With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I can’t help but think about how powerful being thankful is.
Since this Summer my four year old son Elijah has been reminding my husband and I what he wants for Christmas and his birthday nearly every day.
The other morning I woke him up with a usual “Good morning!” and he opened his eyes and responded excitedly with, “Mommy, I want a PJ Mask Blanket for Christmas!” 😀 And when I pick him up from school in the afternoon it’s clear his wish list is still on his mind. As we drive home I hear him rattling off what he wants from the backseat (an animal puzzle, a paw patrol cake, a paw patrol car, the list goes on…)
As amusing as these moments are, seeing that his favorite hobby was becoming listing what he wanted alerted me I needed to remind him the importance of not just receiving, but giving. And just as significant, the importance of giving thanks.
For my four year old son as soon as he woke up the first thing on his mind was what he wanted for his birthday. If I’m honest, as his 27 year old mother there are mornings I wake up and the first thing that crosses my mind is everything I think I have to get done for a reality I want to create. It may not be a birthday or Christmas wish list, but it’s not always what I’m grateful for.
God’s word continually reminds us of the power of thanksgiving and that He wants us to cultivate a lifestyle and culture of gratitude in our lives.
Every day, every moment we can choose what we will focus on. We can choose to think on everything we wish would change in our lives, the seeming lack in our circumstances, or we can think on ‘what is pure, true, just, and noble‘ (Philippians 4:8).
The truth is most of us have some area in our life we’re believing God for change in, but a greater truth is that all of us reading this right now have been blessed with the greatest gift any one can be have: the gift of Life!
Life may not be perfect but we have our right minds, some degree of health, and are extravagantly loved by our Heavenly Father. We have so much to give thanks for.
I’ve come to find when I put thanksgiving as my first priority it changes my entire outlook and shapes my day completely differently.
Thanksgiving can change what I once complained about into something I’m grateful for.
Something as simple as washing dishes transforms from begrudgingly doing a mundane household chore to thanking God my family has food to eat and running water to use.
In this week of Thanksgiving it can be so easy to continue to focus on what we want or want to accomplish as the holiday season begins to gear up. As women especially many of us can feel the pressure to create an unforgettable holiday experience for our family. And while creating these memories is a beautiful gift to our loved ones, let’s not forget the greatest reason for this season: Giving Thanks.
If gratitude has been a struggle for you in this season I encourage you to just start small but to still take a step.
One great exercise is to get alone with your journal and quiet your thoughts for a moment, put on some peaceful music (right now I’ve been loving the song I’ll Give Thanks by Housefires), set a timer even for just 5-10 minutes, and write a list without thinking too hard of everything you’re grateful for right now.
It can as simple as a the food in your fridge, to your parents being alive and healthy. You may be surprised when your timer goes off just how many things you’ve written down and that you want to continue. You’ll probably also feel encouraged and more hopeful as well.
Research shows that when we give thanks it affects every area of our lives from our mental health, relationships, to even our physical well being.
This thanksgiving season let’s give ourselves and loved ones the gift of a grateful heart and warm, thankful spirit.
More than a perfectly roasted turkey or baked mac & cheese, this is what truly makes all the difference at our family gatherings and even more importantly, touches the heart of God.
I’m praying you and your family have an amazing Thanksgiving! Know that I am thankful for YOU. THANK YOU for taking the time out of your busy schedule, some of you juggling grad school, others in nursing school, others with multiple children or babies, some running executive boards, some professors using your precious time to read and support me in reading, commenting, and subscribing to this blog. It never goes unnoticed.
Please feel free to share what this season of thanksgiving means to you or any other comments you’d like to share I love hearing from and responding to you!
Sending my love to you!