November is my favorite month. Okay, yes, I’ll admit, part of that is because it’s my birthday month, but I love feeling of November. It’s month we celebrate being thankful. We gather together with friends or family. The summer humidity drops and reveals gorgeous fall days (and gorgeous fall hair!). And one of my favorite activities: a marathon of cooking! Thanksgiving is my Super Bowl. I love making all the dishes and treats I only make once a year.
Usually, I try to do a 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, where I post something I’m thankful for each day of the month. Truthfully: I usually fail. I recently learned consistency is not high in my strengths. In fact, it’s dead last. So this year, I’m asking you to hold me accountable and join me!
Comparison kills contentment. And in this world today, comparison isn’t merely relegated to the magazine covers in the grocery store check out line. The temptation to compare lies right in our hands. I fall victim to it too easily: looking at someone’s Instagram life and comparing to my real life. I have to constantly remind myself: that’s not the whole story.
But there’s an even greater tool to killing comparison: gratitude. Did you know studies have show that an attitude of gratitude can improve sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, positively affects behaviors, reduces physical ailments, and even stimulates certain areas of the brain with dopamine, improving our essential functions like eating, drinking, and sleeping. It can even increase metabolism!
Gratitude also has a spiritual effect. The word thanks (or related words) appears in the Bible 162 times, 54 of those are in Psalms. We are called to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4). We should approach our Heavenly Father with gratitude for what he has done. But thanksgiving changes our spiritual posture as well:
Philippians 4:4-6– Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
There’s a little word tucked in those verses that is secret to finding joy in even the most unjoyful of circumstances: thanksgiving.
Comparison is the killer of contentment. But thanksgiving makes what you have enough.
THEN you will have peace – a peace that is beyond our understanding. Because of thanksgiving, you can peace, not fear and anxiety. And Paul tell us how to do it: think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy. Those are things we must be thankful for.
What in your life are you thankful for today? Hit reply and let me know!
Want to join me on my 30 Days of Thanks? Post daily on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #30daysofthanksfbo or tag me (Insta: @erinhwarren or Facebook: Erin H Warren). Hold me accountable – we can do this!
And you never know, it may just help us work off that extra slice of pumpkin cake!