As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving, have you thought about how you can willingly join in with God’s will for you?
His word reminds us:
Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
In the search to be better, do more good, search out there somewhere, we strive to do God’s will. All we need to do is pause – turn to God, open up to His perspective, gain clarity and let gratitude and celebration wash over us. Willingness to open up to God in the moment allows us to see and hear His will and feel gratitude.
Science has shown us that gratitude is good for our emotional health in creating more positive emotions, feel more alive, and even sleep better. Practicing giving thanks even helps us have more compassion and creates strong immune systems. We are wonderfully created.
How gracious of God to give us a simple step to do, such as pausing to notice, pray and be grateful so that we know we are in His will. It’s a way of letting go of the striving, thinking we have to do more and more, and being open. What is His activity around us to be grateful for, no matter the circumstances?
However, if you are like me, I tend to start a gratitude journal, or think I’m going to notice things I’m thankful for on a daily basis and then I get distracted. I so easily lose my good intentions.
However, lately, I’ve been participating in a daily writing challenge to express gratitude to people who are important to me. What has been really helpful to me may help you in this holiday season. Think about how you might begin a habit of gratitude and celebration, especially during a time that can be overwhelming. It’s also made me more aware on a daily basis on what God is up to in my daily life.
“How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in Him should ponder them.
Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.” Psalms 110:2-3
Be In community
I’ve been challenged to share my gratitude in a community. That has been so helpful to actually do my sharing. Perhaps you have family members you want to gather together to share your gratitude each evening. You could share around the dinner table or online some way. Perhaps you could even create a blessing jar with index cards and add gratitude notes into it as a collection between now and Christmas. By sharing the gratitude in community, there’s someone who’s encouraging you and waiting to see what the next one is to be shared. The accountability can be so helpful.
Choose themes or topics
In our community, we had specific themes to look for, which gets my antenna up for things to look for and be grateful. I feel like God has brought many different remembrances to mind that I might not have thought of with these different themes. Themes you might consider are celebrating family, celebrating teachers, celebrating work, celebrating church, God and Jesus, celebrating important people in your life, past and present, Once you get going, I imagine you and others will come up with many ideas. I would love to hear your ideas.
Be intentional – time, place, how often
In addition to writing gratitude in community, there’s is about being intentional. I love the creative tension and prompting actually I’ve felt by the Holy Spirit as different people and memories have come to mind. It’s like He’s blessing me with the memories that are coming to mind. What might come to mind for you as you consider the blessings you have surrounding you – even the hard stuff?
What about you?
I would love to hear your stories of gratitude. Join the conversation on NancyBoothCoaching facebookpage. #celebrategratitude
Let’s enjoy seeing His will for our lives as we approach this time with family and friends. I can’t wait to hear your stories.
Nancy Booth loves to support mid-life Christian women in their journey to their authentic, well-nourished life of health, meaning and connection. She encourages you to create space in your life to look for God’s fingerprints and give yourself permission to discover what you need to live fully present in mind, body and heart. She is a certified life coach, spiritual director and author and would love to support you on your journey to an authentic, well-nourished life..