We are entering the Thanksgiving season.

I’ve been taught all my life that it shouldn’t be only a season, but an attitude year around. But how? By telling Mom thank you for the meal, even if I didn’t like the peas? Or is there something deeper?

Ever so slowly, maybe I’m starting to catch on. Thankfulness starts with a conscious choice.

Here is my conscious choice:

I use a feeding tube eleven hours a day, seven days a week, because of severe digestive problems. The backpack and paraphernalia that tags along with me goes by the nickname of Eeyore, since I feel rather attached to it, as Eeyore is to his tail. Not long after starting tube feeding, I made a decision that, with God’s aid, I would not complain about it. So in those moments when Mr. Complainer knocks because it’s time to hook up one more time when it seems that I just unhooked, I mentally whisper to God, “Thank You for my Eeyore. Thank you for all the help it has given.” This conscious choice has worked— at least most of the time. Thanking God has turned into a habit and the habit has created an attitude. But that is one particular choice for one particular problem.

My life isn’t always that black and white. Rarely. Just tonight I felt like complaining that I couldn’t put lettuce and tomatoes on my chicken wrap. It’s not that I don’t like lettuce and tomatoes, but my stomach doesn’t appreciate them. Self-denial likes commiseration. But then God nudged me. I swallowed my words and instead thanked God that I can still eat. I looked at the chicken tender on my wrap without lettuce and decided it would taste good. Another victory won. Many yet to go. Could this become a habit and attitude of thankfulness as well? I am going to work on it with God’s help.

I think it’s time to take a hard look at the rest of my life and the things I mentally and verbally complain about. And I know there’s a whole lot more that God would like to teach me about thanksliving.

I have written a book entitled No Mistakes that tells more about the journey that God has led me on. It is the story of repeated tests, puzzled doctors, and university hospitals; but more importantly, it is the story of a heavenly Father who makes no mistakes. The book has just been released and can be purchased at www.clp.org/products/no_mistakes_3568.

About Phyllis Miller: My passion in life is to glorify God in whatever situation He calls me into. As a child, my dreams were to teach school and serve on the foreign mission field. I thank God for blessing me with five and a half years of teaching before chronic health problems caused me to seek a less demanding job. I now work part-time as a graphic designer for a marketing company and find my hobbies in writing, drawing cards, photography, and plenty of other projects on my constant to-do list. Many years of visiting multiple doctors have produced diagnoses of rumination syndrome, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease (now in remission), fibromyalgia, and more. I began HPEN in 2017 and currently use a j-tube for a large part of my nutritional needs. My fervent desire is that Jesus can be seen in my life, even through the ministry of suffering.

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