During this time of year, it’s easy to think about what you’re thankful for with holidays dedicated to finding joy and thankfulness. I think the art of giving thanks goes beyond just the holiday and should be an everyday practice.


Graphic by Kayla Glyshaw


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

It is our default to be negative in life, but acknowledging what we are thankful for teaches us to rely on God rather than our current life circumstances.

Thankfulness opens the door to seeing reality in a new light.

I didn’t know this until I was in a life season of frustration and anxiety.

Typically the last thing we want to do when facing obstacles in our life is to be thankful.

So that’s why I started a thankfulness journal.

Each day I would write down five things that I was thankful for.

They ranged from little things like long sleeve T-shirts to painful life struggles that I was going though.

At first, I thought it was weird and it made me uncomfortable.

I did not think that simply making a list of things would help me feel any different.

Once I made it a routine I started to seriously think about why God wants us to be thankful.

Then I soon learned that being thankful for even the little things when it was hard allowed me to be more aware of how God is working in my life.

The art of thankfulness allows us to sit down and realize that God has a greater plan than what we intended.

It keeps us from getting caught up in only the negatives in life and shows us the reality of God’s work in our day.

It helps us be more content and confident in the life that God has given us even when nothing seems to be going well.  

It reveals the goodness of God through the darkness of our negative thoughts.

Being thankful helps us take captive the anxious or worrisome aspects in our life.  

When you’re staring at a list of things you are dearly thankful for you cannot help but smile.

Thankfulness restores joy.

If you’re reading this I challenge you to be thankful this week.

Get a piece of paper and for a week take some time to seriously write down five things a day that you are thankful for.

Use this as a tool to allow God to speak to the realities in your mind.

It takes time to develop a thankful heart so have patience with yourself and allow God to speak to you through the goodness He has given you.

For the art of giving thanks is much more than just a holiday.

By Kayla Glyshaw

Kayla Glyshaw is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline pursuing a degree in communication studies. She works in the junior high ministry at her church and is on the leadership team for her church’s College Group ministry. In the future she wants to work in either a youth or college ministry. She loves coffee, singing and anything that involves holding a camera or editing video footage.