It started with a hashtag . . .
A few years ago, I came up with the tag #365HappyThings and began using it on some of my social media posts. The tag sprang out of a crazy idea (one of many) that I had one day – the idea that I might try to take a picture of one happy, lovely, or positive thing every day for the entire year and post it on my Facebook.
That brilliant idea lasted . . . oh, maybe a week?
(I may have created the wrong hashtag . . . #NYResolutionFAIL would have been far more appropriate!)
While I may not have come even close to fully realizing the original vision for this little project, the goal of cultivating an attitude of daily thankfulness for everyday gifts is something that I think about all the time. It’s something that I think we all need a lot more practice in . . . I know I sure do! And while there is no commandment in Scripture (that I know of) that requires posts on social media every 24 hours for a solid year, we ARE commanded to give thanks.
Give thanks . . . for what, exactly? And how often? And, really, 365 is a pretty big number . . . how many things are we actually expected to be thankful for?
Far more than 365, as it turns out . . .
Did you catch that? Not in a few things, not in some things here and there . . .
“In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus FOR YOU.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
If you thought 365 was a big number, try counting to “everything.”
Let me be honest with you, my friend: If the idea of finding 365 Happy Things to be grateful for seems like a tall order, then you are not paying attention.
When is the last time you stopped to count – and I mean REALLY count – the things in your life that should cause you to drop to your knees in gratitude? We don’t deserve even the smallest of blessings. And yet, God so abundantly blesses us that if we were to actually start listing off the things that we have to be thankful for, we could quickly count an entire year’s worth of blessings before our feet even touch the floor each morning . . .
1) GOD IS.
2) While I was sleeping, He was wide awake, causing 3) my heart to faithfully beat and 4) my lungs to rhythmically expand and deflate, while He simultaneously 5) guided ruby-throated hummingbirds in their migration across the Gulf of Mexico and 6) kept our moon perfectly tethered to earth on a 250,000-mile leash . . .
. . . 73) God has miraculously caused the sun to once again rise in the east. 74) Its life-giving light is now chasing the darkness away from my half of the globe – a light that will be transformed into 75) strawberries and 76) sunflowers and 77) cacao beans . . .
. . . 159) On my nightstand sits a slender, magic box the size of my hand that 160) plays my favorite music, 161) records beautiful images of people and places and moments that I might otherwise forget, and 162) allows me to instantly send and receive messages from the important people in my life, even when we are separated by continents and oceans . . .
. . . 291) My elder brother Christ has defeated death and the grave, and no matter what this coming day brings, I can rest in the certain hope of 292) the salvation of my soul and 293) the resurrection of my body.
Keep counting. How high can you go? To 363, 364, 365, and beyond . . . ANY NUMBER IS FAR TOO SMALL to even begin to describe the goodness of our God.
Just think . . . In the time it took you to read the previous sentence, you were blessed beyond measure — more times and in more ways than you can even begin to imagine. But our human frames are weak and our “gratitude muscles” have been inactive for far too long. We have grown selfish and entitled and blind to the blessings. We forget that our eyes could not gaze at the moon, our tongues could not taste the starlight-infused strawberry, our hands could not reach for that cell phone on the nightstand, and our bodies could not sustain life long enough to count to 10 (never mind 365) unless God continued to breathe life into our dusty flesh.
In EVERYTHING give thanks. Can you count to “everything?” I cannot. And yet we are commanded to do the impossible: Give thanks in everything. All the time. In every circumstance. Every day of every year, in this life and the next.
If you are anything like me, this constant attitude of thankfulness does not come naturally.
It requires daily practice. And lots of prayer. And a lifetime of perseverance.
So, let’s work on this together. Let’s practice gratitude until we are skillful in giving thanks for all things. Let’s start exercising those flabby gratitude muscles and grow strong in the discipline of gladness. Let’s learn to chase beauty, choose joy, and cling to Christ every single day.
Let’s find 365 Happy Things to thank God for, and then keep right on counting!
~ Cassandra Marie
6 thoughts on “365 Happy Things”
This was so good, Cassandra. Through your astute observations and thoughtful meditations, you encourage and direct our eyes to Him.
Thanks, Taylor! I’m so glad you were encouraged!
What an encouraging way to look at every moment and to be grateful for all that one moment leads to!
Thank you, Jeanette! 🙂
My dear friend, Ruth Campos has been writing thankful notes 365 Days of Thanks giving 😃 She’s over a 100days now
As I follow through, she’s also encouraging me and others to see gratitude everydat
This is beautiful
What a lovely idea!