Happy November!!! I always love this month as it starts to get cold and Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! Later this month, most Americans will start listening to Christmas music (I started listening mid-October!), and everyone just seems to be in a cheery mood! So, why don’t we get in the habit of that now? Today I wanted to talk to you about what it means to give thanks. And I made a free printable that I will share at the bottom of this post, so keep reading to find out what it’s about! So the book definition of thanks is:
thanks / THaNGks / noun / an expression of gratitude
I like how it’s not just a feeling of gratitude but an expression. I think a lot of us, myself included, would simply agree that we are thankful for everything we have, but we don’t always do something to express our thanks. And a lot of the time, we don’t really even acknowledge all of our blessings. We get caught up in wanting more. We crave material possessions subconsciously. We see a cute top on that other lady and immediately want it. We aren’t content with our outdated car even if it works just as well as the shiny new one. We wish our family was like that family over there. I want, I wish, and I need are words that we have gotten so used to saying, and we forget to say “I have enough” and “I am thankful” very often. It is so important to thank God for everything he has given us, no matter if it’s a lot or hardly anything.
“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
This was my favorite quote throughout most of middle school. And it is still so applicable today. Seriously. Think about it. Did you thank God yesterday for your family, friends, church, house, car, and any other thing that holds value to you? I didn’t. I thanked him for some of them, but not all of them. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This verse always takes my obedience of God to a whole new level because in it, God calls us to be thankful even when we don’t feel like it. On those days when we wake up late, when we don’t get everything checked off of our growing to-do list, we stain our favorite white shirt, and we still don’t get enough sleep to function well the next day, God wants us to praise him. He still provided our necessities. He still watched out for us, and he has a purpose for every little thing that happens to us–each and every annoyance and trial were planned in his book and they shape us into the person he has called us to be, if we will simply embrace it and thank him in the mundane.
And even when we just simply can’t face the mundane things in this world, we have our eternal heavenly relationship with our Father for which to be thankful. There is nothing better than that. When you can’t seem to thank God when everything seemed to go wrong, thank him for your redemption. Thank him for sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And you know how when you’re having a not so great day, it’s always the little things that brighten your day.
So, this month, I want all of you to take extra time to be thankful. I know for me that it’s hard to commit to doing something unless it’s right in front of me every day, so I made this printable for you. I have a gratitude journal that I bought and have been using since January where I record things that I am thankful for daily. It feels so good to think through my day and recount all the little things that made me happy, so I wanted you to try it this month! So, here is the link to the printable: 30 Days of Thanks Gratitude Journal
Please print this out, staple it together into a little book, and spend a few minutes with me each day this month writing down your blessings.
Side note: they don’t have to be big, I’ll give you mine for today as an example. November 1, 2015: homework with Shelby at 7:30am, an extra hour of sleep because of the time change, walking with mom and dad, Surrender video series at youth group
You can list as many or as few things as you want, depending on what you’re feeling especially grateful for each day! Also, after you write them down, tell God what your’re thankful for, not just your piece of paper. Make it a prayer of thanksgiving! So, I hope you’ll take this challenge with me as we move into this season of thanksgiving, and I hope you have a blessed week! Will you pray with me?
We come before you in thanks for everything you have done for us. You are our Provider, our Strength, and our Shepherd, and we shall not want. Help us to be more thankful for the ups and the downs of life, keeping in mind that they are shaping us into who you want us to be. We love you and thank you for all the big and small blessings you have given us in life. Help us to honor you this month and not forget to count our blessings. In Jesus name, amen.
Here’s a beautiful song about thanks! It is almost hymn-like, but it’s by Hillsong and just really pretty!