Whether you celebrate with family or friends, and whether you eat turkey or something completely different, Thanksgiving is almost here.
I remember how when I was working Thanksgiving week (and any other short-week) ended up crazy-busy. There was always a rush to complete last minute projects before the holiday. And while I remember most people being cheerful, it was often a stressful time.
But this year is different.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel that looming holiday stress. But it presents differently since I stay at home with the kids now. Instead of work deadlines to meet, I have errands to run, activities to attend with the kids and a husband who travels often. The pressures are different but still exist.
But this year is also different because I’ve been doing my best to focus on gratitude so when stress comes, I can look upon it with a different perspective.
And you know what?
Sure, I’m still struggling in some circumstances to be grateful. In fact, if you lived with me, you could have called me out during plenty of those ungrateful moments. They most certainly occurred.
This year, I feel like ungrateful moments have been shorter in length and that, in general, I’m actually experiencing the gratitude and the joy that is talked about this time of year.
It’s a wonderful thing. Beautiful, really.
My son and I have been making note of what we’re grateful for, daily, since November 1. We’ve made an effort to find something NEW to be grateful for each day, so there are no broken records here.
Inspired by this, we made our own index card calendar journals, and bought 2 containers for $1 at Target in the dollar section.
Inexpensive. Simple. Effective.
My barely-4-year old son’s choices are simple. Sometimes they’re just food (aka. grapes are his favorite food and were his FIRST entry), but often times they are someone, or something that he encountered that day. He’s really starting to get the hang of it and isn’t asking ME what HE is grateful for anymore. After the first week, he began to freely come up with his own answers. In fact, some days he was on such a gratitude roll, we made lists.
We then apply his gratitude list to how God has blessed us in this way.
For me, the daily recording is a way to look at life and the experiences we have each day, and actually pause to recognize the blessing and the joy experienced from those moments.
At Thanksgiving dinner, does your family go around and say what each person is grateful for? Have you given it any thought?
Perhaps instead of a generic answer this year you can give a well-thought out answer…
Perhaps in thinking of your answer, you will find your spirit lifted, and the JOY seeping in…
And perhaps you will find that Thanksgiving is more than a meal with turkey…
Perhaps there will be more things than you have time to share…
It’s OK if it takes practice to think this way.
Gratitude doesn’t always come easy or we would all be joy-filled.
Are you feeling it?
Here’s my sons answers for the past 25 days (my list became more of a novel than a list so I won’t publish it here).