Wow, it's November. How did that happen? I've barely moved beyond the fact that summer is over and fall is here. And all of a sudden it's November -- the month of Thanksgiving and the month before Christmas. Already I can feel the first tiny pangs of pre-holiday fears when I think about everything that needs to be done over the next two months.
But in church today I was reminded that those fears are completely ridiculous. I live in one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the world, one in which I'm free to practice my faith and others are equally free to practice their faith or no faith at all. My family and I have everything we need, and many things we want. A "bad day" may consist of nothing more than rainy weather, a grumpy co-worker, and a slow internet connection. In other words, I have it made -- and you probably do too.
So instead of focusing on what's "wrong" in our lives, our pastor, David, asked us to spend the month of November focusing on our blessings and the things for which we do (or should) give thanks. He referred to it as a "month of thanks-living." His idea really struck me because, frankly, I'm not a particularly thankful person. If the truth be told, I'm more likely to complain about the rain, the co-worker, or the internet connection than I am to thank God and others for all of the good things in my life.
David encouraged each of us to find ways to count our blessings and give thanks over the next 30 days. He suggested thanking God regularly, writing down things we're thankful for, writing thank-you notes to people who have helped us, and thanking people throughout the day, every day, for the entire month. Again, I have to admit that if I take him up on his challenge, I'll be about 100 percent more thankful than is the norm for me -- which is the very reason I know I need to do it.
So I'm going to take time every day, beginning today, to do two things to acknowledge the blessings in my life. First, I'm going to write down at least one thing that I'm thankful for each day, because for me the act of writing it down marks it in my mind as something important, something I need to remember. And second, I'm going to appreciate and say "thank you" to at least one person every day. It might be a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a church member, or a stranger. I'll have to see where God leads.
In order to keep myself on track with doing these two things every day, I've made a "Month of Thanks-living" calendar. I'm going to print it out, put it on my desk, and use it to maintain a spirit of thankfulness throughout the month. I thought you might like to use it too, so I'm linking to a copy of it below. I've left it in Word format so you can change it if you like or fill it out on your computer or tablet each day. I hope it will help both of us live with thanks, gratitude, and appreciation throughout the month.
Originally published at Calm.Healthy.Sexy.