Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
It never goes out of style. Gratitude. And November is a perfect month to adorn ourselves with it.
Back in the day, before Ann Voskamp so beautifully packaged gratitude into a tangible discipline of pen and paper, we were already counting our gifts. When the girls were itty- bitty, we used popcorn kernels on Thanksgiving dinner plates and poster sized construction paper turkeys with colorful personalized feathers. Later, we deposited 3 x 5 notecards into our Blessing Box. And we built popsicle stick models of Plymoth Plantation, dressed up as pilgrims and Indians, baked pumpkin shaped cookies and shared them with our friends at the nursing home.
God’s mercies toward the Pilgrims and Indians provided a springboard for personalizing our own blessings and gratitude multiples like baby guppies when you feed it.
As our babes grew up, our traditions continued to morph.
For a few years, we kept a running tab of God’s gifts in personal journals then spoke our list around the Turkey Day table.
Most recently, we customized the popular Thanksgiving Turkey Trot into our own 5K Blessing Walk. I’ll be honest, some of the kids didn’t warm up to the idea at first. One pitched an outright fit and another pouted for the first half of the journey. But we weren’t in any hurry so we strolled leisurely together recounting aloud the goodness of God in our story and gratitude accomplished it’s work, even on the resistant ones.
I got so excited, I added participant T-shirts the next time around.
My oldest designed them and I sent them out to a printer. We started our “Thanks” list on the first day of November and decorated our shirts on the Eve of the holiday using Sharpies, some painters tape and recycled cardboard pizza boxes.
It’s a November tradition now—listing, designing, wearing, walking, eating and always singing, “Count Your Blessings. Name them one by one.”
Life is a kaleidoscope and what we see depends on the angle we’re looking from.
Gratitude provides a lens to view the goodness of God, and count His fresh, new mercies each day, both up close and at a distance.
There’s been a lot of hard this year. Every year has it, a menagerie of trials, loss, loneliness, even grief. But there’s also been a lot to celebrate. Delights, successes, victories, provisions.
It’s all part of our messy beautiful story.
And this Thanksgiving,