Skipping Thanksgiving

As we head into Thanksgiving, I find myself wanting to rush to Christmas. The music is playing, the stores are displaying, and the movies are constantly on. I feel a pull to all things Christmas, however, I wonder if maybe I should not dismiss Thanksgiving so readily. Every year, it can be so easy for me to skip right over this holiday (except for the food), and I can miss the meaning that can be found in pausing and being present in it.

I’ve found there’s something profound in claiming thankfulness before heading into the Christmas season. There is something about actually entering into the coming and birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, with an already positioned heart and mind of gratitude. There’s something about not waiting until Christmas time to be drawn in to reset my perspective and hope.

I wonder if I truly let Thanksgiving shift my heart into a posture of thankfulness how that might deepen my perspective and hope this Christmas season.

So today, as I ponder this, I am choosing to allow this Thanksgiving season to create some space for a pause. A pause to shift my perspective and hope now. A pause of gratitude to prepare my heart for what is to come by being thankful for what has already come. A pause to pay attention to the places God has been moving in my life and in my heart that I have been missing because I have not stopped moving. What do I have to be thankful for?

Often, I can be so focused on what is to come in life, that I miss what is right before me. I miss the gift of being present in a moment. More pointedly, I miss the gift of remembering the greatness of all that God’s presence brings to a present moment.

So, what can I be thankful for today? What can you claim gratitude over today?

Now to be honest, I did begin to write out my personal list here, as authenticity is one of my greatest passions. However, I would have exceeded my allowable word count for this blog. Sufficive to say, my list is greater than I acknowledge most days. And my list is less valuable to you than your own.

Now each of our personal lists may vary, but there are some shared places of gratitude we can claim and share together as believers. I am only listing a few here, in hopes it will kick start our process and draw us deeper in our quest towards a grateful heart. The goal is for the gratitude to take us further than our circumstantial and into our eternal—to position our hearts toward something greater than the everyday.

As you read these truths, I encourage you to read them as more than words and claim them as truths to stand on, allowing them to shift your perspective and posture this season.

  1. We are loved by God. (John 3:16)
  2. God is on the throne. (Psalm 9:7; 47:8)
  3. God’s love is greater than our fears. (1 John 4:18)
  4. Forgiveness is available for us all in Christ Jesus. (1 John 1:9)
  5. God has a purpose and a plan for our lives, and it is good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  6. God is on the move, even if we cannot see it right now. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
  7. We are not alone. (Joshua 1:9)
  8. This world is not our home. We were made for more. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
  9. Our worth and value are greater than what we can produce and are found in the One who produced us. (Matthew 6:26)
  10. God is not done with us. What God has begun, He will finish. (Philippians 1:6)
  11. There is freedom in Christ. (John 8:36)

As I meditate on these truths, gratitude and hope are rising in me. I find myself more mindful of the significance of Jesus Christ’s birth and all it broke loose in the life of a believer and in the world.

So as we head into Thanksgiving, let’s not lose sight of the purpose that can be extracted in this season and the preparatory work it can have on our heart and mind as we head into the next.

We have much to be thankful for. So in this season, reclaim a grateful heart and let it set the foundation for a Christmas season that does not just awaken you from the hustle of life but draws you deeper into the relationship with God that was gifted to us through it all.