Undoubtedly, thankfulness can quickly be gone with the wind in our hectic lives. When we do get the chance for stillness, it’s not reflection and gratitude that fill the air but what can I do for myself that we busy our brains with or simply, we check-out. Suddenly the fourth Thursday in November arrives and we are guilted to suddenly stop and search for what we are thankful for.
That’s what troubles me a about Thanksgiving.
I’m used to everyone gathering around a family style table spread full of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie – the works. A little bit about myself, when I was at home I started the tradition of each one taking time to share what they were thankful for and why; each year adding a different twist to the application. I was into that holiday tradition and focusing on sharing with others what you were thankful for. I wanted everyone to share something real and sentimental usually forgetting to get my own heat-felt story prepared. (Typical ENFP, desiring others to share deeply and forgetting about myself.)
Now that I’m a mom, a cook and mood setter (yes, I think most mom’s happen to have that power) I wonder if that mantra has shifted for me. See, I am realizing that pressing others to cough up an amazing thankful list or story is not what I want anymore. It’s not what I want to bring to the table yearly. It’s not the kind of mood I want to set.
I want to raise grateful kids, EVERYDAY. I want my children to grow up with hearts cultivated to give thanks daily. Not only them but me as well. I want and need a grateful spirit. Not just one day out of the year.
Gratitude affects our attitude
… I wrote in my journal the other day. It really does. Focusing on the gratitude in our sticky and hard situations changes our outlook, our mood, and helps us to think about the good. I’m not saying it’s a cure-all but it’s good for our minds and it gives God the glory which is what we were created for. Which he deserves. God has blessed us in so many ways but yet its the bad, difficult and ‘not fairs’ that we set our minds on.
Probing our hearts for thanks on a regular basis may not happen easily. I already hate the idea of forcing something onto my life, too. Like, ‘I gotta start doing this now!‘ Those kinds of things die off all to easily. And, it’s one more thing that I have to do – blah! I buck at that kind of living.
I want to be God inspired. God led. And move with the Spirit. I think having the desire to live a thank-filled-life pleases God. It’s His Spirit that can prompt and remind in the moment when I’m forgetting. Then God is making it happen and not me. when I try to make things happen I forget like everyone else and then guilt trip myself until I’m black and blue with shame.
Will I never have my family go around the table and each one pip up what they are thankful for? I’m not saying I won’t. I think Thanksgiving is a good reminder to be thankful. Really. Because we forget. Just like we forget the impact of Jesus dying on the cross for us. Or the significance of Jesus’ birth too. So we have days set aside to celebrate and remember. But just like the song says about ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday‘, maybe we might wish for thanks
givingliving every day as well? What in our lives would change if that became our desire?
How about you? Do you find it hard to suddenly stop and slowdown on Thanksgiving Day and desperately have to find something that you’re at least a little thankful for?
Or do you make it your ambition to find things in life that you are truly grateful for throughout the year?