I've been sitting here staring at the blinking cursor on my screen for about an hour now. Sometimes the words just won't come. Sometimes they've already been said and are just as relevant now as they were when I first said them. Seems to always be the case when I want to write about Thanksgiving. All the things I'm thankful for, I've been thankful for having the last 3 years of my life. Heck, for some things, even longer. I feel silly beating a dead horse. You know I'm thankful for my amazing husband, the opportunity to live abroad, my family, my friends, our health...all the things that make this life so good, I'm absolutely thankful for. But I guess the trick is genuinely being thankful for each of these blessings more than just one day a year. Why don't we write about all the ways we're thankful any other time of year? Are we any less thankful on St. Paddy's Day? Do we forget our blessings in June? Not likely. Life gets busy, days get shorter (or at least they seem to), and while it may not be intentional, we let Thanksgiving bare the weight of all our thankfulness for the entire year. Seems a shame America is so keen on skipping right over it. Poor Thanksgiving.
As I've been prepping for our last Thanksgiving abroad, I've also been reflecting on how amazing this past year has been, all the places we've visited and the mercy we've been shown. But as I've counted my blessings I've felt convicted in not sharing my thankfulness the whole year through. I, too, am guilty of letting the 4th Thursday of November solely bare the weight of my gratitude. That's when the thought hit me like a ton of bricks (the Lord is always good at that ton of bricks thing with me)...Thanksgiving should not be just a day, but a season. We should be shamelessly thankful all year round, no matter the day or the month or the condition of our hearts. Gratitude magnifies the good things in our lives. Life tastes better, looks better, and feels better with perpetuity of thanksgiving. Filling a moment with thanksgiving adds meaning to otherwise meaningless activities. Gratitude also helps us to endure the hard parts of life with dignity. We cheat ourselves when we choose to express our thankfuness just once a year, not to mention the ones we owe our gratitude to as well.
This year, I decided to give Thanksgiving a fighting chance. As much as I wanted to bust out my Christmas tree, forget the turkey (which I already can't stand anyway), and get on with my favorite holiday of the year, I'm taking time to savor Thanksgiving and its purpose in our ever-busying lives. Instead of expressing gratitude today only, I'm committing to sharing more of my thankful heart throughout the other 364 days of the year. I challenge each of you to a season of Thanksgiving, not just a day. Embrace the joy that a lifetime of thankfulness brings.
Well, that's all from Germany! I'm signing off for the rest of the week to be fully present in Thanksgiving this year. Here's wishing you full bellies and blessings this holiday season! Until next week...
Happy Thanksgiving, from our table to yours!