Hi Y’all! It’s been a few days since I last came to sit and have a chat with you guys. Work has been extra busy and, honestly – I have seriously been having more of a challenge adjusting to this time change than usual. Sigh – I am not enjoying the pitch-black skies at 5pm at all! It’s thrown me completely out of whack and I don’t know if I’m coming or going! LOL.
So, I guess we’re all gearing up for the Holiday Season now. It’s crazy to me how this year has just flown by so quickly. It seems like last Christmas was just a minute ago – wow!
We know that each year, at this time, we tend to get all caught up in the commercial aspect of the season. And so often, the true meaning of what we are really celebrating gets lost in the shuffle. That usually happens to me each year, anyway, and, I’m sure, to you too!
For myself, I wanted to make sure that this year, no matter what else is going on in my life, I have a focused mind on what it means to celebrate Thanksgiving and on what it means to celebrate Christmas. If you are celebrating a different holiday – Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever it may be , it is the same thing, right? There is a meaning behind the holiday that has less to do with lights and trees and candles and the giving of gifts and more to do with our most important relationship and all of our relationships.
So, first off, I wanted to find some awesome ways to start with the Thanksgiving Holiday, by focusing myself on giving thanks for my blessings – because no matter what may be missing in my life or what may be going wrong, I am blessed to crazy, redonkulous proportions!!! I know this truly, deep in my soul.
So I went a-hunting for some tools, as it were, to bolster up my toolbox. And I found these two great ones, that I want to share:
This one is a Scriptural writing challenge – it gives you a passage of Scripture for each day, that is focused on being thankful and thinking of all you have to be thankful for. Your job is to copy it out, because as you write, you take things in on a deeper, heartfelt level. I am taking this one a step further, personally – in addition to writing out the daily Scripture in my Prayer Journal, each day a part of the passage really resonates with me – so I create a picture graphic with the specific part of the text that hits me deepest each day and I share that on Facebook – after all, hopefully someone else can benefit from it too!
For example, today’s Scripture was Philippians 4; 4-9.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Here was my big take-away from this passage today:
Remember everything God has already done in your life. Look at all the things – big and small – that He has given you or worked out for you. When you remember these things, you know that He is able. He is more than able – and He has taken care of you before. So you know in your heart that you can trust Him to do it again and again – so don’t worry.
Just Pray – and thank Him – and trust Him.
The other one is a nightly routine that I discovered ( people, Pinterest is your friend ). It’s called a ThanksLiving Workbook and you can download it here. It gives you a workbook in which you record, each night, five things you’re thankful for, for that day. And then there are some extra fun activities for the week of Thanksgiving. So fun!
Its a great way to just bring front and center that every single day, no matter what may have gone wrong or what didn’t work out as you hoped, there were a lot of things that did happen to be thankful for.
I try to make the things I’m thankful for actual things or experiences from my day, as opposed to just expressing thanks for more general things. Not that there is anything wrong with the general things – I am just finding that doing it this way makes it a tremendously meaningful activity by my identifying specific things I personally had or experienced that day that I am thankful for. Take my post for yesterday, for example. My five things were:
- A good night of sleep.
- A great plyometrics workout by my pool
- I did my hair and it was super easy and I was so happy with how it came out after my hairstylist’s/hair-magician’s miracle work the week before (LOL – you are a miracle worker, Hali Adams).
- I got to listen to Priscilla Shirer teach at my Church and it was like a bomb going off for me – life-changing stuff that I was so grateful to have the chance to take in.
- I got to try a fairly new thing from our grocery store – a totally prepped meal in a bag. I got shrimp (it is on special this week) and it came in a bag with couscous, olives, feta cheese, spinach and other yummy ingredients. You just stick it in the oven in the bag and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. It was amazing!
As the weeks go by I will keep researching ways to transition into making this Christmas a deeply meaningful one for me, as well. I just want to grow in my skin this year – and for me, that starts with growing in my relationship with God. Every single other thing in my life starts and grows from there…
And I’m excited about it!
What do you do to connect deeper with your faith this time of year? I’d love to hear your ideas, traditions and thoughts on what you celebrate,and why and how. Looking forward to your feedback people!