In case you haven’t noticed, a new month is upon us. November. It starts tomorrow. A 30-day chance to break ground and cultivate a more grateful heart.
Off the top of my head, here are the very first three reasons I came up with to Give Thanks. But the list is only limited by time, observation, and the effort I’m willing to expend over the next 30 days.
(These are seriously the first 3 things I came up with. So do not not judge. There is no bad idea. Right?)
Such a generous holiday. It doesn’t require presents, or bows, or multiple trees to decorate.
All it really wants is for you to spend time with somebody you care about. In return, it gives most of us an extra day off from work. A day to rest and reflect. A day set aside to remember all the Goodness in our lives.
#2. Election Day.
No matter how you feel about the Candidates or this most unusual and polarizing political climate, have you stopped to think about how lucky we are to live here in the United States?
Lucky to be given a say in the matter. Lucky to have a vote that will be counted for something.
Regardless of how excited or uninspired you are with the choices, we are still FREE to vote. Without risk to your life, or harm to your family.
#3. Indoor Plumbing.
How often have I thought to Give Thanks for the maze of pipes running within my walls and between my floors and ceilings?
How often have I even acknowledged this interconnected system of genius called indoor plumbing? This hidden luxury which I never give a second thought, allows me the choice between clean cold water to drink — and clean hot water for washing my hands, and dishes, and clothes, and paint brushes.
“Give Thanks” shown in progress. This oil painting was the cause of MANY dirty brushes. Each of them grateful to be washed in hot water.
The list of luxuries I take for granted is endless…
How many times do I experience a deep, sincere, feel-it-in-your-bones kind of appreciation for the blankets on my bed? Or the food in my refrigerator?
My life is full of endless luxuries which I recklessly neglect to appreciate — every, single, day.
If you are reading this, then I KNOW you have these kinds of luxuries too.
But not everyone does. There are people in other countries — some now without a country — who would trade anything for what we consider simple pleasures. These are people with feelings, and souls, and names.
There are people in our own cities who consider us rich. And dream for our lives. Dream for our “indoor plumbing.”
During this coming month, where the familiarity of the word “Thanksgiving” has been deflated of its once profound meaning, I encourage you to take a few minutes every day this November, to sit down and “Give Thanks.”
Write it on a napkin. Say it to the wind. Pray it aloud while you drive. Just find something that works for you, and then stick with it this month.
Give Thanks this month.
If you do that every day until November 24th arrives, I am pretty sure you will have begun to start to train your brain.
Thanksgiving is meant to be about gratitude. A gratitude which is then celebrated by one big, special meal on a holiday that shares its name. As opposed to the Thanksgiving holiday simply existing as a few harried days centered around preparation, and then the consumption of delicious food.
This is something I would like to change in my own life this year. I would like to celebrate an entire month of Giving Thanks, topped of towards the end with one big delicious meal.
Do you need a reminder? I certainly do!!
To help you grow your gratitude muscles this month, I’ve created a painting called “Give Thanks” which I would love to share with you this November.
Click here to access your own copy of Give Thanks in the form of a calendar that you can use on your computer desktop.
Let “Give Thanks” be a 30 day-reminder, that a grateful heart is one that is intentional about noticing the infinite luxuries which are so easy to overlook.
- Happy Giving Thanks!
- Happy Voting!
- Happy Hot Water!
Wishing you a 30-day month of Giving Thanks… which begins a new way of life!
PS To use the November calendar simply click on the link above, download the file to a place you can easily find on your computer, and then set that file as your computer’s wallpaper (or desktop.) If you can’t figure it out, ask Google. Or better yet, the closest teenager.