I've been pondering lately about thanksgiving--not only Thanksgiving the holiday, but thanksgiving, the action or trait. I'd like to start this TToT with some insights on thanksgiving before I move into some specific thankfuls for this week.
1. Declaring oneself thankful (or anything, really) helps develop that trait.
When I started blogging years ago, I didn't know what I was going to call my blog. I wanted something significant, but not stuffy. I thought of a verse of scripture that says, "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments." (Doctrine and Covenants 59:21) I knew I wanted to be able to see the hand of God in my life--including the difficult times--so ThankfulMe was born.
When I feel like complaining about one thing or another, I will think, "But I'm ThankfulMe! I might not be happy about this situation, but there has to be something good here." Declaring publicly that I am a thankful person has caused me to offer thanks more often, and complain less.
2. Being thankful is a commandment. Colossians 3:15 says, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." While obedience to God is a good thing, some might question why He would command being thankful, which leads us to. . .
3. Being thankful is an act of faith. God gives us commandments because He loves us and wants what is best for us. Obedience allows us to acknowledge His position as our Heavenly Father, and demonstrates our trust that He does know what is best for us.
4. Being thankful blesses us. Secular studies abound which show the many benefits of gratitude. It doesn't surprise me that so many good things come from being thankful. Anytime we are obedient to a commandment, we receive much more than what we give.
5. Being thankful in all things prepares us to be able to accept great gifts. John 3:16 is oft-quoted: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What greater gift could there be?
Christ came to earth to atone for the sins of man, but the atonement covers so much more. All that is wrong in this world--the pains, the unfairness, the sicknesses and grief--can be healed and made right again through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Being thankful is a recognition that although the hardships of life are very real, everything will be right eventually.
And knowing that really helps put things in perspective.
6. I can be thankful for the small things as well as the big things. There are so many things in life that make me smile. Right now, as I am typing this, I hear the soft, "whoo, whoo" of an owl outside my house. I hear Drexel lapping up water from his dish. The sky outside is dark, but my home is filled with light and warmth.
7. I'm thankful for thoughtful people. Drexel and I received a surprise package in the mail (Well, we were told to look for its arrival, but before that, it was unexpected.) It came on the perfect day, and was much appreciated. (You know who you are!)
|Photo: Yellow lab, Drexel, waits for the package to be opened
8. Even though the demands (mostly self-imposed) of this time of year cause me a bit of stress, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm thankful for the meaning behind both holidays, and for the peace that comes when I focus on the reasons, and not the to-do list.
9. I'm thankful for church leaders. Today, our stake (a geographical group of congregations) was reorganized. I love the fact that, although positions are unpaid and unlobbied for, those who are asked to serve, do so willingly and out of love. Our stake presidency had been serving for 9 years. Now they have been released, and a new presidency has been called. You would think that such huge changes would cause disruption as the new presidency learns their responsibilities, but no, it is a surprisingly smooth transition. No matter where you go in the church, things run in a familiar way. I've been to church in Japan, England, and in various states in the United States, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same no matter where I go.
10. I'm thankful for John. He is so good to me. We had a date to the temple Friday night. I always love going there, and particularly when I go with him. We share insights together, and we leave feeling even more united.
How about you? What are you thankful for, in this week leading up to Thanksgiving?
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine
Join the Ten Things of Thankful Facebook Group