Are You Thankful?

To me, Thanksgiving is a holiday with great meaning. The early Pilgrims gave thanks for their safe passage to the new continent. George Washington proclaimed a day of thanks to celebrate the conclusion of the war for independence. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday.

Today, however, Thanksgiving has come to mean a day to stuff the turkey, stuff ourselves, watch football and collapse on the couch or go shopping. How many Americans truly take time to be thankful?

We in this country, imperfect as it is, have so much to be grateful for: for the men and women fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere to keep our country free, for the democracy that enables each of us to vote and voice our opinions, and for the opportunities for advancement, education, and prosperity that we enjoy and oft-times take for granted.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take time to contemplate what you are thankful for. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. As the Apostle Paul says “In all things give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18) I know I have much to be thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Are You Thankful?

To me, Thanksgiving is a holiday with great meaning. The early Pilgrims gave thanks for their safe passage to the new continent. George Washington proclaimed a day of thanks to celebrate the conclusion of the war for independence. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday.

Today, however, Thanksgiving has come to mean a day to stuff the turkey, stuff ourselves, watch football and collapse on the couch or go shopping. How many Americans truly take time to be thankful?

We in this country, imperfect as it is, have so much to be grateful for: for the men and women fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere to keep our country free, for the democracy that enables each of us to vote and voice our opinions, and for the opportunities for advancement, education, and prosperity that we enjoy and oft-times take for granted.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take time to contemplate what you are thankful for. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. As the Apostle Paul says “In all things give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18) I know I have much to be thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

How to Stay Peaceful During the Holidays

Parties to attend, parties to plan, gifts to buy, and places to go. This time of year demands so much more energy and activity. Yet, I have to ask myself the question “Who and what are really the most important?” and then make sure I have enough time and energy to focus on these people and things.

But how?

In this year of economic turmoil, there is a key word that I think applies to the holidays as well – downsize. For example, this year, I have resolved to buy less gifts for less people. In years past, I have spent a LOT of TIME thinking about what a particular person would like. I don’t just pick up any old thing, and it takes thought to come up with a good gift.

Another resolve is to say no to activities that either are not holiday related or have little meaning to me. It’s a tough thing to say no to friends, but if they don’t understand that is not my problem. The holidays are very special to me and if an activity is something that can be done some other time, then I put it off.

Thirdly, I resolve to spend even more time with the Lord. Listening, praying and reading His Word are even more important when the heat turns up. “Oh, I wish I had more time to study” or “I wish I knew more scripture” are common complaints I hear from others. Well, guess what? Being connected to the Lord is a choice we have the power to make on a daily basis. It means putting spending time with Him a priority over everything else. And guess what else? I find that when I do make the time to spend in His presence, everything else becomes crystal clear.

So, dear one, what choices and changes will you make this holiday season? I encourage you to say no to activities that hold no real meaning for you. Write me and let me know your ideas for staying peaceful during the holidays and in the meantime, be thankful for all!

How to Stay Peaceful During the Holidays

Parties to attend, parties to plan, gifts to buy, and places to go. This time of year demands so much more energy and activity. Yet, I have to ask myself the question “Who and what are really the most important?” and then make sure I have enough time and energy to focus on these people and things.

But how?

In this year of economic turmoil, there is a key word that I think applies to the holidays as well – downsize. For example, this year, I have resolved to buy less gifts for less people. In years past, I have spent a LOT of TIME thinking about what a particular person would like. I don’t just pick up any old thing, and it takes thought to come up with a good gift.

Another resolve is to say no to activities that either are not holiday related or have little meaning to me. It’s a tough thing to say no to friends, but if they don’t understand that is not my problem. The holidays are very special to me and if an activity is something that can be done some other time, then I put it off.

Thirdly, I resolve to spend even more time with the Lord. Listening, praying and reading His Word are even more important when the heat turns up. “Oh, I wish I had more time to study” or “I wish I knew more scripture” are common complaints I hear from others. Well, guess what? Being connected to the Lord is a choice we have the power to make on a daily basis. It means putting spending time with Him a priority over everything else. And guess what else? I find that when I do make the time to spend in His presence, everything else becomes crystal clear.

So, dear one, what choices and changes will you make this holiday season? I encourage you to say no to activities that hold no real meaning for you. Write me and let me know your ideas for staying peaceful during the holidays and in the meantime, be thankful for all!

Holiday Busyness

It is November and the holidays are fast approaching. Planning the Thanksgiving menu, Xmas gift list, and deciding on which activities to say yes or no to. I am starting to feel that pressure; you know the “too much to do” pressure. I know I am not alone in this and I am determined to not let it get to me this year.

Which means, some things have to change. But first, and more importantly is understanding where this feeling is coming from. Is it perhaps from some fear of “doing everything right” which is closely related to that P word – perfectionism? I wonder. I don’t consider myself a perfectionist but I do like to do the best I can at whatever I do. Is this a problem? Perhaps.

When I start to have too many things on my mind so that I feel stressed and pressured, maybe I need to ask myself that question “What would Jesus do?” Would He want me feeling stressed and pressured by a never ending To Do List? I think not. Jesus came to save us from ourselves and our constant feelings on inadequacy by showing us how much He loves us by dying on the cross, right?

There is nothing I can do to be more loved by Him or anyone else for that matter. I think my sons would rather have a healthy calm mom and fewer presents under the tree, than a mother who gets stressed out, don’t you think? Of course, I am not minimizing the fact that there is a lot more to do around the holidays and the brunt of the work does fall on the woman of the house, but being the woman, I need to take charge of what I do and don’t do. And replace the pressure I feel with a sense of peace and serenity, knowing and trusting that God will work everything out just as it is supposed to be.

