Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is less than a month away.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
(Opening quote from the Thanksgiving Proclamation signed by George Washington, President of the United States of America, October 3, 1789)
This year (2017), Thanksgiving in the United States will be observed on November 23rd. But for the one who believes in Christ, isn’t it true that thanksgiving should be an ongoing expression of gratitude not something relegated to a holiday that spans a mere twenty-four hours.
And if it is not, all is not hopeless.
If we are not “feeling” thankful…, we CAN put things in place to help us grow in thanksgiving. It is possible to cultivate thanksgiving within our hearts.
If our circumstances are hard making it difficult to “see” the good…, we CAN focus on God rather than our circumstance. It is possible to grow in thanksgiving and to learn to express our gratitude even in the midst of our very hard situation.
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:16-18
While Thanksgiving shouldn’t be something we express only once a year, the coming of the holiday does provide us a great time to begin to CULTIVATE our ongoing habit of thanksgiving.
In Need of Inspiration?
Use the list below to stir some ideas (especially if you’re not “feeling” thankful or if your current circumstances are hard to be thankful for):
Keep a daily “Thankful” list throughout the month of November. Each day record a set number of things (1, 3, 5, etc.) for which you are thankful.
Share your daily thankful list on social media.
In #1 and #2 above, rather than writing out the things for which you are thankful, photograph them.
Keep a Blessing Jar. Each day of the month, write out at least one thing you are thankful for and place it in the jar. On Thanksgiving Day or on the first day of December, open the jar and read all the things you have written. (Consider keeping a “family” Blessing Jar.)
Today I Am Thankful For…. Print out this free printable, frame it, and grab a dry erase marker. Place your framed print in an easy-access spot. Each day write out something you are thankful for on the printable.
Show thankfulness and honor to God by speaking His Word back to Him – aloud. Choose any “praise” or “thanks” passages such as 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 34:1, Jonah 2:9, John 1:16, or Colossians 2:7.
Spend a little time each day during the month of November writing out Scriptures of thanksgiving. Use verses such as 1 Chronicles 29:12-13, Psalm 69:30, Psalm 100:4, Psalm 107:1, or Hebrews 12:28.
Engage in a Thanksgiving focused Scripture Challenge.
Cultivate Thanksgiving through journaling: Gratitude A-Z Journaling, Gratitude List Journaling, Gratitude Prompt Journaling, or Gratitude A Day Journaling.
Build a Thanksgiving playlist. Let this be your November soundtrack.
It’s your turn. Do you have a favorite way to cultivate thanksgiving? I’d love to hear it. Please share below in the comments.