It’s stretchy pants season, but more importantly, a season of being thankful.
When’s the last time you’ve thought about Thanksgiving, the holiday? If you’re like me, probably today (mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, ROLLS…)
When’s the last time you’ve thought about thanksgiving? Yes, little “t.” Hmm.
thanksgiving means “the expression of gratitude.” It means that not only are you content with where you are, you are so humbled and blessed that you are so grateful, you are expressing it outwardly.
Just as I think it’s important to have the Advent season in preparation for Christmas, I think it’s important to have thanksgiving before Thanksgiving. Not only to be content with what you have but to be so grateful that you can’t help but express it in thanksgiving.
And, if you are truly so grateful, you will act.
As an example, I always say that my recycling and cutting down plastic is an act of thanksgiving. If you really think about the beautiful world we get to live in, how big and great the ocean is, and how incredible it is that we get to live in a world with such beauty, you will be so crazy grateful that you will go out of your way to respect our planet & the Creator of it all.
If you are thinking in thanksgiving, you will act in thanksgiving.
But, for me, this is also where it gets sticky. Because if you think in scarcity, you’ll act in scarcity.
I’m in a season of filling needs for my family. So I spend my time thinking about what we don’t have and “need.” See where I’m going?
It’s slow and it’s grinding. But somehow, the budgeting, the cooking, the cleaning, the planning, the need-filling of my kid. It’s all focusing on what my family and I don’t have and what I need to provide.
After a while it has put me in a mindset of I need to grocery shop, Cam needs a lunch, Lawson needs a bottle, the dogs need shots, my house needs cleaning.
Let me reword it. We don’t have these groceries. Cameron doesn’t have a lunch. Lawson doesn’t have a bottle…Instead of We have food in the pantry. I have a growing baby. I have pets that are healthy. I have a place to live.
But, really, for most of us, there is no escaping that need-filling part, and that’s okay. Believe it or not, my family really does need to eat, my dogs really do need vaccinations, and I really do need to clean my home.
But it’s more about the focus. Instead of stewing in the mindset of need and scarcity, you have to intentionally pull yourself out and look at the big picture at how lucky you are.
If I’m not intentional, the day passes before I can catch my breath, and I spent more time drowning in my to do lists and what I don’t have. Not what I do.
So, I’m really cheesy, and I turned our running family to-do list dry erase board into a place where Cameron and I write what we are focusing on being thankful. I think this is incredible because it has physically embodied the mindset switch of “I need to..because I don’t have…” to “I have…and am so incredibly grateful for it.” Cameron and I are being intentional about updating it, sitting together and talking about it.
If you aren’t intentional, at the end of the month, you’ll have a really great meal. But you won’t have spent any time in real, raw thanksgiving. And you will have missed out.