I love Thanksgiving. Why? Because Thanksgiving is the one holiday that hasn’t been turned into something commercial. It is still focused on gratitude, thankfulness, family, and friends.
BUT for some of you, this may be a tough day.
Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one through death or you are missing someone across an ocean due to a military separation.
Perhaps you are far away from family and friends due to a job change that doesn’t make it possible to travel home.
Perhaps you have a deeply broken relationship.
Perhaps life has taken an unexpected turn that’s left you wondering what there is to be thankful for anyway.
If you find yourself in this group or less-than-eager for this holiday, I encourage you to add something new to your Thanksgiving list this year.
Spend five minutes writing down at least five things you can be grateful for. Just write down what pops into your head.
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” H.A. Ironside
When you are done, you may find your attitude has improved.
For the rest of you who are excited to celebrate this holiday, take at least five minutes to write down at least five things you are grateful for. Then notice what happens to your attitude.
Whether you are struggling with life or life seems to be going smashingly well, you can find something to be grateful for.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 The MESSAGE
As you enjoy delicious food, family or friends, or just time off from from work, don’t forget to give thanks for everything—big or small. Because, after all, it’s the small stuff that blesses us every day. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, in Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community,
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”
Here’s a few of the “small” things I’m thankful for:
- A loving husband
- A warm home
- Hot and cold running water
- Indoor plumbing
- Well-stocked grocery stores
- Adequate clothing
- Truth-telling relationships
- A refrigerator
- A dishwasher
- Freedom to worship God whenever and wherever I choose
- Privilege of voting
- Ability to read
- Ability to write
Here’s your challenge before Thanksgiving Day gets too hectic:
- Grab a piece of paper and pen or pencil. Or your notes on your phone.
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- Write down everything that comes to mind for which you are thankful or grateful.
From our house to yours: May you, your family, and friends have a blessed, relaxed, and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving celebration.
Thank you for stopping by each week. I am thankful for you.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.