Next time, I’ll talk about what I am going to change this season and share practical tips on what to do to avoid holiday stress. Until then, keep calm and keep looking up!

Holiday Busyness

It is November and the holidays are fast approaching. Planning the Thanksgiving menu, Xmas gift list, and deciding on which activities to say yes or no to. I am starting to feel that pressure; you know the “too much to do” pressure. I know I am not alone in this and I am determined to not let it get to me this year.

Which means, some things have to change. But first, and more importantly is understanding where this feeling is coming from. Is it perhaps from some fear of “doing everything right” which is closely related to that P word – perfectionism? I wonder. I don’t consider myself a perfectionist but I do like to do the best I can at whatever I do. Is this a problem? Perhaps.

When I start to have too many things on my mind so that I feel stressed and pressured, maybe I need to ask myself that question “What would Jesus do?” Would He want me feeling stressed and pressured by a never ending To Do List? I think not. Jesus came to save us from ourselves and our constant feelings on inadequacy by showing us how much He loves us by dying on the cross, right?

There is nothing I can do to be more loved by Him or anyone else for that matter. I think my sons would rather have a healthy calm mom and fewer presents under the tree, than a mother who gets stressed out, don’t you think? Of course, I am not minimizing the fact that there is a lot more to do around the holidays and the brunt of the work does fall on the woman of the house, but being the woman, I need to take charge of what I do and don’t do. And replace the pressure I feel with a sense of peace and serenity, knowing and trusting that God will work everything out just as it is supposed to be.

Next time, I’ll talk about what I am going to change this season and share practical tips on what to do to avoid holiday stress. Until then, keep calm and keep looking up!

Grateful for My Past

Now that another birthday has come and gone, I am more aware of how my past has shaped me into the person I have become. I realize that I am not only on a journey to faith, but also on a journey to healing. Neither path has been particularly easy unfortunately. But I am bound and determined to be as healthy as I can be and to help others on their journey as well.

I would dare venture to say that many of us have had unhappy, painful experiences in our past. In my case, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an abusive alcoholic father. I learned many unhealthy ways of coping as a child which I have carried into my adult life. Slowly, I am learning to reprogram my thinking as I become more aware of the unconscious thoughts that cause me to react in a certain way.

During this month, I am choosing to be thankful for my past, my parents, and all those who have hurt me in some way. They have all been teachers sent to heal my soul and to teach me better ways of thinking and living.

I know this post is a bit deeper than most, but this is what has been on my mind today. As you reflect on your past, is there any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger? If so, I encourage you this season to feel those feelings and then let them go. Replace them with the positive energies of love and forgiveness and then choose to be thankful for where you are today. “God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

Grateful for My Past

Now that another birthday has come and gone, I am more aware of how my past has shaped me into the person I have become. I realize that I am not only on a journey to faith, but also on a journey to healing. Neither path has been particularly easy unfortunately. But I am bound and determined to be as healthy as I can be and to help others on their journey as well.

I would dare venture to say that many of us have had unhappy, painful experiences in our past. In my case, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an abusive alcoholic father. I learned many unhealthy ways of coping as a child which I have carried into my adult life. Slowly, I am learning to reprogram my thinking as I become more aware of the unconscious thoughts that cause me to react in a certain way.

During this month, I am choosing to be thankful for my past, my parents, and all those who have hurt me in some way. They have all been teachers sent to heal my soul and to teach me better ways of thinking and living.

I know this post is a bit deeper than most, but this is what has been on my mind today. As you reflect on your past, is there any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger? If so, I encourage you this season to feel those feelings and then let them go. Replace them with the positive energies of love and forgiveness and then choose to be thankful for where you are today. “God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

Be Thankful!

November is here and it is the month of Thanksgiving. I love this month for several reasons: it is my birthday month,the trees are so beautiful, and I love celebrating Thanksgiving.

I like to dedicate the entire month to focusing on gratitude. A tradition I started at my house many years ago was to put out a small basket with a pad of paper and a pen next to it. The basket is known as the “Blessing Basket”. Each day each member of the household and whoever comes into the home is to write down one thing for which they are grateful for and put it in the basket. It can be anything, but the idea is to focus on the many blessings in our lives. Then on Thanksgiving Day, we read all the slips of paper. They are anonymous of course, but it really makes us realize how much we have been given.

I know I have much to be thankful for: a lovely home, two wonderful sons, a good job, restored health, and good friends. I am also thankful for the intangibles in my life: the fact that I have an intimate relationship with Jesus and the fact that I have been given so many gifts such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and faith.

What do you have to be thankful for, dear one? Start each day giving thanks. Learn to develop an “attitude of gratitude” and you will see how your outlook on life changes. So when your next challenge comes up, perhaps you can look at it from a new perspective.

Be Thankful!

November is here and it is the month of Thanksgiving. I love this month for several reasons: it is my birthday month,the trees are so beautiful, and I love celebrating Thanksgiving.

I like to dedicate the entire month to focusing on gratitude. A tradition I started at my house many years ago was to put out a small basket with a pad of paper and a pen next to it. The basket is known as the “Blessing Basket”. Each day each member of the household and whoever comes into the home is to write down one thing for which they are grateful for and put it in the basket. It can be anything, but the idea is to focus on the many blessings in our lives. Then on Thanksgiving Day, we read all the slips of paper. They are anonymous of course, but it really makes us realize how much we have been given.

I know I have much to be thankful for: a lovely home, two wonderful sons, a good job, restored health, and good friends. I am also thankful for the intangibles in my life: the fact that I have an intimate relationship with Jesus and the fact that I have been given so many gifts such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and faith.

What do you have to be thankful for, dear one? Start each day giving thanks. Learn to develop an “attitude of gratitude” and you will see how your outlook on life changes. So when your next challenge comes up, perhaps you can look at it from a new perspective.