Not the End of Thanksgiving

Fall pumpkins and the month of November have quickly been choked out by the Christmas trees and lights. But as we move in to the Season of Giving and Joy, let us not forget Thanksgiving.IMG_6621

If you regularly follow my posts you may recall Our Gratitude Tree that was erected on the breakfast room table for this month. The goal was for each member of our family to write of God’s grace, blessing or reason for thankfulness each day.

I will be honest to say we did not quite get it done every day, but what I noticed on the days I did was not only a more grateful heart, but more forebearance, patience and grace toward others, less self-consumption and basically more JOY.

The link between Thanksgiving and Joy is an undeniable natural medicine, if you will. It is how God created it to be as we read in His Word. We glean throughout Scripture that Jesus is the source of our Joy. He is our Light and Life and apart from Him find no lasting rest or peace.

Scripture also speaks over and over again of giving thanks – in all things. Whether we are happy and content or struggling through suffering and trials, give thanks. This simple action shifts our eyes off ourself and our own circumstances and casts them back on to Him.

We need this gentle reminder of giving thanks because just as we naturally seek life in a million things other than Christ, we naturally forget that it is in remembering who He is for us, seeing His grace and in giving thanks that we find joy. We forget that only when we are abiding in Him for life are we super-naturally filled with Thanksgiving and Joy – no matter what the situation!

Therefore, though some days it was a struggle for me to record any blessings on a leaf for our Gratitude Tree, I did discover that when I asked Him to help me find something – anything, no matter how small – my mind was transformed. And with eyes fixed on Him, thankfulness and joy followed.

Today as I prepare to replace the tree with Christmas, I look over our leaves and remember – and I give thanks. Here are just a few of our leaves to share: IMG_6631 IMG_6629 IMG_6626 IMG_6625 IMG_6623

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May we continue remembering and focusing on Thanksgiving so that ‘Tis Season and throughout the year we may affirm James 1:2 in saying, “Yes” to “Counting it all Joy!”

If you want to read more on the connection of Thanksgiving and Joy, click on my last year’s post ThanksLiving or better yet read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.

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