Just around the bend, Thanksgiving, a time for remembering followed by Christmas a time of celebration. Thanksgiving, a holiday I looked forward too with warm anticipation. I’d make a huge dinner with all the trimmings. Not living close to family, my family became those, who like my hubby and I, were “orphans” this time of year. We would invite all to come and join us around our Thanksgiving table. One year we had over 24 people. Yes, it took time and energy, but oh the joy. Joy which flowed as we blessed others through the gifts of time, the gift of family and friendship; not to mention the food 🙂 Those dinners now an item of the past are fond memories.
CVID this year will bring its own challenge to the upcoming holidays. CVID my nemesis disease makes it difficult to accept an invitation to another’s table. First, I might need to explain my disease. Explaining the disease comes fairly easy; the understanding not so much. Then, I need to ask the question, “Will others be in attendance or just your family?” Most of my friends know of my illness, yet, I need to remind them to share with their guests, every one of them, if they are not well or feel a wee bit under the weather, to notify the host. This gives the host time to notify me. Then I’m able to weigh the risk factor in attending. To invite others into our home goes something like this…. “Hey, friend, we’d love to have you join us for dinner this Thanksgiving, or Christmas, with one caveat; If you’re not feeling well, or are getting over a virus, or if anyone in your family has been ill, we would need you to cancel; even if it’s a half-hour before your expected arrival. It’s hard to tell someone they would need to make other plans at the last-minute due to a stuffy nose which may turn out to be nothing, yet, might be something. Just typing the words, overwhelms. It’s simply easier to go it alone, I think.
Choosing to take the easier road does not necessarily mean sadness. It will depend on many factors. The primary factor of influence is ….. “focus and/or attitude.” It’s a scientifically proven fact that when we focus on the positive, the good in life, we feel better. 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. Easy, you ask. Sometimes yes, often no!
In preparation for our first Thanksgiving with CVID, I’m going to, once again, do my Thanksgiving challenge. I heard encouraging comments from those who joined me in the 25 Day Gratitude Challenge last year.
- Purchase, make your own, or grab a plain notebook to use as a “Joy” Journal. In this journal each day you will write down 3 things for which you are thankful or which brought you joy. (Suggestions – People in your life, events which happened, a note of encouragement you received, an answer to prayer, a text or telephone call which made you smile, a late fee waived, finding something which was lost, etc.). Write them before going to bed or after the evening meal, or??? You pick the time which works best for you. Too hard to remember at the end of the day. Try post it notes. Place blank post it notes all around, in your home, car, or place of work. When you become aware of something which is bringing you joy, write it on a post it note and stick it to your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or desk at work, etc. At the end of the Purple Princess challenge you will have a unique reminder of goodness spilling over into your life. If you wish to save them for future reference, simply place the post it’s in a notebook”.
Each day’s a gift, therefore we can always start our day by thanking God we have one more day of life. If life’s extremely hard we can thank the Lord we made it through, yet another day, or yet another night. I understand the difficulty in finding thankfulness when the world’s an unyielding, unfriendly place. It’s a challenge to feel grateful when debilitating illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of finances, a job, or other equally harsh reality faces you every day. It’s not about feelings. Our challenge is to discover hope in every day, regardless of how we feel. I promise you, if you will write down at least one thing with the goal of 3 everyday, you will begin to not only see hope, but feel hope.
It’s fun, as a believer, to choose a scripture to ponder while looking for joy each day. I’ve shared 10 scriptures to get you started…. I will post more in the comments section each day, starting with day 11. Be sure to check back. It would encourage this gal’s heart if you too would share your chosen verses for this challenge.
- 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)
- People come into our lives and touch our hearts in special ways. This month, go the extra mile, resurrect the art of sending a note or card through the mail. 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 🙂
- It wouldn’t be a Purple Princess challenge without “Purple”. I’m going to look for “Purple in my life every day.” I’m excited to see how God will reveal himself to me over the next 24 days. For you it might be another color. Or it might be butterflies, or special songs, or ???? whatever little nuance the Lord uses, to make you aware he is with you in your day.
Life is certainly a challenge. It’s in the midst of challenges when I most need to develop a heart of thankfulness. Of course it never hurts to have a thankful heart in good times too.
Family, friends and faithful readers, you are invited to participate in the brand new, never been done before, “Purple Princess Thanksgiving Challenge of Joy”. Who’s with me? Anyone?
Until next time,