I think it can well be said that "Thankfulness is a gift to the soul." In the ebb and flow of my life, this is a gift I give myself sporadically and this ought not to be so. There are so many things to be thankful for. So many things to accept just as they are, not wishing them to be different or "if only..." Things to be listed and voiced with a song of gratitude because everything - even the hard things - cause life to grow. Growth is good.
Safety in storms that would tear the heart or the roof
The dog obeying my command for stillness and silence when she would much rather chase a rabbit
A well made bed by one who is struggling to learn responsibility
The sweet balm of God's Word to a mind that is restless
A storm which caused people to come slow down and take time for each other
New friends who graciously share their time and knowledge, and are beginning to feel like family
Technology that allows us to see loved ones who are very far away
The unfolding of a flower given to my garden by a friend
My list is growing and my heart is full. It is so much easier to look at the day with a smile when one focuses on good things. Stress may still be there, but it isn't quite as daunting. Philippians 4:8 must therefore be true. I like how The Message puts it:
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.