Choosing Gratitude – Christmas Day 8

By Pete unseth (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

When the glass if half full, you can choose to look at the negatives, the emptiness, what’s missing – and have a woe is me attitude; or you can see the positives, what is there, what you do have – and give thanks.  I confess to being a bit of a half-empty person, but I am making it my mission to look for the positives rather than the negatives.  I have been struck by the thought on Day 22 about looking at people with the eyes of love, rather than looking at the challenges, and I think perhaps a similar attitude applies here.  Am I looking for the good or the bad in a situation?  Because it’s very easy to see what you’re looking for.

16 Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.

To give thanks, can be a choice.  Sometimes it has to be.  Yes there are things missing in our lives, things we wish were any other way – but there are also things to be thankful for, not in a trite way, but truly and heartfelt.

So, as the year turns over, what will we choose this year to be?  Moaners or thankers?  Will we look for the good, or the bad?  Are we going to bless others with our thankfulness, or drag them down?  I am going to really try to look for the best – because God HAS given me so much, and I need to live a life of thanks.

The book calls for us to give thanks in the little things.  And gives us this Estonian Proverb:

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much


I thank you

for all the wonderful things

you have done and continue to do.

This new year,

I pray that I may see blessings

rather than annoyances;

the good

rather than the bad;

and instead of seeing a glass half empty,

may see that my glass is actually overflowing

with your love,



and hope

And a little musical treat

Joy to the World! the Lord has come;

Let earth receive her King.

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven and nature sing!

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns;

Your sweetest songs employ.

While fields and streams and hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

The wonders of His love,

The wonders of His love,

The wonders, the wonders of His love.

This year for Advent – and into Christmas, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen.   You’re welcome to join us on this journey.  Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub

Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are:

~ by pamjw on January 1, 2013.

9 Responses to “Choosing Gratitude – Christmas Day 8”

  1. Amen, I’ll drink to that 🙂

  2. yep. and especailly thanks ofr the muppets… 🙂

  3. I meant for… doh!

  4. […] be doing everything joyfully in the name of Jesus. Yes, it’s hard. But yes, we must try. As Pam says, we need to strive to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty. Both she and Dorothy […]

  5. As you’ll see from my trackback above, I found your thoughts today very helpful. Almost as much as my mood was improved by the Muppets! Loved this!

  6. […] Now, off to Pam’s post… […]

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