If you follow along with me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you know I’ve dedicated this entire month of November to “30 Days of Thankfulness” – an invitation for others, and myself, to light up social media with the big and small, glorious and mundane things we’re most thankful for in our daily lives – in the midst of all the chaos and darkness swirling around the world. I’ve been loving the process of looking for those “good and perfect gifts from above” (James 1:17) and expressing the joy in my heart for those people and things throughout the course of this month. It’s kept my focus on what matters most and has brought me a deep level of peace and comfort in these busy days leading up to the holiday season. And with Thanksgiving officially here tomorrow, I felt it appropriate to share some of my personal gratitude here in this space today! So, welcome friends! And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
Today, in particular, I’m thankful for the platforms and spheres God has given me to use my gifts and talents to serve Him and share Him with others. Whether it’s in my marriage, my family, my friendships, my career, my board participation, my social media accounts, and/or other activities and hobbies I’m involved with, I am thankful for the opportunity to use the unique qualities and personality He’s blessed me with to love, grow, and serve with all of my heart for the things I’m passionate about. This blog, specifically, has really been a place I’ve enjoyed using my gifts of writing/story-telling and photography to share encouragement and speak life as I, too, walk out this messy, imperfect thing called “life” and learn more about myself, God, and His Kingdom. Having my own blog / website was a goal I had for a long-time, and with the help of my dear cousin and friend, was able to have this dream realized! I am thankful for her skills to bring what I envisioned to life and have so appreciated what I’ve been able to cultivate here thus far!
I’m also thankful that I have today (and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend) off from the demands and pressures of work so I can truly enjoy home, as well as time with my hubby and people. So far, I’m off to a great start as I sit here writing in my jammies, drinking coffee, and taking in the sparkle of the Christmas tree. (And believe me, even though the house is already decorated for Christmas, that does not take away from my love of Thanksgiving and the importance this holiday has in my heart. I, personally, just like to enjoy all that comes with Christmas a little longer than others may. I love the anticipation and excitement that comes from all the lights, ornaments, glittery wrapping paper, movies, music, etc. It makes my heart so very happy!)
Before I close for today, I’m reminded of something Ann Voskamp shares in her book, One Thousand Gifts; she writes that the practice of “eucharisteo – thanksgiving – always precedes the miracle.” And I have to say, that I have found this to be true since I first read those words 6 years ago. The more I share my thankfulness, the more grateful I become; the more I share that gratitude, the more contagious it becomes with those around me; and the energy, joy, and deep peace that comes from that creates a space for really cool connections to be made and things to happen. I believe God is present with us evermore as we express our thanks for ALL THE THINGS He’s done and given to us, even and especially when the way is dark, hard, and unclear. Over the past few years, I have intentionally and purposely made time at the beginning of each day for the practice of expressing my praise / thanks to Him and how this resets my heart and mind for the hours to come is something I now can’t imagine my life without.
So, my encouragement today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, is that you would find at least one thing to be grateful for in your heart and that you would dare to share that with others. And then watch what happens in and around you as you ignite the spark of thankfulness. My hope and prayer is that you would fan that flame and the platforms and spheres in your life would LIGHT UP with goodness and joy too, for your good and His glory!
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Be grateful.