Because my birthday is in November, it has always been (and always will be) followed by Thanksgiving. Two completely separate concepts- birthdays are spent celebrating one person's existence, while Thanksgiving is spent counting our blessings.
Because the two fall in the same month for me, over the last few years I've tried to be intentional about not just being thankful at Thanksgiving. I try to be thankful all year round, frequently listing out the blessings that surround me. Sometimes I do that because I am just so overwhelmed at His awesomeness that I have to document it; other times I do it because I'm in a hard season and can't always see the awesomeness surrounding me. I write out my blessings to remind myself that He is still blessing me, He is still good, and my life is full of awesomeness.
It was hard to learn to be thankful. I am still learning every day. It is not my first nature to be thankful; to have gratitude; to be grateful. But over time I am making it become my first nature.
Thankful in the good. Thankful in the bad. Thankful in the messy. Thankful in provision. Thankful in tears. Thankful in laughter. Thankful in hurt- yeouch that one's hard. To be thankful in every little thing is not always easy.
The common thing on Facebook right now is to post every day leading up to Thanksgiving, stating something you're grateful for. I am not on Facebook every single day, nor do I feel the urge to share something I'm thankful for with every Facebook friend I have.
Awhile ago, I tweaked a thing my mom does. When she has to endure lengthy medical tests, she prays through the alphabet- she starts with a person who's name starts with an "A" and works her way down the line (I don't think she's ever met anyone with an "X" name). If she reaches "Z" and her tests aren't done, she starts at "A" again, different people this time.
Instead of praying through the alphabet, I try to think of at least one thing I'm thankful for for each letter, from the simple, the silly, the material, the serious, the practical, the heartfelt. I've been trying to do this every month, but I've been slacking the last few, so why not start it up again in the month of thankfulness?
Air conditioning. C'mon I live in Texas yall it gets hawt.
Best friends~ Books~ Blankets
Coke & Coffee. Actually, caffeine. Two thumbs up.
Dogs (the definition of unconditional love)
Education- the opportunity to continue learning, all our days
Fresh flowers~ Fellow believers~ Friendship
Giggling~ Gas for the car~ Groceries
Kindred spirits~ Kiddos
More Jesus, less me~ Music
One Tree Hill~ Oreos
Peanut Butter~ Passion~ Provision
Quotes~ Quirks (b/c they make everyone unique)~ Quiet time
Role Models~ Raised hands, praising Jesus~ Rent paid for
Sisters~ Salvation~ Sunshine
Worship music~ Writing~ White Choc Chip Pancakes
... Well I can tell you something I'm NOT thankful for- Xylophones. Marley would bang on hers all day if we'd let her. Oy.
Yarn (I'm a knitter. Grandma status over here)
There's my ABC's of Thankfulness for the month of November! I challenged my 6th grade girls to do this, as well. What would you include in your ABC's of Thankfulness??