A Gratitude Experiment

Making Thanksgiving Last

I know Thanksgiving is over with, but does it have to be? What if we could extend the attitude of gratitude that we love about Thanksgiving all year long?

People often tell me their favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it isn’t commercialized like the other ones. They love having a day to reflect on the many things they have to be thankful for.

If you’re like me it’s so easy to move on to the next thing and the next thing on the calendar is a pretty big deal. No, it’s not Christmas it’s my birthday (Ha!).

One thing I did this Thanksgiving was I took some time and wrote down everything big that happened this year. As I read over the list I couldn’t believe it! I had a deep sense of gratitude for all that God had done. Some of the things seemed like a lifetime ago but were really just 6 months earlier. When I looked at that list, my current challenges didn’t seem like such a big deal. If God had helped me get through all of that then He certainly would help me get through my current challenges.

Maybe that’s why Paul tells us to…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6-7

God’s past faithfulness strengthens our current faith as we wait for God to do what only He can. Our gratitude gives us peace and guards our hearts from worry. The same God that helped us yesterday will help us today and tomorrow.

The condition God sets on giving us peace of mind is thankfulness. Peace of mind is something we need more than once a year.

Life feels like it is moving so fast and I bet you can relate. Sometimes I can feel like I’m not making the progress I want. But after I reviewed my Thanksgiving list I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude for all that God had done. It’s not always easy to see the changes as they are happening but when you look back over a year you can see growth and progress.

The whole exercise made me want to do a better job of keeping track of not just the big things but also the little things. So I’m doing a simple experiment and I want to see if you would try it with me. It’s easy…I’m keeping a list on my phone of every blessing I receive big or small.

The blessings can include small things like every time someone takes you out to lunch, buys you coffee, or sends you an encouraging note. It can include big things like an unexpected bonus, a promotion, or anything else you would classify as big.

I’ve already had a few things to write down. One thing I’ve noticed since trying this experiment is I go through the day looking for things to be thankful for. I bet you will too!

Let’s see if we can make Thanksgiving a weekly celebration instead of just a once a year event. God promises your peace will grow too and who can’t use a little more peace of mind?