Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because God loves for us to give Him thanks. It shows our appreciation for the things He has done, and even though I thank God every day on Thanksgiving I like to take time out to reflect on the things that really matter to me, my blessings and lessons learned. For me it’s a good time to look back as the current year draws near to its close and the New Year to its beginning.
But honestly, I can get so busy cooking, eating, reaching out to others and entertaining that I forget to pause and give thanks for the life I have.
My Family’s Thanksgiving Tradition
When my children were growing up we had a tradition in our home of writing out the things we were thankful for and then reading our list to each other at dinner. Now my kids are all young adults and with my oldest daughter in the army I’m just thankful to be able to see them all for the holidays together at one time and one table. As they get older and I prepare myself to become an empty nester I cherish the time I have with them even more.
I’ve decided to take advantage of this time and continue our tradition. However, since I may be busy cooking, eating, reaching out to others and entertaining I’ve decided to get a jump on my list while I still have time to really reflect and give thanks. This might be considered cheating by my kids…
Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?
If so, what are they? If not, you can start now with our family tradition and make lists with your family of things y’all are thankful for.
Here’s my List: Ten Things I’m Thankful For
1. I am thankful that I have eternal salvation. I have peace with God. I have been made right with Him through the shed blood of Jesus and I know where I am going when I leave this earth. My home is in Christ and His home is in my heart. I get to live everyday for the rest of my life knowing the One True God! That’s just awesome!!!
2. I am thankful for my children that are here on earth. I have children who are not living on earth and so, I cherish the ones who are here. I look forward to the day when I will see my other babies face to face but I rest easy knowing that they are with their heavenly Father. All is well.
3. I am thankful for my home, my job, and all the wonderful things God supplies.
4. I am thankful that my mom is still here with us. She’s had to deal with some serious illnesses these last several years plus she is getting older. Experiencing my own children growing up and thinking about the next chapter of my life has made me aware of how fortune I am to still have my mom. I want to be here with my children when they’re my age. It’s a blessing we sometimes discount.
5. I am thankful for my family as crazy as they may be – my sisters, my brothers and my dad. I’m thankful for in-laws who have become family even though I’m no longer married. I’m thankful that we have Christ in common and that He kept us connected.
6. I am thankful for my church family and being planted in the house of the Lord for going 15 years. God knows the thoughts and plans that He has for us and part of that plan is that we be planted in His house so we can take root and grow to our full potential. They key to staying planted in a church is to realize that there is no perfect church, no perfect pastor and no perfect people so to look for God and the good in people.
7. I am thankful for my health. I’ve always been health conscious, however, at the beginning of this year I decided that it was time to start doing proactive checkups – mammograms, complete physicals and blood work. I don’t want to wait until I’m sick to go to the doctor. I want to do my part to stay in good health. So, many people are fighting health battles and some are losing the fight. I don’t to take mine for granted.
8. I am thankful that I get live in America. So many people go to bed feeling unsafe, women and children don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear and they are not in control of their own bodies. Education is not a right in most countries it’s a paid privilege. The basic freedoms we take for granted is a dream to most people. So, while people are down on this country and all the ugly things going on, I’m thankful that I can still preach Jesus without the threat of death and I can boldly declare that I’m a Christian. It’s a blessing to be in American and even though I want to travel to other places there is no place I’d rather call home.
9. I’m thankful for God’s peace that keeps me. Things can change in an instance but God’s peace in us is constant.
10. I am thankful for a new season, new connections and new friends in God’s kingdom for God’s purposes.
Beloved, I encourage you to write a list and tell God what you’re thankful for even if it’s just Him that you share it with.