I used to love the movie Pollyanna. As kids we would go over to my Aunt Tammy’s (who shares a very similar taste in movies as me) house and that was the movie I always picked to watch. I think it was probably her optimism that I liked the most. I was always an optimist and loved that about Pollyanna.
For those of you who (gasp!) haven’t seen the movie or read the book, Pollyanna is an orphan who comes to live with her strict aunt and somehow manages to find the good in every situation and person. She plays this game called “The Glad Game” and no matter what position you put her in, she will find something to be glad about. Of course she has some trouble at one point but I’m going to let you watch the movie and find that out for yourself!
So the other day, I had too much time on my hands to think and thoughts were creeping in about all the things I missed in life and wanted back. I found myself complaining inside. I was getting frustrated, uneasy, and unhappy and finally I had had enough of it. I sat down with a notebook and wrote out every single thing I missed from my ‘old life.’ Every thing I wished was different. Every thing I wasn’t content with. It was almost a full notebook sheet. Things like:
“I miss being able to drive”
“I miss working at the Farm”
“I wish I always felt a passion for devotions and prayer”
And then I turned the page. And for each line on the previous page, I wrote a very specific corresponding thing I was thankful for on the new page:
“I am thankful for so many friends who give me rides”
“I am thankful for my time at the Farm and that I still see my Farm family”
“I am thankful God’s Word is alive and working and he hears me when I pray”
Just like Pollyanna, I came to a point where I sat and stared at one line for a long time, unable to think of anything to be thankful for. Finally, I simply wrote, “I am thankful for salvation.” I’m glad when all else fails that I can always fall back on that and be utterly thankful and grateful for it.
Do you know what I did next? I tore out the first page and threw it away. I’ve done this same thing again since then and you know what I am left with? Pages of thankfulness. Reminders of God’s grace and goodness towards me. It may seem like a silly or simple thing to do but it really has helped. I’m calling it the Pollyanna Project (because who doesn’t like alliteration?).
We have so much to be thankful for, whether it’s big or small things. We just need to take the time to see them and express our thanks.