Thanksgiving was last week. Most of us have moved on to thinking about Christmas / Hanukkah / the New Year. But I have a confession to make. I need Thanksgiving to hang around.
I'm not talking about the holiday traditions - the incredible food, extended time with family, watching the NBC Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show (along with sneaking in some March of the Wooden Soldiers). Those are all wonderful, and I love them. But what I need to hang around is actually the THANKS in Thanksgiving.
Another confession: it's easy to go through the motions of Thanksgiving and not really be thankful. That happens with things you get too familiar with. After all, Thanksgiving is every year.
I found myself struggling with thinking about all the lack in my life lately. (And yes, I know that I am incredibly blessed compared to most of the world.) But it's difficult to shake a perspective that locks you in on what you don't have, the needs that are pressing in all around you despite your best efforts. The more you focus on the lack, the bigger it becomes.
I was reading a book the other day with daily readings called "Jesus Calling". That days reading had to do with giving thanks, most challenging to let "thankfulness rule in your heart..."
The truth is, trying to create your own business is extremely hard when it comes to striving. There's always more to do. More to create. Lack stares you in the face. And the whisper that if you hit things that much harder, get more ambitious and HUSTLE more, then you'll be on track. But it's a vicious cycle void of any thanksgiving, or celebration.
So prompted by my reading, I decided to write in my daily journal all the things I was thankful for. At first it felt forced and clumsy, but that soon broke way to actual thanks. I poured out as much as I could, thanking God for who He is in my life, all He has and is doing, and all He has blessed me with - even the LACK. The lack actually is more opportunity to trust Him, His provision and leading in my life. I thanked him for my wonderful wife and children, the opportunity to pursue my art, a home, my dogs, clean water, food... four pages later, I had to stop because I had to move on to an appointment. But it fixed my attention and perspective. At least for a little while. That's why I want to keep Thanksgiving close by.