Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thankfulness

What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! Psalm 92:1 The Message

All day today I have been pondering the start of a new month. Specifically, a month marked by the celebration of Thanksgiving. I truly think it is a great tragedy that Thanksgiving gets edged out by the commercial-ness of Halloween and Christmas. I want to really celebrate Thanksgiving this year. So, in addition to hosting the big turkey feast at my home on the 22nd, I am going to try to set a few goals for this month.

First, I want to write good old fashioned handwritten notes to folks to tell them I appreciate them this month. I hope to write one a day. (I confess I am nervous as I write this that folks who know me in real life might wonder who gets one.) For the record, I am not ranking my loved ones. I actually hope it is a random sampling of people who receive letters. I am going to try to pray that God leads me to write just who needs to hear a kind word the most each day.

Secondly, I am praying about how to simplify my life. I am quite cognizant of the fact that my children are rapidly approaching an age where consumerism and materialism will become an issue. I need to have these issues under control in my own life before I start addressing it in theirs. When the word abundance is uttered, I want it to describe our spiritual and intangible blessings, not all the "stuff" in our lives.

I am hesititant to even put this out there into words, because I am having to really consider what that looks like practically in my life. I am praying hard. I am not a hoarder of things. I like to think of myself as a minimalist and a purger of "stuff." Yet, I have a long way to go about the attitude of my heart and my desires for more, nicer, newer...This longing for more is a distraction from cultivating an attitude of gratitude. It is like kudzu that chokes out my thankfulness.

So, here's to Day One of a journey toward Biblical appreciation and thanksgiving! I feel a bit like a patient anxiously approaching surgery. I know I will be better afterwards, but I am fearful that the process is going to hurt a little.

8 comments:

Leah in Iowa said...

Sounds like we were on the same wave length today! I just started a month-long challenge over at my place - list one thing on your blog (or on your sidebar) that you're thankful for each day of November. Not too tough, huh? We should all be able to list 10 things a day! But I don't want November to just be a doorway to December! Hope you join in!

Kris said...

These are great ideas. It really is sad that Thanksgiving is often overlooked - or becomes only about the food! I want to try to spend more time giving thanks this month also.
And by the way, the Halloween photos are darling!!

Renee said...

I agree, too. And sounds like a great challenge. I truly miss the days of handwritten notes that have been overtaken by email. Best wishes!

So tell us, are you cooking the big turkey and all the fixings? :) Somehow we chose to host at our home too for both sides of the family, and I am quite terrified of cooking my first turkey but am determined to give it my best shot. This will be interesting.

Happy fall!

JMom said...

I am cooking the turkey (only my 2nd one ever)and a couple of sides. My mom, my husband's mom, the 2 great-grandmothers, and my sister are each bringing something as well. It should be fun!

Room for Grace said...

"When the word abundance is uttered, I want it to describe our spiritual and intangible blessings, not all the "stuff" in our lives."
LOVE this! I so want the same thing, but you are right, for our kids to learn this, we have to settle this in our own lives first.
Great post, thank you for putting this into words.

Deidre said...

I agree about Thanksgiving ... I don't want to miss it.

I'll share with you something we do in our family. Before we had children, my husband and I kept a small gift bag on a bedside table with a pad of paper and pens. We recorded daily (sometimes weekly) what we were thankful for or personal prayer requests. We would get up early on Thanksgiving morning and read them together. This was such a treat to read what we were thankful for all year and also prayers that were answered.

Once we had children, it became difficult to do this all year. So, I modified when my oldest was 3 (she is now turning 6). Beginning November 1st, we write daily what we are thankful for. Our daughter couldn't write so we would ask her, write it down for her, let her fold it and put it in the bag. We do this all month and then on Thanksgiving morning, we read them and put them on a little tree (small Christmas tree purchased at Target) to keep up during the Christmas holidays.

This year we'll begin with my 2 year old and my almost 6 year old LOVES this tradition.

This year, I made the papers into shapes of leaves, but with Christmas colors.

Sorry to hog your comments.

The Hiatt Family said...

Funny how God works...just yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking through my blessings and how I need to express gratitude more. I'm a pretty grateful person in the big things, but it's the day to day grind for which I am often less than thankful. It's a blessing to be able to take my kids to a great school; to have the money to run errands and buy groceries; to return to a wonderful home that is more than we need; just the luxury of not having to work outside the home (which for me is my desire). When I take that perspective even doing the laundry is a blessing. I'm just on day two of this renewed focus-and it is a little nerve racking...kind of wonder what will upset my little apple cart this month-and how I will choose to respond! Praying for you...

Fran said...

One year I did Thanksgiving/Holiday cards and tied in the whole thankful for you idea and then wished them Merry Christmas too....granted it was early but it conveyed those messages of gratitude...in life, in relationships and in our Savior.

Thank you for your encouragement.
Have a blessed weekend!
Fran