It’s easy to be thankful for obvious stuff. Around Thanksgiving, we naturally get swept away by the contagiousness of gratitude all around us and on social media. I love that. It positions our heart in the right posture.
Usually when I consider what I’m thankful for, I think of all of the most obvious things: my health, my family, my job, mint Oreos—you know, all of the usual stuff.
But there are a whole lot of other things in my life that I label as “bad,” “boring,” or “tedious.” They usually don’t come to mind when I’m thinking of what I’m grateful for. But they are also things that I can actually be thankful for if I just look at them with a slightly new perspective.
After all, the difference between something you have to do and something you get to do is just your attitude.
So here is my list of five unlikely things I’m thankful for (and why):
1. Grocery shopping. I put this first, because of all of my household responsibilities, I hate this one the most. But when I remember that shopping means I’m able to help buy, provide and cook food for my family, I become very grateful. There are so many people that would love the opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy a cart full of food.
2. Dirty floors. I have to vacuum dog hair off of the carpet approximately every seven minutes. This is because I have an amazing, beautiful and healthy Bernese Mountain Dog that has been by my side for my entire adult life. There will be a day in the future when he’s no longer with me, and I know that when that day comes, I will give anything to have those dirty floors again. When I think of it that way, I am very grateful for my shedding dog and dirty floors.
3. Taxes. No one likes paying taxes, right? I don’t. But then I remember I pay taxes because I have a job that pays me well to provide for my family. When I remember that I pay taxes because I make money, I’m grateful for taxes.
4. Household chores. I don’t get excited about household chores in the slightest. But when I remember that dirty dishes means I had food to eat, and laundry means I have clothes to wear, and fingerprinted, smudged windows mean I have a precious baby toddling around, then I look at chores differently. They all become a reminder of how many wonderful things I have in my life.
5. Waiting. I can’t stand waiting, and I am painfully impatient. In our culture of having everything we want right when we want it, as well as information available instantaneously at our fingertips, my issue with waiting has only gotten worse. But waiting produces so many good things. For one, it gives me time and forces me to think things through. It also helps me slow my life down from my usual breakneck speed. And most of all, it invites me to pray and trust God with the outcome while I wait.
What is on your list of unlikely things you can be thankful for? Thanksgiving is not only a time to be grateful for the good things. If we choose to, it can be a time to be grateful for everything.