LOUISE: The Thankfulness Challenge

Fall FloralsNovember brings one of my favorite holidays. From the time I was very young, we always had lots of family present for Thanksgiving—grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. After I was grown and married, we celebrated Thanksgiving at my husband’s family reunion then shuffled over to my parents’ house to spend the evening with my siblings and their families. Those gatherings eventually ended, but I will be forever thankful for those celebrations. Thankful for family. Thankful for memories. After all, being thankful is what Thanksgiving is all about.

Recently, I noticed friends challenging each other to post seven days of thanks on their Facebook page. The results have been awesome and it gave me an idea. Why just seven days of gratitude? Why not the entire month of November—the thankfulness month? I’m wondering how many of my readers might accept such a challenge. No, you don’t have to post it anywhere, but a 30-day journal might serve you well. 

If you don’t know where to start, just look around you. Think of the people in your life—your spouse, parents, children, friends, grandchildren, extended family, co-workers, teachers, physicians…. The list is endless. Then think of all the things in your life for which you are thankful; things you have probably taken for granted. Your home, car, food, clean water, clothing, schools, churches, books, hospitals, medicines…. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous things that help us live an enjoyable daily life. 

I remember the chorus of an old hymn we often sang when I was young. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done. How many times do we actually count our blessings rather than our needs? Are we thankful for our jobs or the time and health to volunteer someplace? Shouldn’t we be thankful for the opportunity and ability to make a donation to a needy family or worthy organization? Do we thank God for rain, sunshine, sunrises and sunsets?

Counting our blessings is a form of thankfulness and there are so many things to be thankful for in our lives. Yes, there are bad things, horrible things that happen and test our faith. There is sickness and death and we should take time to grieve such things—plenty of time. No one should be expected to list a litany of “thankful” things when their life has been devastated by the loss of a loved one. We need to mourn such a loss. Then one day, thankfulness for having been loved and cherished so deeply will override some of the grief.

I am extremely grateful for friends, loved ones and a God who comes along side us and holds us through pain and sorrow as well as joy and happiness. Thankful that we can never drift too far from God’s mercy or grace. Thankful He is always there, loving us in good times and bad times. So maybe that is where we should begin this journey of thankfulness. Let’s thank God for His abundant love.

I’m also going to do what that old hymn says. I’m going to count my blessings and name them one by one. A “thankful blessing” for each day of the month of November. It might be a challenge, but by the end of the month I expect an avalanche of gratitude. 

So, are you with me—ready to begin the thankfulness challenge? I’ll start with my own list. Today, I’m counting my readers as one of my blessings. Yes, today I am thankful for YOU!

Now it’s your turn!

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