Thanks is the New Giving



This is my favorite time of year! I love the weather, the colors, the smells, the fire pits, the s’mores, the clothes, and the boots (oh, I love boots). And I enjoy the holidays too. For many years I dreaded family functions, or should we call them dysfunctions? They were always so stressful, and unpleasant, and no one even seemed to like them.

As I have gotten older and started my own branch of a family tree, my heart has changed. As the holiday season approaches, the list of extras will get long, the budget can be small, but my appreciation for people doesn’t have to be.

As we head into the holiday of Thanksgiving, I am always disappointed to find that many are anything but thankful. We complain about the cost of hosting a meal for a large number of people, or the people who are coming to the meal, or the fact that the gatherings are time consuming, or my favorite one: the time put into the preparations compared to amount the time it takes to eat all that food.

As this Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am hosting both my family and my in-laws. I am completing all sorts of projects and I am so thankful that, for the first time EVER, I am able to do this! Take a look at my project list, and keep in mind the first eight things on this list are things no one else would ever have known I didn’t do:

  • New wreath for the front door
  • Front flower bed
  • Back flower bed
  • Stain the deck
  • Paint the outside deck doors
  • Stain the front porch poles
  • Deep clean the house
  • Clean the vents, fans, and carpets
  • Make a food list
  • Make my Thanksgiving cards
  • Shop for food
  • Prep all the food before anyone arrives

You see I do these things because I want to, but sometimes lists like this leave me feeling stressed out and I then begin to become less than thankful. I lose sight of the big picture: being thankful that we are able to host our families and spend time fellowshipping with the people God placed us with. And let’s be honest: some of these people are the last people we would ever choose to be with, around, or even like.

What are YOU Thankful for, though?

So we are headed into the holiday season and Thanksgiving comes first. I want to encourage all of us to Be Thankful. Look around at your life; not the life you don’t have, but the one you live in each day. What are you thankful for? Times may be tough for you right now, finances may be tight, relationships may be really strained… I understand that circumstances are sometimes messy and difficult. Ok, now try again: what are YOU Thankful for?

Who are you Thankful for?

Yep, that is the next step in being thankful. Most of us can find at least a couple of things for which we are thankful, and that’s great, but furthermore, WHO are you thankful for? And why? This year for the season of thanks, I am challenging myself to reach out to five people a week and let them know I am thankful for them and why. Who wants to join me in a movement to be thankful in all things?

Thanks is the new Giving, so be thankful and give thanks!