Thanksgiving Year Round
A One-minute Audio:
The Thanksgiving meal is planned-check.
The grocery list is written-check.
Seating plans are in place-check.
Oops! I forgot something, something significant. I haven’t spent a moment being thankful. Time and mental energy has been consumed with preparations.
I think I need an attitude adjustment. I need an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is easy when all is well according to my standards. I guess I have conditional gratitude, an as long as type of thankfulness.
I’m thankful as long as:
- All my children are healthy and happy.
- I don’t have a headache.
- Everyone is coming for dinner.
- Everyone helps cleanup after dinner. J
- No one I love is dying.
Research from Robert Emmons, MAPP, a psychologist found that:
People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
Thoughts of gratefulness can change your life. Imagine that! You actively adopt a thankful way of thinking and you will sleep better and improve your immune system.
Unfortunately we live in a world that includes loads of negative facts broadcast 24/7 on television and every electronic device we can’t leave home without. We are inundated with bad news. This means it takes a herculean effort to develop gratitude.
Some people seem to have a natural bent in the direction of gratitude. Our daughter, Kate, for example will probably not celebrate Thanksgiving as she lives in Kenya, East Africa. Any yet I’ve never known a person who is a more joy filled grateful person.
She has managed over the last twelve years to establish a farm in Africa. And did so while birthing three and mothering, as well as home schooling, all six of their children. She and her husband have also been parents to nine orphaned Kenyan girls. They live in a barn made of mud, do not have electrical appliances, and seldom enjoy any of the modern conveniences we think of as necessities. She always speaks with an optimistic heart of gratitude.
This week most of us in the U.S. will sit down to a feast and share what we are thankful for. We will stuff ourselves, say we ate too much and return for another piece of pie.
Sometimes it helps us to be more grateful when we realize how much more we have than others who are filled with gratitude for so much less.
Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude, suggests that we take a few minutes each day to write what we are grateful for. She says,
You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Not the meal, the festivities, and the food, are you ready to be thankful?
I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.