So you want to make this Thanksgiving better than ever! That’s great! I love it!
But maybe you’re not quite sure how to get there…you’re not sure how to make it more meaningful.
Well, I’m guessing that you wish the holidays would provide a deeper meaning. You want more good…no…GREAT memories. You love God and you want that love to be experienced at your dinner table with your cherished ones.
So how do you make the most out of your Thanksgiving this year?
Well, it all starts with you.
Yup, that’s right. All you baby!
The only thing we can change is ourselves, not our loved ones, boss’, neighbors or anyone else
You can only change yourself.
So while the turkey might be dry, the kids
might will fight, and without a doubt, you will be running behind all day long. It’s just the nature of the beast. We are humans and no matter how hard we try, things don’t usually go exactly as we planned.
But, the great news, the unbelievable news, is that despite those things, which almost always induce stress, you can grab all that anxiety and negativity by the cornucopia and cut it off right now, before Thanksgiving hits. And in the meantime, you can learn an important practice of a good disciple.
And that’s…well…having a thankful heart.
A thankful heart is an attitude choice; it’s a discipline. It’s something you actively pursue.
It doesn’t just show up on a particular holiday or event; it’s a lifestyle.
Changing your heart takes three things:
Understanding that there is a time component is very important in your endeavor. When you get frustrated with your perceived lack of progress you can remember that learning a new heart attribute takes time.
Thankfulness is a fruit of God’s. It is a holy virtue. These virtues take lots of time to develop and mature. Give this new fruit time to grow.
2.) Dependence on God
With everything from God is grown through Him. He is the One who is teaching you and guiding you. Lean in on Him.
When you forget your way, remember who it is that walks with you.
Keep your eyes fixed on God in this endeavor.
Being a disciple is not a passive thing, takes determination, and a mental framework that won’t quit.
God calls and we respond.
Don’t give up if it gets too hard. Know that you are not doing this in your strength but through God’s mighty power and love.
Stay calm and return to practicing being thankful.
Keep focusing your eyes on your objective. To be thankful and remember the previous other two points above.
When you take on God’s attributes, your life literally changes.
- You see things differently.
- You experience the world differently.
- And you respond differently.
Living in the lens of thankfulness releases your eyes from only seeing disadvantages and directs them toward observing advantages. It enables you to realize how much you actually have. We can always focus on, “I wish it would be more like this…” or “I wish he wouldn’t do that…” or whatever it may be that causes discontentment in you. When you actively apply your attention onto all the things you do have in life…well… life starts to look much different.
That’s when your heart begins to pour out compassion in ways you didn’t think was possible. Because instead of judging, you are now loving.
And I don’t just mean loving others in this scenario. I also mean loving you. I mean looking at yourself and stopping all the thoughts that tell you that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t have it together, or that you never have enough.
When you allow your heart to become thankful, you can let go of the harsh load you are carrying and begin picking up the load of self-love.
Because friends, we will never be good enough and we will never have it all together. But we do have enough. We have the King of kings residing in us and through us. We have more than we ever dare to imagine.
And that’s the secret.
That’s the exciting thing!
Your Thanksgiving can be elevated by committing to the discipline of thankfulness. And it’s not just for this Thanksgiving, but also for your entire life.
That’s the thing about God. It’s kind of epic what He offers.
He offers us new eyes and a new way to see and live in this world.
As you embark on the journey of thankfulness, you will become closer to God – because you are focusing on Him.
You are attending to one of His virtues, one of His gifts.
You are actively becoming more like Him and thus changing your life.
And by tethering to Him, you become more like Him and are then able to show all those who interact with you His love and goodness.
So let’s go back to the idea that started this post: how to make your Thanksgiving more Christ-centered.
Well, here’s the most important thing you can do.
You become Christ to your loved ones.
Yeah, it’s true.
As you begin to wrap yourself in the attitude of thankfulness, you start putting on the face of Christ to the world. Well, in all actuality, this begins at your conversion, but as you explore and delve into new godly attributes, you become more like God and your testimony about Him becomes brighter, stronger and clearer to the world.
And that world is right around your dinner table this Thanksgiving. Sure, they’re your family and loved ones. But, they need the light of Christ just as much as you do, even if they are the “holiest” of people.
When you operate out of the practice of a thankful heart, you become different. Your response to others will probably be more compassionate. You may have more of an inner peace that exudes out of you.
However, you are not instantaneously going turn into Mother Theresa. You will still be you, but you will be a more sanctified version of you. If you continue to practice the lifestyle of a thankful heart, you better believe you will really be defining a new character attribute.
You will become a thankful person.
So before Thanksgiving even hits this year, prepare your heart by stepping into thankfulness today!
Maybe you have already heard, or are even currently participating, currently Spiritually Hungry is doing a 30-day challenge for the entire month of November. The challenge we threw down was to maintain a thankful heart every day of November. In order to do this, we wanted to equip you with some helpful tools to ensure you were ready for the challenge. In our freebie packet, we provide a challenge guidebook that has daily thankful challenges, prayers, Scripture and worship songs. In addition, there is a printable calendar to keep you on track and a special Thanksgiving dinner activity with a printout. If you are interested in this totally free goodie bag, head over here to sign up!
For this holiday and the countless ones to follow in your life, start preparing your heart today to be fuller and more robust by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving.
The question I leave you with is what will your holiday look like if you start living the reality of Thanksgiving right now?
So are you ready, to make Thanksgiving more meaningful this year? It starts right now, with you!
In order to equip you, I created two printables for you featuring the following!
1.) Reflection Questions
8 questions to help you explore the topic of thankfulness and your attitude towards it.
2.) Spiritual Practices Sheet
3 spiritual exercises that will help you better move into a more thankful heart.
If you are interested in these free worksheets, just enter your email below and once you confirm your email, you will get access to the worksheets!
We have another resource available for your Thanksgiving day! We created a Thanksgiving dinner activity where you and your guests can reflect (in a non-embarassing, anonymous way) on what you are thankful for this year.
Check out the Thanksgiving Dinner Activity post here, printable included!