The Secret to Being Thankful is Focus

The secret to
being thankful
is focus.

When I learned to drive motorcycles,
I discovered very quickly that
where you look is
where you go!

Through the curves,
around the obstacles
into the ditch!

In this season of busyness and frivolity,
it’s easy to lose your focus.

If you’re anything like me,
you start to focus on what everyone else is
or delighting in.

Comparisons take up the space
in my mind and heart that
God is supposed to inhabit.

Instead of being thankful for what I have,
I focus on what
SHE has,
or what SHE does,
or what SHE gets
or how SHE looks.

I compare home decorating skills,
culinary prowess,
the number of Christmas cards received,
the extravagance of gifts,
and the size of her dress.

Tell me I’m not alone!

The problem with comparisons is that
things are not always what they seem.

Comparing HER Facebook life
or her “Church on Sunday” life
to MY real life is never a good plan.

No one I know posts pictures of the
burned dinner,
broken hearts,
or binge-festing. 

Comparisons are only
good for statisticians.

It’s my experience that
comparing my Christmas light display with the neighbor’s
could make me feel sad and inadequate.


Why not enjoy it without the expense of her electric bill?
Why not use her house as the landmark to find mine?

Comparing my “Pinterest fail” plate of Christmas cookies at the exchange
could make me feel like the worst baker in the group.


Why not enjoy the delicacies created by someone with more
talent and time to spend in the kitchen?

Comparing on the diamond necklace my co-worker got from her husband
could make me forget that Mr. 4-Ever makes me feel like a diamond everyday.

The secret to being thankful is focus.

This holiday season,
I’m letting go of comparisons and
focusing on being thankful.

Would you join me?

Let’s start every day this
Christmas season
in thankful reflection.

Tell God what you’re thankful for.

From the grandest gift of your salvation
to the minutest of details.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the peace that falls
and the joy that will bubble in your heart.

 Scripture Refresher: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NIV)


  1. Brenda S on December 9, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Hi Robyn………..unfortunately, you are correct in writing about comparisons………yikes, are we ever satisfied or content?!?! Well, this year our family has been reminded that there are more important things than things. I was hostess of a table at a wonderful Christmas Tea last week, you were our speaker. My daughter and 3 of her daughters were there, too. They taught you how to “selfie”! My daughter was 18 weeks pregnant with her 6th child. At her ultrasound this week the baby had no heartbeat. Talk about REFOCUS. We are heartbroken and needless to say, our priorities have all been set aside for what the Lord has for us this season. Sadness prevails as my sweet daughter now has to deliver a baby she can’t cuddle, breast feed, nuzzle and carry out the plans she had formed in her heart. Her daughters are devastated at the loss of a sibling that they were so excited to meet in the Spring. Daddy is just so sad. This Grammy feels so helpless. This life is hard………we have to do hard things but through it all, our loving Heavenly Father is with us, holding, comforting, soothing the pain. Where else should our priorities lie? No where but at the feet of Jesus. If we are going to try to compare ourselves to anyone it must be Jesus. We will always come up short this side of heaven but no one deserves the position of mentor, hero and example more. No one deserves our love and devotions more. Our praise and worship should be no where else. This Christmas season has taken on a whole different feeling. Such a feeling of loss and a tremendous feeling of hope………hope of eternity with Jesus………hope of the day to meet my grandchild face to face……..hope that along the way, somehow……something will make the difference to our unsaved family members and they will hear the call of Jesus and turn to Him for their salvation. We love Him………we trust Him and through the tears and sorrow we praise Him in this storm. We know He is with us and will be with us because we’ve seen His hand upon us in our past trials. His love, grace and mercy sees us through every day. So, it is my desire for REFOCUS to become a way of life……..through this hard season and into the New Year.

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 9, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Brenda, I am so very sorry. Words escape me, but know that I pray in agreement with you for Jesus Presence to bring comfort and strength to your entire family.

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