Tag Archives: giving thanks

Giving Thanks

23 Nov
Photo via Flickr user Tyler Neyens

Photo via Flickr user Tyler Neyens

 

O give thanks to the Lord, for he
is good,
for his steadfast love endures
forever.
-Psalm 136:1

When I was little, my mom required us to make homemade thank you cards for everything. It became second nature, habit. As an adult, it is still part of my spiritual practice. I don’t use construction paper and markers as much anymore, but I do enjoy the task of sitting down to write a detailed, personalized thank you. I like to think about my gratitude and put words to it. Specificity helps awaken, deepen and broaden my gratitude.

The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”

-2 Chronicles 5:13

Every Thanksgiving, my spouse and I make twenty pies the day before and serve them to our friends for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. It is probably the most decadent thing we do all year. People love it, taking a moment of abundance to indulge in the bounty. Giving thanks to God and each other is so important on Thanksgiving and beyond. It changes are hearts and eyes. It invites us to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. It reminds me to approach people and things I can take for granted with renewed reverence, curiosity, respect and love.

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

-2 Corinthians 9:11

A well placed, heartfelt, specific thank you changes the energy in the air in a way that is contagious. Its spirit can grow exponentially. It is a practice that can change our worldview, posturing, outlook and energy individually and collectively. This Thanksgiving, I’m deeply grateful for my spouse, son, and baby growing inside of me. I am thankful for my co-workers and a fulfilling job. I am blessed with family, shelter, food, safety and community. I’m thankful for warm coffee, clean water, laughter, soft blankets, engaging books, beautiful music, a healthy body, and pie. In an age of cynicism, polarization, fear and scarcity, when the reach and strength of oppression can take our breath away, let us continue to give thanks and allow that gratitude to bring more beauty into a hurting world.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7

‘Tis the Season

21 Nov
via Flickr user Ed Schipul

via Flickr user Ed Schipul

We are still two weeks from the beginning of Advent, but the holiday decorations are up at Target. The diamond jewelry and red-bow tied car commercials have started. Walmart is gearing up.

The day after we give thanks for what we have, Black Friday focuses on what we don’t.

We are left to figure out how to infuse our holiday season with a sense of the sacred. How do we decide which rituals are life-giving and which are life-draining? How do we shift from fear and scarcity back to trust and abundance? How do we move from feeling not-enough to enough? How do we prioritize relationship over consumption? How do we let go of anxiety and embrace laughter? How do we choose presence over presents? What tangible steps can we take this year to put Christ back at the center of Christmas?

Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” He boldly asks us to trust, to live one day at a time and know that we have enough today.

Jesus comes to us as a baby to show us a different way of being. It is an invitation that is upon us today. May the utter dependence, pure innocence, daring beauty, urgent cry, calming coo, and gentle touch God, come to us as a newborn, direct our hearts and minds this season.

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