This article is largely derived from the revolutionary book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is a must read.
Thanksgiving: Eucharisteo A prayer expressing gratitude
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way, so that I may show him the salvation of God
The smell of coffee in the morning, the laughter of children when you are tired with exhaustion, the faithful husband who works to provide, the quiet moments with God. Thanksgiving is an intentional action of gratitude for our many blessings. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it is much like the Robert Frost Poem, “The Road Not Taken.” We are so overwhelmed with our day to day tasks, we lose sight of our many blessings. We fail to stop to and be thankful for all that we have.
What are you thankful for?
Today. This moment. What are you grateful for? What has blessed your heart? Small or large, nothing is too insignificant to be grateful for. Did you receive a letter from a friend? Did you have food on the table? Roof over your head?
Every good and perfect gift is from above.
Give thanks for everything
How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily domestic, work day vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral.
To Be Thankful in Difficult Trials
With life comes trials. Will we answer the call and be thankful in those moments. When Job was being attacked, physically, monetarily, and personally he still took the time to worship God. These are the hardest moments to praise God because we feel so defeated. It takes all our energy just to lift our head. But if we choose to praise God during the storms of life, it is then that we truly see Christ face to face.
The Lord has gave, and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Smell the Coffee
Pause. Take a moment to be thankful, Not to compare, or say what we don’t have, but to focus on what we do have. What is filling up our time? Between husband, kids, work, etc. we are pulled in so many directions, but we need to turn our quantity time into quality time. We shouldn’t try to cram as much as we can in a week, but rather focus on a few things and truly enjoy and appreciate those moments. Busyness is half the battle of losing appreciation. We are so focused on the next moment that we disregard the present, in our haste to survive the day.
Be still and know that I am God
Life is dessert too brief to hurry.
Takes 20 minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation. How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full? The slower the living the great the sense of fullness and satisfaction.
Thanksgiving Takes Practice
Creating a heart of thanksgiving takes practice. It is a choice to live with the intention to seek out what you are grateful for, to open your eyes to the beauty around you. What do our eyes fail to see on a daily basis? It does not have to be a revolutionary experience but a moment to pause and reflect on the grace given. No matter how rough the day may be, find at least a few things to be thankful for amidst the chaos and pain.
Life changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time.
Beauty requires no justification no explanation, it simply is and transcends to see beauty and we know it in the marrow, even if we have no words for it. Someone is behind it, in it. Beauty Himself completes.
Who is receiving your praise?
We were created beings with the desire to worship, but sometimes our heart gets misdirected. We start seeking friends, status, money, as well as other things to worship, and focus our gaze upon. They are usually time consumers. It fills up our attention and focus, so that by the end of the week we say there was no time for God, no time to thank Him for His blessings, or His love.
Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God I’ll bow down before something else.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
May we learn to appreciate the moment in all its fullness, bowing our head in humble thanksgiving to the only One who deserves our praise. May we finally see the world with untainted eyes and hearts and be grateful.
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Ann Voskamp posed a challenge in her book “One Thousand Gifts” to write a thousand things you are thankful for. This may take a series of days or months. I have started this challenge; it helps me remember what I am thankful for in the day and pause with the moments I have.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.