Well, Thanksgiving is long since over and you were probably reminded many times to stop and give thanks for your many blessings. However, being thankful isn’t just for Thanksgiving Day. Not only is living a life of thankfulness a good thing but, as it turns out, it is good for you. Mayo Clinic, in an article in Embody Health, wrote that being thankful can improve your life. People who are grateful are healthier both physically and mentally—and happier.

So, how do you live a life of gratitude when you are not being reminded that you should? How do you live a life of gratitude when maybe things aren’t going so well? The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote, “In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.” (Philippians 4:12b) What was the secret that Paul learned on how to be content at all times, especially in times of need? “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Put your trust in God and you, too, will know the secret to being content and living a life of gratitude. And the great news is that this is also the secret to a better life.

So, why am I writing an article on being thankful when we are rushing headlong into Christmas, which we started right after Halloween all but skipping Thanksgiving altogether? I am reminding you to be thankful because so many people get so stressed out at this time of the year trying to get too much done. When you find yourself becoming too stressed, stop and remember to give thanks for your many blessings. The following prayer may help you. I don’t remember where I first read it, but I find it to be very helpful. I hope you will, too.

O God, when we grow tired from mowing the lawn, cleaning out the gutters, shoveling snow and doing seemingly unending repairs, may we remember to thank you for our homes. When our clothes become too tight, may we remember to thank you for our food. When our family or our neighbors are making too much noise, may we remember to thank you for the gift of hearing. When we see unending work before us, may we remember to thank you for the gift of sight. When we are upset because the only parking spot is the furthest from the door, may we remember to thank you for the ability to walk. When we are feeling too much stress because we have too much cooking and cleaning to do, may we remember to thank you for family and friends.

May you all have a very blessed,and thankful, Christmas.

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