Sunday, November 22, 2009

thankful? then do something.

I love Thanksgiving. I mean, who doesn't? Turkey, family, football, pumpkin spice lattes.... it's pretty much a holiday WIN. I love to just stuff myself silly with food and then spend way too long on the couch, watching tv, napping, chatting, or all of the above. It's like a little slice of heaven...

Every year on Thanksgiving day, I've made a habit of taking a few quiet moments to myself and reflecting upon my blessings. With each passing year there are so many more things to be thankful for, and mentally noting those things is quite cathartic for me, as I'm sure it is for many of you. Nearly every pumpkin spice latte I've indulged in has reminded me that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and as a result, my thoughts have turned to thankfulness and what it really means to be thankful.

While recognizing your blessings is a huge step toward true thankfulness, it's only one piece of the equation. It seems to me that action is required in most cases. I mean, if you're truly thankful for something, shouldn't your actions show it? Take the Thanksgiving Day cook, for instance. I love me some good food, and you know I always have my fill on Thanksgiving day. When I take my moment of thanksgiving and think about how thankful I am for the good food, perhaps that will motivate me to verbalize my thanks. Or better yet, I may show my thanks by doing the dishes and letting the cook take a rest. If I only think about how thankful I am for the food, maybe I haven't really become thankful. Maybe I'm just a little lazy.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I mean, I keep saying that I'm thankful for things, but many times you wouldn't know it by my actions. In fact, sometimes my actions and attitudes seem to indicate a root of ungratefulness for the very things for which I say I am thankful. You know what I mean? Have you every felt that way?

So this year, I'm making a conscious effort to do things a little differently. Sure, I will still have my quiet time of deep reflection on my blessings and hopefully I'll verbalize where verbalization is appropriate. But instead of letting it end there, I want to have a true heart of gratefulness that motivates me to action. So instead of just telling my husband Jon that I'm grateful for him, maybe I'll make sure he changes a few less dirty diapers and has a few more moments of relaxation... not because it's my job to change diapers, but because I'm truly thankful he always helps with those diapers and I want him to know how much I appreciate him. And maybe instead of just thinking about how nice a person she is, maybe I'll send an old fashioned letter to the amazingly talented photographer who once took me to lunch and inspired me more than she could ever know by just chatting with me about photography. The more I think about it, the more things I want to do to show so many people in my life how grateful I am for them.

One of the things that I'm so thankful for this year is you. Yes, you. And I want to show it. I feel so honored that you take the time to read what I've written, comment on my notes, or even chat with me in person about what you've read. It means the world to me, without a doubt. Your encouragement has oftentimes kept me going when I lack the strength to do so. So, as a small token of my appreciation, I'm holding a little contest (I used to do these all the time in the beginning and I'm not sure why I stopped!). All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and fill in the blanks to this statement:
I am truly thankful for ___________ and I'm going to show it by ______________.
I'll choose a winner at random (not based on content... I hardly think I could be non-biased if I chose based on content since I know so many of you personally:) who will receive a $50 iTunes gift card. The contest will end at midnight on Thanksgiving Day and the winner will be announced on the following Friday.

I truly wish you the most wonderful of Thanksgivings. Enjoy your loved ones (and your dinner) to the fullest. Bless and be blessed. Experience true thanksgiving.


Jessica said...

I am truly thankful for the creativity that God gave me...and I am going to show it by using it to glorify Him.

Lisa, thanks for the wonderful post. This too is something that has been weighing on my mind. I hope you and your family have a very blessed holiday!

brit @ landlocked bride said...

I'm not so much entering the contest, as I just want to really comment on your post. I usually don't think much about being thankful around Thanksgiving, as I try to do that throughout the year, but this year, I plan on thinking about it more on Thanksgiving - as that is the meaning behind the holiday.

I am truly thankful for the stars that brought together my fiance and I, and I'm going to show it by being a better person and being good to him for the good of our relationship.

And, thanks to you for posting this - I love when people truly take the time to reflect.

Elizabeth said...

I am thankful for my husband. He loves me unconditionally more and more every day, which is unbelieveable to me. Especially on those days when I am not so pleasant. I am going to show it by loving him back in every way I know how. Even in the small things...little notes in his lunch, encouraging him in every way, watching Sunday football with him, listening to Classic Rewind, going rollerblading with him, etc. He is a true gift to me and I all too often take him for granted.

Sarah Marie said...

What a beautiful post! Way to put that love and thankfulness into action!

I am so thankful for my MBU family and will live my last days here to the fullest that I can. Filled with love for other people, even those residents that are loud at 2 am, and service for all!

Sara said...

I am thankful for my family and I am going to show it by surprising them at Christmas with a visit that they didn't think would happen.

stacie83 said...

I am truly thankful for my family because they are always there,through thick and thin, good times and bad, moments of loss and moments of blessings and I'm going to show it by showing & telling them "I love you more", and saying "thank you for everything you do for me." Without them, I wouldn't be who, or where I am today.

Magers Family said...

I am truly thankful for my husband, he is constantly challenging me to be a more Godly woman, wife, and mother. He is encouraging, forgiving, and gracious. I am going to show it by working on being a more submissive and respectful wife, to truly show him that I am trying to be a P31 wife.

Lisa, Thanks for your post, you know I love you and your heart, I am so thankful for our friendship and Jason and I are excited to spend another year in ministry with you and Jon!

MrsKinMay said...

Great post Lisa!

I'm thankful for my close knit family, including my husband, and how they bring such joy and stability to my life. I'm going to show them that I'm thankful for them by reminding them daily, even if it means just calling to say how much I love them or appreciate them. Even my little brother, I love that booger.

Anonymous said...
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Ellen said...

I am so completely thankful for the miracle of life and motherhood and all the awe and mystery it brings. I am going to show my gratitude of this new gift by praising Him daily(which I too often forget to do...)and appreciating every small blessing He puts in my life.

What an inspiring post Lisa! I overlook the true meaning of this holiday too often and appreciate the reminder to reflect.

Kinsey Lee said...

I love reading your blogs, and this one really spurred me on to a different mindset of the holiday. Thanks for that. :)

That being said, I am thankful for God's provision. He has blessed me with an awesome family, great friends, a FANTASTIC boyfriend who I don't deserve, and a wonderful time at home. I want to show it all by loving Jesus more, and loving more unconditionally through that.

Hope you and fam have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Brooke Boyer said...

I am truly thankful for the opportunity to explore a passion that I always knew was there but has finally been uncovered...and I'm going to show it by basking in the glory of taking a million photos tomorrow and Friday of my loved ones who I am truly blessed to have in my life!

Great idea Lisa!

Lauren Scannell said...

I am extremely thankful for all of the numerous things that my family and fiance have done for me! There are WAY, WAY too many to list, but I will continue to count my blessings every day! So, with that being said....I am truly thankful for my WONDERFUL wedding photographer, Lisa Hessel, and I'm going to show it by spreading her name like wildfire to all of the newly-engaged that I come across!! Hapy Holidays!

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