The word says it all, but I’m learning more all the time.
Thanks + Giving = a worthy celebration.
It isn’t simply a holiday or one day a year. It’s a lifestyle. It is a life that is willing to turn aside from the urgent to notice the moments that may not be “big” or “special” in anyone else’s book, but are moments of blessing nonetheless. When we take the time to really look at all that we’ve been blessed with, we are not only a thankful people, but a generous people.
I am acutely aware of the lavish love and abundant grace my heavenly Father has bestowed upon me. Every day. Because of that, I can extend the same to others. Every day.
As we gather around our table full of food and shoulder to shoulder with friends or family, I am also very much aware that not everyone has the same. The food and family that I have is what enables me to share my food and be family to others. Every day.
Over the years, I have made a habit of keeping abundance lists, of putting pen to my gratitude, of counting 1000 gifts over the course of a year. So this thanksgiving, I decided to challenge myself a bit more and write down 1000 things I am thankful for this month.
The main thing I learned is that it is this hurried, busy life that keeps us from noticing. There were late nights, when I finally stopped, that I had to look back over my day to count the moments of tangible and intangible gifts that had been bestowed on me throughout my day. I would have missed them completely if I had not stopped.
The other thing I noticed, is how many people ended up on my gratitude list. A friendly phone call, an unexpected text, help from an employee from another company, family, friends, those who do favors for me all the time. The friendship and love I am thankful for enables me to give generously of the same to others. It makes for a very rich life. Not perfect, not polished, but full of thanks and growing in giving.
I have decided not to murmur and complain about the loss of Thanksgiving Day not being set aside in our modern culture. Partly because I am convinced that we can celebrate and give thanks every day. Thanksgiving traditionally ushers in the Christmas shopping season. I am understanding more of how our thanks can be transformed into giving. When we realize how much we already have, we can give of ourselves, our time, our concern and our compassion. We may even have material possessions to share with others, or extra money we can use to meet practical needs of food and warm clothing.
Perhaps this season finds you mourning the things that you do not have. Still, I encourage you to find even one small thing you can be thankful for.
May we be thankful people and from our thanks, may giving flow.
Abundance is… taking the time to notice!