It’s a few simple words. In fact, we say these two descriptives quite frequently. So often that we say them without even thinking about it. We don’t even give it a second thought. It just seems to come as second nature.

But with that thought in mind, are we really being honest? Is this truly who we are or just something to sound good? Are we “churched” just enough to attempt to say this because it’s what’s expected of us? Quite a sobering thought when we attempt to give it some space.

I would dare to mention that this isn’t the reality where most of us live. Life is difficult for all of us. There are seasons that are easier than others, but for the most part, we spend the majority of our lives working through problems, situations, and issues. Our lives aren’t perfect no matter how they appear on social media. We live life unfiltered. It’s raw, real, and often discouraging. Things don’t always go as planned. People hurt and disappoint us. Thus leaving us distraught and disillusioned much of the time. So when this is the case, how are we able to say that we are thankful and blessed without feeling as if we’re lying to ourselves?

I think it’s time that we get honest with ourselves and others. It’s time to stop acting as if everything is okay when we know it isn’t. When our lives are falling apart, but yet we try to hide it to everyone around us. We stay hidden and isolated because of the badge of guilt and shame that we carry; a badge that we put on ourselves because we don’t have the perfect life. We know we shouldn’t feel this way, but it keeps creeping back in day after day. If only we had a magic wand to make this all disappear. If only we could go to sleep and wake up from this nightmare that we call life. Then and only then would we feel like our life is finally on track the way that it should be. Out of sight. Out of mind.

In no way am I implying that we should go around spewing all of our negativity onto others. There is a time and place to open up and share with others the difficulties that we are facing. In this life we will end up with some scratches, bumps, and bruises, but that doesn’t have to determine who we are. These are just events, not the determining factor of who we really are.

We may not feel like we have anything to be thankful and blessed about when we take a look at our life, but that’s where the problem lies. We are only looking at the surface level. This is the place that always captures our attention first. We sense and experience pain in this level; thus the rush to get through this season. Anything to make it all go away.

We must go a little bit deeper to those things that money can’t buy. Things like peace and joy. Love and kindness. Goodness and faithful. You get the picture. These are things that we often forget about because we’re too focused on all that isn’t right in our life. The problems get all of the airplay. When we live opposite of the negative, then we are able to say that we are thankful and blessed no matter our outward circumstances. We pay attention to all that God is doing around us. Then the gratefulness begins to flow out of who we really are. It then becomes our life and identity.

To be able to live this honest with ourself lifestyle, then we must be paying attention at all times. Listening carefully for those thoughts that seek to bring us down. Realizing that we can’t control the majority of things that happen in our life. Making the most of all that God has blessed us with. Doing our absolute best to move forward in life. At this point, it’s all about living intentionally. On task and on target so as to be right in step with God.

So the next time you tell someone that you are thankful and blessed, I pray that it comes from a heart that knows exactly what it means. To know that you don’t need to have it all together to experience an abundant life. To see beyond the not so good to the oh so good that we all have – if we look hard enough. Resting in the goodness of God and knowing that it’s all going to be okay. Breathe in the beauty of this quiet place. This quiet land of thankful and blessed.

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