Give Thanks

Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming, and I love to share the articles with you guys, too.  This month’s theme is Thanksgiving, of course.  Hope you like it!

October was such a fun month for my family. It was Pastor Appreciation Month, and each year the mailbox holds treats for us: encouraging cards, letters expressing how my family had helped someone, and even a few gift card surprises (my husband and I will be enjoying Starbucks on our date days). One year, a church family even hosted a luncheon for our Ministry Team at their home: duck, beef tenderloin, roasted veggies, potatoes, salad with fennel infused vinaigrette, and my favorite – blueberry, pomegranate tea. (Yes, she’s a chef.)

I’m so thankful that some considerate person created Pastor Appreciation Month. My family feels enormously loved, valued, and honored when others take time to spur us on. I’m amazed how much more I can handle or bear when I feel supported. Everyone should have a special day when they are thanked for all they do and give.

November is here, and along with it comes the kickoff of the holiday season, Thanksgiving.  It’s the time of year when we are supposed to focus on all the things we are grateful for in our lives, which is probably a good thing since next month we’ll most likely allow gratitude to give way to greediness.  Honestly, however, the focus of Thanksgiving is much more about Turkey, dressing, and autumn displays by our front doors, and less about gratitude.  I’ll admit I’m guilty of it.  I’ve certainly gotten lost in the prep work and decorating.  Yet, this year I want to be more than privately grateful.  I want to take a cue from all the friends who took time to appreciate my family last month and actually turn my gratitude into verbal thanks.  While I’ll still adorn my front porch with Fall Mums, pumpkins, and gourds, I’ll adorn my friends and family with encouragement, appreciation, and admiration.  I wonder how my words might spur them on.  Could I really make a difference in someone’s day with a few mere words of kindness….of recognition….of thanks?

God sure thinks so, and He’s pretty much the Author on the subject.

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

God says our words hold great power – to sooth, satisfy, and heal.  Withholding our words has an equally powerful effect – to leave people feeling ignored, unnoticed, unappreciated, and unvalued.

So, who could you thank today? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Thank your co-worker for help on a project, the receptionist for her warm countenance, or an intern for their (unpaid, by the way) service.

Thank school teachers and coaches for the extra work they do for your kids.

Thank your spouse for planning a fun date or for being your friend.

Thank the store cashier for a speedy checkout or for helping you find just the right item.

Thank a mentor for the gift of their time and wisdom.

Thank the auto mechanic for their expertise when they work on your car.

Or, thank your kids for a good attitude (hey, positive reinforcement works!)

You’ll be amazed at the responses you’ll get!

This Thanksgiving, join me in not only being grateful for blessings, but in spurring people on with kind words that sooth and heal. Come on, Forsyth!  Give thanks!



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