“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1
This cool fall morning finds me on the back porch of a friend's lake house. The rain is falling and the air is very crisp. The beauty of this day leaves me speechless. I open my journal to a new clean page that feels as crisp and new as the day I sit in.
As I write the date, November 1, I am stunned. Surely it has to be wrong. I sit for a moment in the shock of the reality that this year is almost over! It seems like only a couple of months ago that I opened my brand new 2018 calendar notebook, and stared at the thickness of the pages that represented possible days of my life for the coming year. Three hundred and sixty five days stretched out in front of me have now escaped me like some magical disappearing act.
The tab marked November alerts my heart it is time to “Give Thanks.” Of course we know that Thanksgiving is not just a season on the calendar or a day celebrated with the abundance of food, but it is a condition of the heart. This November calendar tab calls me to accountability.
It asks of me, “How is your thankfulness?”
Then I remember I had packed Ann Voscamp’s book for this lake retreat. Every year at this time, I re-read “One Thousand Gifts”. It includes the challenge of writing and counting the many gifts that God has given. This counting pushes you beyond the normal “thank you's,” to seeing God all around in the most ordinary ways.
We would do well to add this tab to each new day prodding us to “Give Thanks”. Every day that we awaken with breath in our lungs is a new opportunity to give thanks. The goodness of the Lord is more abundant than we can imagine. It really is true that thanksgiving, eucharisteo changes us. Gratitude shifts our hearts and changes our perspective of all of life.
It’s easy to grow negative along with the rest of the world, which tends to snatch gratitude from life. Negative thoughts and troubling times have a way of sneaking up and stealing joy. It’s not surprising that you wake up one morning and find it difficult to count any blessings. Just getting through a day becomes the norm, instead of living life fully alive.
Sometimes you just need your gratitude triggered.
With eyes open wide we will come to see the many gifts that God has given to us. I invite you to join in on the journey with me this glorious month of November. Let’s look for blessings scattered in the ordinary. Feel the cool breeze. Hear the crisp leaves crackling under foot. Recognize the change of the season by the way the sun shines on everything. Watch the living creatures all around prepare for a new season. Taste the warm soup. Enjoy the hug. Hear the laughter of friends.
Continue the list yourself. For there is much to give thanks for!
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:2