This month we have been talking about the practice of Thanksgiving- Holding onto Hope through the practice of thanksgiving. Linda, Ari and Kyla already have shared their favorite Thanksgiving practices. If you haven’t seen them yet, please head back to our Facebook and Instagram pages called The Sublime Soiree to check them out!
This week, as we are days away from Thanksgiving, I want to share how I hold onto hope with the practice of Thanksgiving. For me, giving thanks is not a once-a-year practice but a daily lifestyle. And I find that God’s creation is filled with reasons to give thanks. I absolutely love fall and the beauty of nature. I enjoy walking through the leaves; feeling the beautiful, crisp air; and being saturated with the fingerprints of God. Beauty surrounds me, and I feel grateful as I breathe deep. I am grateful for the earthly beauty of fall, a tiny taste of God’s glory contained in a season. What a gift that we can see and hear His glory in tangible ways through what He has created. It is experiential — seeing and listening fills my heart with joy, appreciating the wonder of God, Creator and King. We experience God through what He has made and if we let it happen, we can lose ourselves in this grandeur of God. What are you thankful for today?
I love the story of King David in the Bible and what he writes in the Book of Psalms. He shares throughout the book stories of lament and praise. In Psalms 13:5-6 it says, “But I have trusted your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
I love this Psalm because it reminds me of the beauty of trusting and praising God not just for me but for my family and neighbors too. Do you trust God in this season? For me, my spirit is willing, but my flesh often is weak, and I struggle to trust. That’s why I want to grow in this practice of thanksgiving, because the more gifts I see around me, the more I trust the Giver. We have so much to be grateful for! How about you?
I know that being thankful in hard times is easier said than done. But I have heard it said that our minds go in the direction of our thoughts. We have a great God who wants to lead us into rejoicing. Studies repeatedly show thankfulness makes us happier, and I’m all for it!
One of my family’s traditions as we celebrate Thanksgiving is our practice of remembering. This is something we have done for years and what a wonderful way to look back and remember. After we eat our Thanksgiving dinner, we each write down 5 things or more that we are thankful for from the past year. All of us share — even our youngest. We have had many things shared. Examples might include freedom to worship, our spouse, parents or a very hard circumstance we walked through. It is usually a practice that brings tears, joy and a deeper connection as we share from our hearts together.
We also have several ways that we record our thanks. One year we had a white tablecloth with permanent markers and wrote out our praises. Another year we wrote in a book; and many years we just wrote on papers that I have saved to look back on over the years. They have become a keepsake of remembrance. This year we will use these place mats I found in the dollar section of Target.
A few months back I shared with you my Five Rs of Holding on to Hope. The first R is Remember. God is sovereign and in complete control when things seem totally out of control. My hope is in Him alone. I reflect on His character. I rest and reset. Today, I reflect on Jesus being exactly what we need. “I am ___.” (Exactly what you need and I provide immeasurably more.) I reflect on the beauty surrounding me and how God is the creator. I then recall how God has answered and has been faithful to me in the past, believing He will do the same in the present and future. I will replay in my mind what He has done. “God, you did this in this situation. You are faithful.” I will often refer to my journal, as I sit on my deck and recall. To read more about my Five Rs, you can click here.
How can you incorporate the idea of giving thanks, remembering and recalling? Is it going outside to reflect in nature and see the beautiful gifts all around us? A journal entry, or sharing with friends and family what you are thankful for and spurring one another on? Maybe this Thanksgiving you can incorporate a way to share and give thanks.
We at The Sublime Soiree would love to hear from you. If you have an idea that you would like to share, please comment below. And please keep staying tuned this week as I will share a few more fun ideas on how to give thanks, along with one of my favorite Bible verses, and a few ideas of how we invite and prepare our hearts to remember.
Friend, counting gifts changes us, even if our circumstances do not. Give thanks in everything, and have a great day!
— Sue M. Lindsey © November 22, 2021