I’ve decided to start celebrating Thanksgiving early. It was prompted by two recent invitations to join online group devotionals focusing on Thanksgiving. The devotionals have been wonderful ways to start each day. My normal morning prayer journal time often focuses on requests, but I decided to only tell God things I am grateful for this week. I wasn’t surprised I have much for which to be grateful. I’m often grateful for my family and all the great people in my life. I wasn’t surprised I was grateful for comfortable housing, plenty of food, and having a good (part-time) job.
What surprised me was how many wonderful experiences came to mind. After writing a page or two of specific scenes that came to mind, I had to stop. I was overwhelmed, almost to the point of tears, with positive memories of people, places, relationships, and experiences. You may very well have been a part of one of my memories! I could have spent all day writing about things I am thankful for. I am so blessed.
Even on my morning walk I saw so much natural beauty to be grateful for. I couldn't help but take a couple pictures. It was so beautiful today I took another walk with Cathy when she got home from work.
Cathy and I have learned it is best not to give advice unless asked. One of the sayings we are using when it comes to teaching and even preaching is, “We suggest, you decide.” But on this point, I will exhort you. Be grateful, especially if you are a follower of Jesus. It makes such a difference in our lives and in the lives we touch. Paul wrote:
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
Even when life is hard, it is better when we seek to be grateful. We can choose to have Thanksgiving come early this year!
I had to share this “extra.” I came home to this scene after my walk this morning. Not only Thanksgiving, but Christmas too is coming early this year! Decorations for "Christmas in Tyner" are starting to go up! Everyone is invited to celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas with us in Tyner the evening of Saturday, December 4.