“But just remember, there is always a reason to give thanks.”
It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Christmas is now just right around the corner, and before we know it, we will ringing in the celebration of 2017 with loved ones. The Holiday’s are such a fun time of year. They are filled with family gatherings, reuniting with old friends, and a lot of food. However, I think it is important to not get ahead of ourselves. Guilty as charged, I know that right when Halloween is complete, my favorite time of year is here and I often get forget to just enjoy it. I get so caught up in buying presents, celebrating friends, and wanting to do all the “holiday norms” that I forget to just enjoy the moment. So, I have a challenge for you this Thanksgiving (and really, for the rest of this holiday season), to follow a few things that I feel are important. I promise, it will change how you feel about the holiday season, and you will leave this time of year feeling more fulfilled.
Try to talk to someone you don’t normally converse with. Instead of sitting next to your cousins, or immediate family, try talking to someone in the family that you don’t get to see often. Try getting to know more about someone in your family that isn’t your “family bff”, I promise, you will appreciate them more after you get to know them.
Take some pictures with people in the family. Capture some fun moments. They always say that pictures are memories that last forever, so snap a quick photo with a few people in your family. You never know if it will be the last time the whole group is all together.
Tell someone “thank you” for something you love or value about them. We all love receiving compliments, and getting praise from others, so why not spread that onto others? You get what you give, and you might just find yourself feeling more satisfied this year giving than receiving.
Don’t forget the true meaning of the Holiday season. As good as stuffing, turkey, and apple pie can be, nothing is as good as time to celebrate family and our savior. This year I challenge you to try and not be on your phone as much. Try to use your phone for pictures, but then put it away. Try to really converse with others and pay attention to what they are saying. Try to be more conscious of your presence to others and if you are making them feel joy.
And most of all…
Do not forget the Lord. For He is the reason why we are blessed with such a beautiful thing called family. He is the reason that we’re where we are today. He is the reason we can truly experience love and happiness, but, only if we do not forget Him. 1 Timothy 4:4 states, “For everything God created is good, & nothing is to be rejected or it is received with thanksgiving.” Nothing should be rejected this Thanksgiving, for He made it that way for a reason. Therefore, pray to Him often throughout this season, that way even if you are feeling alone, you are not.
Now I know, sometimes the Holidays can be hard. We cannot forget about those who might not have a group to celebrate with, or are embracing new traditions. If it is the first year without a loved one being in attendance, or if maybe you do not have a huge family to celebrate with, I know it can be difficult. But just remember, there is always a reason to give thanks. Even though it might be different this year, it is for a sole reason and purpose to lead you to something greater. I challenge you to try and find the good in at least one thing this Thanksgiving, and thank the Lord for it, because He knows you might be hurting (or maybe you are happy), but He also knows what great is going to come your way. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states, “In everything, give thanks.” and Psalms 118:24 states, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Be glad this Thanksgiving, for where you are at and who you are surrounded by, because God does know what He is doing and He wants you there.
With all that I am,