The older I get, the more thankful I am for things I used to take for granted. Things like eating whatever I wanted instead of choosing foods based on calories and the fat content, or disregarding the late-night hour because I could sleep as late as I wanted in an attempt to make up for the loss of sleep.
Yet, as I consider what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I realize my list this year is slightly different than earlier ones. Sure, I’m thankful for family and friends, good health, prosperity, freedom, and especially for my relationship with Jesus. I’m also very grateful for the work I have the privilege of doing as the President of Body & Soul Fitness. I’m immensely thankful for all of the leaders, instructors, and students, both past and present, who have made Body & Soul Fitness into the wonderful ministry it is today.
But do you know for what I find I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
My ability to move. Of course as I get older movement feels different and recovery takes a bit more time and effort, yet I remain grateful that I get to do what I do. I get to lead students in worship through group exercise classes. I get to do ministry alongside gifted leaders and instructors who love sharing their faith through fitness just like I do. I even get to visit classes and participate in fitness events around the world. And even though all of these things require physical energy – sometimes more than I think I can spare, significant planning time, travel away from home and family, and recovery afterwards, I wouldn’t change a thing because not everyone gets to do what they love.
Body & Soul Fitness classes begin and end with prayer. Lately I’ve found myself expressing my gratefulness for movement during the opening prayer like this: “Father, thank you for this group you’ve assembled in the place today, because we acknowledge that not everyone gets to do this.”
What do you get to do that not everyone else does? Are you the parent of lots of high-energy children whose schedules run you all over town? Are you someone who works the toughest shift at your job? Are you the primary caregiver of a loved one?
May I challenge you to give thanks this Thanksgiving for everything that you get to do that others don’t? I hope your list surprises you. I hope these things for which you are grateful cause you to pause and smile as you realize that sometimes the hard stuff and the things that often deplete us, are gifts given to us by our loving God because He entrusts them to us. With His help, may we allow Him to empower us in our calling, equip us with the energy required to complete the task, and then trust Him with our recovery – even if it takes longer than it used to.
Amy Stafford is the President of Body & Soul Fitness, certified personal trainer, ACE faculty and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is a leader in the fitness industry and a popular speaker for women’s events, retreats, fitness conferences. For information on booking Amy for your event or for an interview please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy currently teaches in the Williamsburg, VA area.