and delight in all that He’s laid out for me in this life, both behind me and in the time that lies ahead. I am grateful today. For the little things and the big things. The easy things and the hard things. The things that I expected and the things that were unexpected this year. I am grateful, because it is He who leads.

Slow Down and Notice

Amidst the hustle and bustle of what this day in particular holds, my prayer for us all is that we might simply slow down. That we might focus in on the little things of this day instead of all that goes on so quickly around us. That we might simply be present so that we may delight in each moment He’s so generously given. The sights, the smells, the sounds that will fill our homes and hearts today. The time spent traveling, eating, and being in the presence of those we know and love. In the conversations and in the silence that will occur today. He is with us. And for this Truth: I am grateful.

Living in a Spirit of Gratitude

As we venture into the day ahead, we may simply be still with hearts filled with gratitude. May we make the effort to intentionally choose joy today, whether it be easy or difficult. Whether we woke this morning with excited anticipation or are a bit apprehensive about seeing certain faces or being in certain places. He is with us today and always. And today I am reminded to be thankful. To choose joy. And to let this gratitude carry me forward into tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

What are you most grateful for today?

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Shalini Blubaugh is a Minnesota transplant living in Denver, Colorado with her sweet husband, Matt, their quite large GSD pup, Sully, and baby on the way. She is a health coach and loves pizza, because #balance. Some of her favorites include travel, re-connecting with old friends and making new ones, the ways in which God so beautifully brings all things full circle in His time, and a good, loud thunderstorm. Find out more about her here.

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