It’s November and I’m a bit frustrated with the Thanksgiving displays in stores being taken over by the Christmas displays. I love Christmas, but can’t we please celebrate Thanksgiving first? We need a time to be thankful and express gratitude. Expressing thankfulness and gratitude are therapeutic and restorative.
And we need that…
Let’s be grateful!!!!
I’ve been thinking about gratefulness and I’m so excited about the gazillion ideas on the internet on how to express gratefulness……but I think I might be overdoing it a bit! I started a Gratitude journal, hung a Gratitude garland in my kitchen, and have plans for a tablecloth that guests can write on throughout Thanksgiving Day which we can add to each year. Also, I just bought a cute white pumpkin that I want guests to write on with plans to send it home with my son and daughter-in-law for their first Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m going overboard!
What do you think? Can we truly overdo gratefulness? I don’t think so.
Let me ask you – Have you ever been the recipient of a kind act and not made the extra effort to thank the giver? Or conversely, have you experienced the misfortune of not being thanked when you went out of your way to help someone?
Probably, we’ve all experienced both of those scenarios. Just last week, I had a friend present me the opportunity to participate in a photography class that she couldn’t attend, but had registered for. I was thrilled!! I prepared for the class ahead of time, downloaded the suggested apps and made sure I arrived in ample time with my notebook to take copious notes to share all I learned with her! The class was great, and though I loved the class, and learned how to edit photos on my phone (something I’ve always wanted to learn) … I didn’t take the time to thank my sweet friend. As soon as the class was dismissed, I rushed home to babysit for a young couple. While it was a bit of a circus with the three little ones (four years old and under), I certainly could have found a minute to pick up my phone and thank my friend for her generosity. I was grateful, but she didn’t know it… until she texted me and asked. Didn’t I feel like a louse?!
With that in mind, have you noticed sometimes we don’t like to admit we’re hurt when people don’t express their gratitude? Rest assured, even Jesus had an issue with this. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed 10 lepers. Back in bible times, leprosy was a dreadful disease. A diagnosis of leprosy meant you were rejected by friends and family and exiled to a leper colony outside of town with no contact. In this story, ten lepers called out to Jesus as he passed by their colony, asking Him to heal them. How thrilled they must’ve been when Jesus granted their request! Yet, only one leper returned to thank Jesus for what he had done.
Surprisingly (well, it surprised me), Jesus seemed hurt. I think sometimes we think we should “suck it up” and ignore those negative feelings, but Jesus doesn’t. He makes a point to mention that there were nine other lepers that should have thanked him. Thankfulness is important to Jesus – and so it should be important to us.
The footnote in my bible comments that “It is possible to receive God’s great gifts with an ungrateful spirit…”
During this time of preparation for Thanksgiving – let’s be that 10th leper that dared to go back and thank Jesus. Let’s take the time to thank those that add to our lives.
Here are some ideas:
- Thank your cashier – for being there, for their smile, for speedy service, for a good attitude
- Thank a friend – for their years of friendship, for the genuine care they exhibit, for their hearts, for their patience with you
- Thank a spouse – for their loyalty, for their dedication, for their patience and forgiveness
- Thank a family member – for their grace, for their love, for the memories you share
Who made the coffee this morning? Who took out the trash? Who locked the doors before you went to bed last night? Who would come to your rescue if you needed them?
Take an extra minute or two to express your heart. As I write this post, I received news of another friend that passed. Let’s make the opportunity to thank those that make our lives a life worth living!
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