'Tis the season to be thankful.
“It's far easier to think 'I need more' than it is to realize that God has provided all that you have needed'
This time of year has always put me in a weird headspace. Everyone is talking about what they are thankful for, people are posting pictures of their family with a caption explaining how much they love them, and everybody has a million expectations of where you're supposed to be and what you're supposed to be doing.
Over the years, I have learned something about myself.. I can easily fall into 'pity party' mode. I see people posting about how awesome the time is with their family and I immediately jump to all the craziness my family holds. People go on trips and I get jealous or angry or down. People's house's look better than mine and I think, "if only I had more money, I could do this too."
I can also get down on myself quickly this time of year. People are talking about how thankful they are to have a job and be able to pay bills, and I think... "that's what you're thankful for?".. which is quickly followed by the thought "Wow.. how selfish and ungrateful am I. I never would have thought about listing those things on my 'thankful for' list. Or maybe I think about what other people are getting for gifts and my bottom lip starts to pucker into a pout because I never get things like that. And then quickly I correct myself and replace those thoughts with ones of "You are so ungrateful and worldly! Gross, Cass."
It's an easy season to compare yourself to others. What others have. Other people's family. What kind of year everyone has had. How others go about the holiday season. It's far too easy to forget all the amazing things God has blessed us with. It's way easier to think "I need more" than it is to realize that God has provided all that you have needed and has a plan for you.
What I am encouraging you to do this season is the following:
Be grateful for what you have. I hung a poster on our dining room hall and am forcing myself to write 5 things I am thankful for each day. I always feel so much better after I do this.
Give yourself grace. Holiday's can be hard and everyone's lives look different: different family dynamics, different opinions, different stages of life, different finances, different past that may be affecting today... I'm just saying- stop comparing yourself to others because it's like comparing grapes to elephants. They have nothing to do with each other. Be real with yourself and acknowledge your tendencies- then try to restructure them into a healthier headspace.
Pray about it. Tell God how you are feeling and ask for what you need. Maybe that is strength to get through a family dinner without losing it on your Uncle Joe. Maybe it's energy to get to Christmas this year. Maybe it's emotional strength to endure a holiday season without a loved one this year. Maybe it's the ability to stop comparing yourself to everyone and all their stuff. Ask Him. He wants to help you.