Can you be thankful for trials and struggles? I hope so. I'm not asking you to always be joyful for the struggle, but finding joy in the knowledge that God doesn't abandon us, and choosing to be thankful for His work in your life.
I think I've seen this the most recently in the area of civics.
civics |ˈsiviks|pl.noun [ usu. treated as sing. ]the study of the rights and duties of citizenship.
With the primary elections earlier this week, and several things going in our city and nearby ones that cause struggles, and sometimes disappointments, I have found a reason to be thankful for Civics lessons. The girls are taking a civics course, and we've done lots of discussing as a family about the various topics that have presented themselves recently.
I am thankful to see our girls maturing into young women who can analyze more than one point of view. This helps them understand their own responsibilities as citizens... and it gives them lots of opportunities to extend grace when they see a decision made that they don't think is in the best interests of the community.
Civics can be a great place to teach your children about "speaking the truth in love." Learning how to share a viewpoint, while still respecting those who hold opposing views, is a sometimes hard-learned lesson. Why not spend some time NOW with your children, so that when they grow up, they have knowledge AND self-control? This is what we are focusing on in our girls' course.
I'm thankful for a lot of things today, and especially thankful to share these struggles together, looking to God to guide and protect us!