Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the focus on just being together and feasting, taking time to count our blessings and say “thank you”. It was also 10 years ago this Thanksgiving that my husband asked me to marry him, even more reason to love the day!
Finding things to be thankful for during this season is not usually too hard, it is not uncommon to find everyone declaring their gratitude and counting their blessings in November. But to declare them day in and day out, every month of the year, to carry thankfulness in our hearts and speak it from our lips…..this is the path that leads to life.
”The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live…He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.” -Albert Schweitzer
I am in the process of learning this, this making each day Thanksgiving Day, it does not always come easy, but over time I am noticing my mind is being transformed. With each moment I notice God’s gifts, from the mundane to the magnificent, noticing and speaking thanks for the gifts brings me right here to this moment, the present, and it is in the present that I find His presence.
Giving thanks is the gateway to the FULL life.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
The psalmist knew the secret to entering the place of the God of the Universe is to speak thanksgiving…that is what brings us into His presence.
And what do we find in His presence?
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11
In his presence is FULLNESS of JOY. Giving thanks brings us to a place of joy to the full.
When we express our thanksgiving, we are saying yes to the abundant life Jesus came to give us, we are saying yes to his grace, to his power, to his glory and presence within US, when we say thank you, we are saying YES and opening ourselves up to life in the full and overflowing.
Every moment in life is not wonderful bliss, yet in every moment I have the opportunity to choose thankfulness. To choose gratitude. To believe and declare that: “We can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:5)
We have the power in our lips to give thanks. We have the power with our own words, our own heart, and our own mind to give thanks and enter into deep and full joy.
On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. Know this: God is God. He made us; we didn’t make him. We’re his people, his well-tended sheep. Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever. Psalm 100 MSG
We carry the presence of God when we are thankful and speak out our thanks and praise. Thanksgiving unleashes his presence within us.
We release that presence we carry when we turn our thanks into giving.
As the eloquent Ann Voskamp has said:
”Eucharisteo means to give thanks, and “give” is a verb, something that we do. God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away. That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living. That our lives become the very blessings we have received.” Thanksgiving becomes thanksliving when the thanks for His vertical, coming-down grace is expressed as a horizontal, reaching-out grace.”
So now that the fullness in our bellies has waned, let’s not let the fullness in our hearts wane. Let’s come to the Thanksgiving table each and every day, and feast in the richness of our blessings, as we name them with thanks we will see them multiply, the fullness of our Joy will overflow…
Let’s go and give thanks….let’s go and LIVE thanks…
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Psalm 145:7
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1
- breakfast with my parents before they return home
- dancing, laughing children
- daughter who sings “God songs” all the day long
- gloomy clouds that make for great naps
- a beautiful fireplace
- husband dancing and wrestling with our children
-my children’s pure delight as they are overcome with Christmas spirit, enchanted by each ornament and tree trimming