Thanksgiving Revolution

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Besides stressing out about how close that means Christmas is, I am thinking about how grateful I am. I need to note here that I am not grateful as OFTEN as I should be. Gratefulness and thanksgiving are not practices that come easily to me. When things are great, sure! Then it's easy.

What's not so easy is being thankful and grateful when life happens and dreams are put on hold. When we think that the thing that will change everything for the better is just around the corner and then it never comes. In those moments of fear and frustration, gratefulness is not what shows up first. But shouldn't it? Shouldn't we just feel miraculous that we have a place to live, food to eat, and opportunities each and every day to show others a spirit of joy?

I think that is what this Thanksgiving holiday is really all about. Whether or not you have a fancy dining room table with a beautiful centerpiece or you're having KFC right out of the bucket, being thankful for each and every day that we are given by our God and how BIG and AMAZING He is! Living that truth. I am learning to be grateful and thankful for just that. But it's taking practice.

I am also grateful that my family and I will be spending time with great friends all day long! Tomorrow will be about celebrating all kinds of blessings. It will also be, not just about remembering why we are grateful and thankful, but living it OUT LOUD. Kids may have made handprint turkeys with "What I am Thankful for Feathers" and posted them on kitchen refrigerators. Maybe you even have a Thanksgiving Thankful Tree decoration in your home with leaves to write your blessings on. Or maybe your family goes around the table before you eat and has everyone share what they are grateful for. It is a great habit to practice. This season of being grateful for the things we have received and sharing those grateful thoughts with those around us is a reminder to put that practice into action every day.

My family is thankful for the blessing of having a full thanksgiving dinner right at our fingertips. Turkey, pie, potatoes, stuffing and don't forget about green bean casserole. The seemingly unlimited amounts of food that will be baked, roasted, mashed and stuffed on this holiday will be thoroughly enjoyed by us(except for those picky eaters that I live with). But as I was compiling my list for the store this year, I came across a disturbing statistic. One in every six Americans is going hungry this holiday (and every day).

In this "land of plenty" that number seems crazy. How is that even possible? Especially when it seems the other five have stuffed themselves and still have leftovers for days? Something isn't adding up. What if this year we all decided to share our bounty? What if we could each buy two turkeys and give one away? What if we bought the ingredients to make a dinner and delivered it to a hotel for homeless families? What if...well, what if we just decided to give more and eat less? A favorite blogger of mine is always reminding her readers that "we belong to each other." How great would it be if we actually started living, day to day, in just that way?

We could start a Thanksgiving revolution! What is a revolution all about anyway? It's about change. Our revolution can be about taking care of each other. Let this Thanksgiving be a catalyst to feeling grateful and living it out loud ALL YEAR LONG! Sharing the bounty, no matter how big or small. Acts of generosity bring hope and blessing to others who are yearning for a sign that someone cares, that someone has noticed, and that something is changing. A little kindness plants a seed of hope, and that can go a long way. If we each did something little for someone in need, be it a neighbor or a stranger, who knows what kind of sparks we could ignite. I would love to find out!

This next week, as your making your third or fourth plate of leftovers and thinking how sick of turkey you are, take a second to think of something small you could do for someone else that would make them say "I'm so thankful for that!" Even if your circumstances have left you with only a smile to give to someone else, do it to the best of your ability. A smile can sometimes change someone's day.

So today, tomorrow and the next day, remember to be thankful in all your circumstances (remember it takes practice). Think about something little that you can do to pass some joy on to someone else, and look for things that will help you to LIVE OUT LOUD how grateful you are. The revolution has only just begun!


Holly and Jenn

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