It’s The Little Things That Matter

by Valentina Alyssa Hendricks

The month of November is often associated with thanksgiving. As Christians, this month near the close of the year, is also a fitting time to reflect and thank God for His providence, refuge, and strength throughout the year no matter the challenges we might have faced.

Our youngest contributor, Valentina, reflects on the little things that God has blessed us with, and discovers that it is often these little things, including the presence of God and our loved ones in our lives, that matter most.   

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Thanksgiving Day was originally an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada to celebrate the harvest and blessings of the past year. Historically, Thanksgiving was modelled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism, and the traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.

Now, Thanksgiving is celebrated all around the world as a Christian Holiday to commemorate all the things we should be thankful for, including the little ones. Thanksgiving is celebrated differently all around the world to fit into all cultures and social norms native to the respective country.

In Malaysia, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving; but for those who do, we celebrate it on November 6. Thanksgiving in Malaysia is a celebration that brings family members together. Families who live far away or in different states actually make an effort to meet up with the rest of the family members. This increases interaction and encourages familial bonding.

Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving once a year, it does not mean that we should only be thankful on that one specific day. There are lots of opportunities to be thankful for every single day. You can start by cherishing the little things you have in life like being able to wake up on a daily basis to live another day of your life. For some of us, even being able to go to school or having food on the table for us to eat is good enough. Even having your loved ones by your side is a daily blessing.

Blessings come in many ways not only when we have achieved something huge by putting effort into doing that one specific thing. Blessings can also mean that when someone remembers you in their daily life; it is there in those moments when your loved ones cook or do something for you, and they just can’t wait to share it with you without expecting anything in return. For instance, imagine you are a working mother and after a long day’s work, you come home and still must cook for your family. Imagine instead coming home to food on the table prepared by your husband or even children! That is considered a blessing. They understand what you have been through and they helped to lighten your workload.

It is without a doubt that being grateful for the things we are given is one of the many virtues we should constantly have in mind. As for myself, I will admit that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. I am eternally grateful for being given even the hardships in life as it has shaped me to be a person who dearly values their morals and being tested has also shaped my character. I wouldn’t be who I am today had I not been faced with the hardships. Yet along the way I have also been granted the tremendous willpower to fight for myself even when all I felt like doing at the time was giving up. Nonetheless, God has blessed me with an amazing group of friends and family who have kept me going through the toughest of times.

Not only have they been my wall of support on countless occasions, I genuinely enjoy their company as whenever I’m surrounded by people who accept me for who I am, I’m at ease, which is one of the biggest blessings I’m given. It’s not easy to find the right group of friends in a short period of time. The friends that I have now have helped me through my darkest and hardest times, choosing to stick by me no matter what happened. Besides, going to school or church makes my day because they make my day more tolerable and of course, they are always a blessing that I’m thankful for. Being able to sit down for meals with my family at least once a day is also a blessing. It strengthens our relationship among family members.

I hope that this has helped to open your eyes that not only should we be grateful for the little things we have in life; in fact, we should not forget to be thankful to God for letting us into this world. We should praise and thank God in every way that we can, no matter the decisions we choose in life.

God put obstacles in our life so that we can come out of it even stronger. Take this as a reminder to be thankful for what you have and not take things for granted. You may be alive today but something might happen next and we cannot predict it. If you ever get the chance, please remember to say “I love you” to someone you cherish like your family members or your friends. You could even say something as simple as “thank you” to someone who has helped you with something even as little as picking up your pen that fell on the floor at school or at work. Remember that God has control over our lives, and He can choose to call us back to Him whenever He wants.

So, appreciate it and don’t waste your life. You still have a long road to go ahead of you. You can do whatever you want with your life but the most important thing to remember is that you only have one life and once that is taken away, there is nothing more you can do. Now, go and say “I love you” and “thank you” to your friends, family members, and God. Put a smile on their face. You don’t have to have a reason to say “I love you” and “thank you”. I have already said “I love you” and “thank you” to my family members, friends, and God because they are the reason I’m still alive and breathing today. Have you?

About the Writer

Valentina enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music, particularly worship songs. She worships at St. Theresa’s Church in Masai, Johor. She shares, “I believe that the Christian faith helps to bring people together and look out for each other no matter our race.”

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