This week many of us will be busy making preparations in our home and scheduling time with our loved ones in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, including grocery shopping, baking pies, cleaning the house, and tidying things up at our offices before we enjoy a long weekend off, may we also find the time to prepare our hearts for this special holiday and get back to the simple joy of gratitude.
Sometimes I feel Thanksgiving gets completely missed as the end of Halloween now indicates the beginning of the Christmas season, leaving our designated day of thanks in the dust of red ribbon, green trees, and gold glitter. But Thanksgiving is so important. It’s a reminder of really what we should do every day, and that is to give thanks for all the ways our lives have been blessed. And I say this is a reminder to myself who all too often gets caught up and focused on the tasks, tension, and to-do’s of life. But I’ve learned that even in all of that, there is always, always, always something to be grateful for – both in the good and hard things that fill our days.
I love how Ann Voskamp says it in her book “One Thousand Gifts” when she writes, “The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks.”
So in this time leading up to Thanksgiving, I wish for each of us to be moved by gratitude. I encourage us to look within our hearts and be awakened to the amazing blessings in our lives. To be overjoyed with what we’ve been given, how far we and others have come, and to be wonderstruck by creation and the signs of life all around us, whether it’s a beautiful sunrise, the laughter of a child, the comfort of a cup of coffee, or a great conversation with a spouse or good friend. And I hope we would express our thanks in the quietness of our heart, to God, and to those around us. Let’s share our grateful hearts with others and watch what happens.
Wishing all of you a wonderful week of blessing, joy, and thanksgiving. Happy Sunday!