“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~Thornton Wilder
This week families and friends across America will gather to celebrate a delicious Thanksgiving feast: turkey and ham, green bean casserole, squash, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and an assortment of home-made pies and other mouth-watering desserts. They will say a prayer of thankfulness, like the Plymouth colonists did, giving thanks to God for their safe voyage to America and for a good harvest.
It’s good to have an attitude of thankfulness on not just one day of the year, but every day. God gives us daily abundant blessings, but many times we take them for granted: such as things not available in Third World nations, like clean water and clean air, food, indoor plumbing, freedom of speech and press.
Be thankful for the little things
God also blesses our lives with our families, friends, good health, a job or a home business, and many other blessings. Sometimes it is the simplest things which are the greatest blessings, like your child’s laugh or talking to a friend on the phone.
An ungrateful attitude makes you an unpleasant person who nobody wants to be around. It also seems to draw more negativity in your life, maybe because that is what you are focusing on.
But a thankful attitude releases more of God’s goodness and favor in our lives. As parents, we delight in a child who shows a thankful attitude for what we give them. (Luke 17:11-19)
A Gratitude Journal
A good practice to help us cultivate an attitude of thankfulness is through a gratitude journal. Each day record things for which you’re thankful. It can be as simple as a good, hot cup of coffee, being able to go for a morning walk or run, or having a good laptop to run your business. It can also be miracles God does, like a physical healing or a sudden money miracle (which I have seen God do!). A great resource on the topic of thankfulness is Ann Voskamp’s incredible book One Thousand Gifts.
Be Thankful for Answered Prayers
You can also record answered prayer in a journal – the date when God answered it, and how He did it. What great things has God done in and through your business and family this year? Write them down and share them with others. You might even start a tradition at Thanksgiving of having family members share before they eat the big meal what they’re thankful for this year or sharing excerpts from your “answered prayers” journal. This creates a special, holy atmosphere that ushers in God’s presence. God’s glory is manifest where there’s praise. (Revelation 5:12)
God’s book about you
Did you know that God notes your thankfulness and writes down when you share about the great things He does in a Book of Remembrance?
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another,and the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him, For those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.” (Malachi 3:16, NKJV)
You’ll discover as you begin to observe and to be more aware of God’s blessings in your life, that soon you can’t write them down or praise Him fast enough. The blessings will overflow in your life, and you will experience great joy. Even in hard times, you will notice the good things from God.
Have a blessed, thankful Thanksgiving and year.