It's two days before Christmas and I'm stuck in thanksgiving... This morning, I find myself overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. I am thankful that I got up from my comfortable bed this morning, showered and got dressed in my own bathroom, and hopped in my car to drive to my place of employment; but not before stopping for a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich on the way in... All blessings that I too often take for granted.

I had my self-centeredness and in gratitude mirrored to me this weekend as I listened to a young family member complain about what he didn't get for Christmas last year, what he is hoping to get this year, how bored he was because there was nothing to do. I saw him receive an early Christmas gift and then complain because it wasn't more or how it would have been better if it had come from a different store... It was a litany of me's and I's. It irritated me - A LOT and I couldn't figure out why.. Then this morning it hit me - it irritated me because in many ways, it was me! Complaining about the weather, the job, the car, the house... always wanting more, (not that there's anything wrong with wanting more - just depends on what it is you're wanting and why) James 4:2-3 says -

"You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

I was actually going to catch the bus in to work this morning. I stood out on the bus stop for about 15 minutes or so, before I decided to drive in to work. It was 20 degrees out there and WIN - DEE. It was painfully cold. Seriously, my face literally hurt as I walked back to my car. During the drive, I started to think about all the people who had to sleep outdoors in this awful weather. I thought about the ones who would love to sleep in a bed, take a shower, put on fresh clothes, have a car, or better yet, have a job!

Why me and not them? I don't know the answer to that. God's love for them isn't any less than His love for me. I don't know why my story isn't different, and I know that it can turn in an instant. I have so much to be thankful for! So my resolution for the remainder of 2008 and all of 2009 - complain a lot less, give thanks a lot more. As the morning progresses, my thoughts are less and less about myself, and more about others. And I'm so very thankful for all God has done. Who knew it you could have Thanksgiving right in the middle of Christmas! :o)