“The truth of thanksgiving can change your life.” I spoke to the Pee Dee Business & Professional Women’s Networking Group last week and shared with that amazing group of women how giving thanks is a very effective way to bring about needed change, for it changes you and your point of view.
It’s pretty cool that we have a whole entire day devoted to giving thanks in our country, but what about the other 364 days of the year? Thanksgiving Day usually consists of lots of stressful preparation, lots of kin folk, and lots of calories; and we just may squeeze in a lovely prayer before we dip into Aunt Mae’s squash casserole. Some of us will stop to think about the year and offer thanks from the heart, and while this is nice, it’s not necessarily life changing.
Is it possible to learn to practice giving thanks as a lifestyle 365 days a year? I believe so! Consider this your “dare” to look for blessings and be thankful for in every day. When you want to change things, you have to do something differently for you can’t expect a different outcome if you keep doing the same things the same way; it just won’t happen. Surround yourself with the positive, and you will become more positive. Surround yourself with the negative, and, well, you know. You have the power to change your life through the simple act of giving thanks. This is the creative power that God designed into your being that uses your beliefs, thoughts, and words. So how do you begin? You practice. Here are two very effective yet simple ways that I use every day:
(1) Count the gifts: See how many blessings you can notice in a day and write them down, thanking God for them. I keep a “Gifts Journal” and so can you. Here are some from my list:
The smell of coffee in the morning.
Hunger satisfied with good soup.
Prayers together knowing God listens.
The color of boiled shrimp.
Giving a bag lunch to the man on the corner.
Walking under a full moon.
Visit to the cemetery, remembering those before me.
A singing grandchild who gives my heart joy.
How an apple fits right in my hand!
There’s no limit to what you can notice and write down, and even the hard things are eased when you say, “Thank you, Lord, for taking care of me in this”. Giving thanks doesn’t always change the circumstances, but giving thanks changes me! And that’s what I’m after! It causes me to be able to see the gifts in a day, have a more positive outlook, and increases my faith in God. It can do this for you, too.
(2) Truth Alerts: Set reminders in your phone that sound at specific times with what you feel will encourage you. Repeat daily so that you are filling your mind and life with good things that grow faith, love, peace, and gratitude. Read aloud the statement of truth, verse of scripture, or reminder of what you need to believe. You don’t have to wait for years to pass! I dare you to give this a week and see what happens! Need some examples?
8 am: God’s mercies are new again today and He loves me deeply. I can listen and follow His leading. Today I will be effective in all I do.
12 pm: Pause for peace. What can I thank God for right now? There’s a gift in every moment.
4 pm: I know and believe the love God has for me. My life matters. (1 John 4:18)
8 pm: I will fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, lovely, and praise worthy, and I will receive God’s peace to end my day. I will walk in authority over fear. (Phil 4:8-9)
Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” It really is that simple. We don’t have to devise some complicated drawn out plan, but
give thanks daily. Psalm 109:30 says, “I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone.” When our minds are renewed with truth, our life is changed.
The simple solution of giving of thanks combined with reminders of truth increases your faith, blesses you with peace and joy, and really does change your life. Will you join me in counting gifts and focusing on truth this Thanksgiving? And don’t forget to thank God for Aunt Mae’s squash casserole, too!
There’s so much grace,
From the desk by the window where gifts are spilling over!
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The holidays are difficult for many. If you need prayer or encouragement, please send an email. I promise to reply! Here’s to a Happier Thanks-giving!