So November has turned into a full month of gratitude, instead of saving it for one day towards the end. This is fabulous, though it makes me wonder where everyone is the rest of the year. When we are truly grateful, amazing things can happen!
Gratitude can ease depression symptoms, make envy disappear, and open doors of service because once we truly see what we are blessed with, we tend to share.
My question for you this week is:
How do you give thanks?
Some families have Thanksgiving traditions where everyone at the table says one thing they are most thankful for. Some write “thankful notes” and put them in a jar to look back on later, when their outlook is not so sunny. Some people do acts of service at soup kitchens or the like.
I was brought up to write thank you notes – hand-written and gift-specific, they were very simple things when I was really little and they grew to more detailed and sharing letters as I got older. I was also raised to say “thank you” for even the smallest acts of kindness, such as a door held open or someone letting me through a tough traffic spot.
Giving thanks can be a simple habit, and it can also be an intentional act of giving back. This year, I have become more involved with my church’s offering to Operation Christmas Child, where we pack shoeboxes full for little boys and girls to open at Christmas. We give them things like hair ties, crayons, small toys, and little bags of candy. We also give them small tools (for the older kids especially), sewing kits, soap/washcloth packs, and toothbrushes. Our church is tiny, but we have packed more than 200 boxes and we are not quite done yet. This is a special way for me to remember what blessings I have, and share them as I am able.
Today I am thankful to live in a home with lots of soap. clean clothes, soft pillows and people who love me – I am also thankful to attend a church where the members care so deeply that they send out so many boxes to those who daily live without any of these things.