So this month I was all set to do the whole gratitude challenge thing but as I started to think of what things I might post about I started to think maybe this isn't the best idea. Is it possible to do a gratitude challenge and come up with 30 unique expressions of gratitude without humble bragging? My day to day life is pretty boring and we don't have cute kids that provide a constant supply of little daily antidotes to be grateful about and I know that this isn't about picking up 30 material possessions in my life and posting about them. But even when I look past the "stuff" in my life and more behind emotional and non tangible things it still just doesn't feel right - does the friend with the sick kid really need my post about how #blessed I am with good health popping up in her feed? I think not.
Maybe I'm being Debbie downer on what's supposed to be a lighthearted and fun social media engagement but I just can't get my heart into it because I struggle with the purpose. Sometimes my social media posts serve silly purposes like showing off a cute top or venting about something I read but what is the purpose behind a gratitude challenge? If it truely is to use this season to focus on the things in one life to be grateful for than why does it need to be shared on social media? On one hand you can say well it's nice to publically recognize people but on the other what about hurting feelings of those left out? If my husband doesn't feel like I appreciate him and our life together because I don't make a social media post about it this month that I think I'd have bigger issues in my life to worry about. Also, I think there's a fine line between sharing your life on social media and approaching the "we get it your married" level of annoyance and I know Shaun and I already dance on that line as is. Of course I'm #grateful, #thankful, #blessed for my husband but there's ways I can show him that without implying that you aren't #blessed if you aren't married. And let's be real - the use of #blessed can be inappropriate. I've never met Him but I'm 99.9% sure The Lord does not care what size house you live in and what kind of car you drive - being #blessed with a nice house implys that you were personally chosen for economic prosperity while others were smited. I can't even begin to grasp why some people have an easier time in life than others but I don't think things like cancer, poverty, and natural disaster are handed out like some kind of punishment for a lack of faithfulness. Some of the most devoted, upstanding people I know face struggles.
For most of us life isn't a have or have not situation; we all have our struggles and our blessings and for each one of us those are unique and so while I understand the spirit behind a gratitude challenge is to look past the struggles and focus on what we do have to be thankful for I think at the end of the day that's a mindset more than anything else. But if we're going to focus on awareness this holiday season than we should remember that often this can be a hard time of year for many and what those people don't need is a post about how #grateful, #thankful #blessed we are with our own life or to be told they have to look past the very real and very hard struggles they may currently be faced with. If this is truely to be a season of thinking of others above ourselves than there's so much more we can do.