Let's Be Thankful

I had an unusual day of thankfulness despite my circumstances on Halloween night, and it was really refreshing. One tiny example of that was that we decided to sit on the front porch and pass out candy to the trick or treaters and hot apple cider to the parents as they made their rounds on a chilly night. I was super excited about it all week and anticipating all the precious/scary kiddos! 

Of course, all the kids on our block must have gone to their own private Halloween parties, because we got a whopping 3 groups of kids and only a couple of parents at our door. As we sat there drinking our apple cider, we processed together how we could feel like our attempt to serve and meet our neighbors was a huge flop. Surprisingly, we felt super thankful for the neighbors who came by and texted later saying they loved the cider. And we were just thankful to start a tradition in our own little family of getting outside on this holiday that usually brings all your neighbors to your front door. 

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Photo by Hawkins Photography

Regardless, we've turned a corner after Halloween, and I caught myself thinking "on to Christmas!" When I woke up this morning I was hit with the realization that there is another holiday coming......Thanksgiving.

Why skip it?

Since getting married, I've been looking for ways to incorporate new traditions into our family. The unusual and uplifting bout of thankfulness from Halloween got me thinking -- let's share as a family what we are thankful for each day of the month leading up to Thanksgiving. We'll write them down in a special journal. Through the years as we repeat this tradition, we'll be able to look back on previous years and remember all God has done in each season of our lives. 

I know this isn't the most earth-shattering thing you've ever read, and I know for sure that we are not the first family to do it! BUT, this is definitely new to us and I think it will be a heart check on a daily basis throughout the month. It will help us to see where we are putting our hope and where we are slumping into the dark hole of complaining when we have an abundance all around us to be thankful for. 

I'm thinking this simple tradition will only get better throughout the years when Reaghan (and hopefully future babies) are old enough to participate themselves. 

Here's a perfect example of how I fell into the slump of ungratefulness this week: 

(Jordan and I were talking about our budget and some changes with it in the near future...)

Me: "But how are we going to have the money to afford fulfilling my dreams?"

Jordan: "The little girl on the Compassion Magazine cover wants to punch you in the face right now."

Point taken. 

My husband was lovingly pointing me to the reality that I have everything I need for life right in front of me, yet here is a little girl who just wants a rooster for her family so they can afford food. Ouch. My thankful eyes had temporarily gone blind and I wasn't able to see the reality of my life versus so many other lives around the world. And in the most selfish, I'm-a-5-year-old-again kind of way, I totally whined about "my dreams." 

What areas are you most tempted to be ungrateful for in your life? How are you going to use this month of Thanksgiving to spring board your own heart and family towards thankfulness? I'd love to hear and learn from each other!