Photo by R. Christodoul (Unsplash)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

There is no fan-fare, no gifts, and no pressure to out-perform last year. That’s probably why I like it so much – a simple holiday that asks us to take time to reflect and consider our blessings.

Thankful is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as,

“Conscious of benefit received, expressive of thanks, well pleased.”

To be thankful is practicing an acute awareness, recognizing the benefits we have received from our experiences. And then, expressing thanks, resting in the outcome.

It’s easy to be thankful when life is moving along effortlessly. But expressing thanks and resting in the outcomes is more difficult when there is a bump in the path and life is jolted off-course.

This year our lives have experienced some bumps and being grateful for outcomes seems a little much. But at the same time, the year has offered opportunities to appreciate the small things – time spent with family, a cup of tea with a dear friend, a long-over-due telephone conversation, a walk surrounded by the beauty of a Fall day.

Priceless gifts we often take for granted.

That’s the funny thing about adversity, the bumps we encounter in life, it brings perspective. With each new challenge, a new opportunity to trust God, reach out to loved ones, and wait for the thankful (the blessing will be revealed).

I challenged myself this week to take time and reflect on the year. Look for the blessings that resulted from this year’s bruises.

I am thankful for:

  • Jesus – He willingly sacrificed glory to occupy our world, die for my sin, and gift me eternity
  • A husband that is kind and gentle, a man that loves me unconditionally
  • Family, extended family, chosen family all filling me with joy, holding me accountable, and challenging me to listen for God’s leading
  • The ability to see the sunrise, smell the woody pines, hear the birds’ wings as they fly overhead
  • Writing, sharing words that hopefully inspire and challenge

Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. I encourage you to take time this week to find a quiet place and reflect on your year. Perhaps you’ve had a few bumps, some major challenges, or maybe life has been simple and kind. Wherever you find yourself, look for the blessings, identify why you are thankful, and then write it down. Consider sharing your list with those that mean the most to you.

Be Blessed,

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