Another Thanksgiving Day is upon us, a day to count our blessings and thank the Giver.
As always, it's all about our perspective.
Picture that first Thanksgiving in 1621. Late the previous autumn the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, MA, with 102 people. Now only 50 adults remained alive. The original group included 18 adult women, but only four lived to see that first Thanksgiving.
Yet those survivors set aside a day to give thanks to God.
It's the same today as at that first Thanksgiving. Having a thankful heart has nothing to do with abundance. Or with everything going just right in our lives.
The Pilgrims knew the real "why" for giving thanks and we can, too.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. --Psalm 118:29 (NASB)
Gratitude flows from remembering the Giver
Here's a new twist on how to keep track of our blessings.
It's a simple process: Keep gratitude lists for our lives.
Keep one for each family member, one for work, one for school, etc. Use regular paper or sticky notes.
- Look for things to be thankful for in each person and in each situation
- Add to our list(s) whenever we notice something more
- Reread our lists (or notes) frequently
- Notice how our awareness and sense of gratitude grows
The counselor said even troubled people in hard circumstances found their point-of-view changed. Although everything in their lives might stay the same, these individuals became happier and more contented.
He said writing down how we're blessed is effective it helps us learn that rich or poor, married or single, our happiness is our own responsibility.
Using sticky notes to affirm others
We can help each other along by being encouragers. Sometimes we find it easier to compliment "outsiders" than our own family members.
No flowery speeches needed. Just a few words on a sticky note can break down barriers:
- "Thanks for making your bed."
- "I'm so glad I'm married to you!"
- "Thanks for letting your brother go first."
- "Great report card!"
You get the picture.
Taking it one step further
Another speaker suggested sticky notes can help break bad habits and form new ones. She wrote reminders to herself and placed them around the house. Like "Remember your diet!" on her stash of chocolates.
Because she wanted to start being a more positive person, she wrote, "Smile!" on sticky notes. She stuck the little reminders on her bathroom mirror, on her computer screen, over the stove, in her car, etc.
Later she began writing favorite Bible passages on pieces of paper and Scotch-taping them around the house, every day a new one. She found it made a dramatic difference in her perspective on life.
I've done that, too, in a sort of disorganized fashion. Here are some of my favorite reassuring verses:
The joy of the LORD is your strength. --Nehemiah 8:10
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust. --Psalm 103 :13-14
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. --Psalm 46:1-2
The reason for thanks is because God is good
So good He offers us salvation through Jesus Christ:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. --John 3:16
Happy Thanks-giving--every day!
By the way, I give thanks for each of you who stop by for a visit now and then. Truly, I do.