Tomorrow we say hello to November. Many look forward to the Thanksgiving Holiday and others not so much. For some Thanksgiving’s a time of remembering losses; especially loved ones who are no longer with us. For my family, this year, there will be empty chairs at the table. The question… “How do I honor the memory of those no longer here? How do I love and respect those who are hurting and still reeling from the loss of their loved one? Among the hurt and grief how do I, how do others, live a life of gratitude and thankfulness in spite of undeniably sad circumstances?”
First, we need to recognize the grief process and not stuff it or deny its existence in our lives. Often times we do not give ourselves or others permission to grieve; boy do we ever need to do this one.
Second, in the midst of our grief we can be thankful for the gifts each person brought to our lives. For example, the cute way they smiled when they were up to no good; the way their voice would rise and their shoulders would take on a strong stance when speaking of something, for which they felt passionate; the way they would hide the tears while watching a chick flick; the way they inspired you to be better, the way they made a difference in the lives of others and _____ you fill in the blank.
Third, when we focus on the good in life we feel better (scientifically proven). Focusing on positive things and thoughts kick in the gloom and depression fighting endorphins; they do the battle and we reap a heart filled with joy, gladness and peace in spite of unyielding circumstances.
Therefore, I’m extending a 25 day challenge to all my readers.
A 25 Day Gratitude Challenge….
Beginning November 1st
- Each day write 3 things for which you are thankful. (People in your life, events which happened that day, a note of encouragement received, an answer to a prayer, a text or telephone call which made you smile) Each day’s a gift. Therefore, we can always start our day by thanking God we have one more day of life. If life is extremely hard we can thank Him we made it through, yet another day. Like my family, if you recently lost a loved one, write one of those sweet memories and thoughts of your loved one, similar to those listed above.
- Each day pick a scripture to “chew”, meditate upon. I’ve shared 10 to get you started….
- God’s love for each of us endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)
- Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
- You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)
- The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)
- O’ Lord Almighty, blessed is the man (woman) who trusts in you. (Psalm 84:12)
- For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
- The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. (Psalm 145:9)
- Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you (Psalm 55:22)
- Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
- Resurrect the art of card/note sending. Many people come into our lives and touch our hearts in special ways. Over the next 25 days send a note or card to someone. Let those special people in your life know how much the gift of their time, talent, gifts, service, companionship, or a listening ear meant to you or has come to mean to you. Share with them you are thankful they’re a part of your life…. This goes for family members too 🙂
Life is certainly a challenge. It’s in the midst of extremely trying times when we most need to develop a heart of thankfulness. It’s okay to have a thankful heart of gratitude in “hunky-dory” times too. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Will you join me in the 25 day challenge?
Until next time,