If you are on any sort of social media platform then you know that this time of year there are lots of “thankfulness challenges” happening. One of the things I love most about having a public holiday that is all about thanks and giving in the U.S. is that it makes most of us stop and count our blessings. While giving thanks and praising the One who made us is something we should do every day, sometimes we need a reminder to stop and really appreciate all that we have.
Back in August I decided to start a little experiment called #100HappyDays after watching a colleague complete the challenge a few months prior. This is actually a global movement that started in the middle of 2013 and to date has seen over 1,000,000 participants. The concept is simple: Try to find something to be happy about for 100 days in a row, snap a picture, and post it to social media with the hashtag #100HappyDays. When you’re finished you can even have a little book printed with all of your photos.
The foundation behind the social challenge claims that over 70% of people who start the challenge don’t finish. But those that do finish walk away feeling more content, grateful for what they have, and optimistic for the future — pretty much what you wold expect, right?
For me it wasn’t finding something to be happy about that was challenging — I try to thank God for at least one thing every night as my head hits the pillow anyway — it was the slowing down to acknowledge and delight in the happy moments that I struggled with. Many times I went through the whole day only to realize in the final minutes before sleep that I forgot to capture a happy moment. Upon reflection there were often many little moments of joy I could recount, but I had rushed from one thing to the next without stopping to savor or enjoy them — whether with a my mobile phone’s camera or my mental camera.
In the end I only managed to post pics for 62 out of 100 days. But that’s OK because I am savoring this record of 62 moments of joy and happiness from the last three and a half months. Sure, some of it was big stuff I would have remembered or captured pics of anyway, like my twins turning 9, or my trip to New York with my youngest daughter and step-mom. But those other moments — the photo I took while reading on the porch one afternoon, the rainbow that appeared over our house after a storm, the night my kids, my mom and I giggled silly while playing a game of “Beat the Parents” — these are the moments I likely would not remember a week, let alone 100 days later. But because I stopped to savor these moments, to record them on my phone and in my brain, I can go back and remember with a nostalgic smile what was good about that ordinary Tuesday back in September.
“Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” (Proverbs 8: 30-31).
This is my greatest desire, to be constantly at His side. To find delight in something each and every day. To rejoice and praise Him for every little thing. To find good and happiness in all that surrounds me. Even on an ordinary Tuesday in September….especially on an ordinary Tuesday in September.
Tomorrow we will pass the turkey and eat too much pie and list the things we’re thankful for. And that carb and thankfulness-induced bliss may carry us through a few days. But come Monday when the kids won’t get out of bed, the inbox is overflowing, and traffic is at a stand-still, I want to stop and seek out something to delight in. Something to be my happy for that day. And I hope I will remember to take a mental picture and turn to the One who is by my side to offer thanks.
For more information or to sign-up for the #100HappyDays challenge, visit their website at www.100happydays.com.