Nov. 19, 2013

Philippians 4:4, 6

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

In a week, we’ll be stuffing ourselves with turkey, potatoes, dressing (my personal favorite) and too many pieces of pie. All part of the great American tradition we call Thanksgiving. The concept of Thanksgiving is wonderful: a day to focus on the many blessings we have rather than what we do not have. A day to count the ways our glasses are more half-full than half-empty.

As Christians, I believe that as important as Thanksgiving is, we should really celebrate thankfulness EVERY day. Our focus should not just be one of thanks-giving but one of thanks-living.

What’s the difference? Appreciating every single day, no matter what is happening in our life. Excited that another day lies before us. Overwhelmed with the love from our Heavenly Father more so than the countless distractions that draw away from God in our daily lives.

To help make thanks-living a part of our lives, Rick and I talked about creating a “Blessings Board” last weekend. It’s not very complicated. Take a piece of foam board. Every day, each person writes on a sticky note something they feel blessed by and sticks it to the board. It becomes a visual reminder of the ways we are blessed every day.

Rick has taken this exercise seriously. Before I had the foam board, Rick started writing sticky notes and placing them around his parent’s house. There is one on the refrigerator, one on the mirror in the bedroom where we sleep. On Monday night, there was one attached to my pillow. I know … gold stars for this one.

Today, I finally got the piece of foam board. I’m looking forward to making this a family activity. It’s a board I pray gets filled over and over as we contemplate thanks-living.

Even if you are feeling stretched, beat-up, discouraged or overwhelmed, I pray that we can all find one little blessing in our lives daily. Paul wrote to the church at Philippi that they were to rejoice always. In fact, this was so important to him, he repeated it. When life is tough, it’s hard to rejoice, but that is Paul’s challenge to us. Rejoice for a special smile, a well-timed hug or a beautiful sunrise or sunset. A hot meal, a meaningful phone call or a warm shower. Clean clothes. Consider how a “Blessings Board” might be a fun project your family can try in these days approaching Thanksgiving to help us all shift away from one day of thanks-giving and on a life of thanks-living.

Lord, you know the specific things happening in my life right now. You also know what things pull me away from you or drag me down. Help me embody a deep desire to live life focused on thanks-living, no matter what is happening in my life. Thank you for hearing our daily requests. Amen.

Blessings –


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