The Joy of Thanksgiving

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It’s happening! Christmas is already in full gear, and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet. Holiday decorations, music and advertisements have already bombarded every store.

Although tidings of great joy is a Christmas term, I think joy should also be associated with Thanksgiving. Have you ever noticed that joy and thankfulness go hand in hand? When you meet a thankful person, she is usually joyful, and when you meet a joyful person, she is typically a grateful person as well.

When we choose to deliberately focus on what we are thankful for, it changes our outlook in life. There are things to be glad about in every situation, but we have to be looking for them.  That’s what thankful people do – they count their blessings rather than wasting time grumbling and complaining. Let’s be intentional about gratitude every single day and usher in the holidays with a joy-filled heart.

Here are 10 ideas to spark and inspire a grateful heart for both you and your kids. These are simply suggestions, not another burdensome list. Keep it simple and just apply a couple of these in order to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

  1. Write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.
  2. Send a thank you note, text or email to a friend or family member, telling them what you appreciate about them.
  3. Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against and thank the Lord for His forgiveness of your sins through Jesus.
  4. Give a thank you gift to a waiter or staff person you see on a regular basis.
  5. Thank a member of the armed forces with a card or gift.
  6. Make a list of the things you can be thankful for in a challenge you are currently facing.
  7. Call your spouse during the day, just to say thank you.
  8. Create a space somewhere in the kitchen for everyone to write what they are grateful for.
  9. Play and sing praise and worship music throughout your day.
  10. Pray together as a family at night, thanking the Lord for His blessings.

Finally, here are a few verses you may want to post around your house or memorize:

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1

I hope you have a wonderful and joy-filled thanksgiving!

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