Give Thanks, Get Joy


I love that November is a month that everyone tries to take a moment, day or even weeks, to express what they're thankful for.  I believe that too often, we just accept what we have in our lives as they way it should be and don't take the time to express intentional gratitude.

Earlier this year, I started "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp.  I haven't finished yet, because this is a seriously deep book by my standards, but one thing it's already taught me is eucharisteo.

Eucharisteo, a Greek word meaning "to give thanks," is something I am trying to remind myself of on a daily basis.  Each and every morning, I am given the choice to either let discouragement rule my day OR to live fully.  It's easy to let the what I am not or what I do not have bring me down, but why?  God has given me this life and at the risk of being cliche, it's up to me to make the most of it.  I need to refuse to let the thoughts of lacking become a part of me and a part of my day, because as soon as I do, they override eucharisteo.

Most of the time, I am the person that believes life is what we choose to make it.  Don't get me wrong here. I have days where I wonder what else could possibly go wrong and when I am waiting to see when and where the other shoe will drop.  But this perspective is mine to choose. When I adjust the way I see things, I am able to recognize the presence of God in the ordinary. The everyday.  And if I am aware of this, aware of the way I see, I am able to say thank you. To practice thanksgiving.

This November, and upcoming holiday season, when life demands urgency, I encourage you to slow down. To choose and see the seemingly small moments. To listen and hear the words of love or need. To give thanks in days when you're not sure what can you can be thankful for.

"Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. 
Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace." 
- Ann Voskamp

When we give thanks, we get joy. I promise you it is impossible to truly thank God for all we have and not to feel complete and utter joy in Him.

So wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, by yourself, with friends or family, be all there. Let go of preconceived notions and just give thanks. Give thanks for the moment God has given you with whoever you are with and whatever you are doing.


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