"Quit hanging on to the handrails... Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it everyday"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness

5 Ways to Get You Into a Thankfulness Mood

Tucked in between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving gets lost in the shuffle of the craziness of life.  It's hard to get excited about a holiday that doesn't have crazy costumes or presents and the Christmas season just keeps starting earlier and earlier.  I even saw Christmas stuff all mixed up with Halloween decorations this year.  Somehow nativity scenes standing next to witch and sorcerer costumes just strikes me as wrong.  It's too bad to because Thanksgiving is what a celebration should be.  Lots and lots of delicious food and talking about how thankful you are for the good things in your life.  I know the craziness that comes with the shopping, food preparation and cooking can be so stressful.  It seems like you just don't get a chance to sit and enjoy the day. 

My challenge to you is to figure out some way to sit and be still and be thankful for what you do have, sometime during this month.  Below is a list of 5 ideas to help you get started.  Not all of these are the sitting down kind of ideas because honestly I don't do that very well.  The idea though is to focus your thoughts on thankfulness and not stress.

1.  Bake something fun and easy or challenging if that is what makes you happy and listen to Christmas carols.  I know, I know we are trying to get away from the craziness of Christmas for a moment, but Christmas carols are typically either very light hearted and fun to listen to or very worshipful.  Pick a mood and a playlist that works for you and go ahead sing along out loud :).  The smells of the Thanksgiving season are always so yummy!

2.  Take a quick walk around your neighborhood or a state park.  Feel the crunch of leaves under your feet and enjoy the last few days of decent weather (for those of us who have to worry about this) before it gets cooold outside.  Be thankful for the beauty that surrounds you.

3.  Gather up your kids and/or grandkids and make thankfulness stones.  I have not done these yet but I keep wanting to.  I got the idea from this book or make a thankfulness tree.  This is a great way to get the whole family involved in being thankful and not obsessing about what they want for Christmas.  Parents magazine has some fun ideas too here.  The point is to do something fun and together as a family.

4.  Enjoy the few weeks of quietness before the Christmas season begins in full swing.  Enjoy the planning process of making a wonderful, yummy Thanksgiving for your family and/or friends.  Yes we know Thanksgiving itself is chaotic, so enjoy the before.  Bake or cook anything you can ahead of time, try a new recipe before the day so you can find out whether or not you like it.  Talk to family members for some of their special recipes and make sure to write them down now.  I know there are several recipes from my grandmothers that I would love to know how to make for my kids and neither I nor my mom wrote them down.

And my favorite idea....
5.  Start your own 30 Days of Thankfulness, where each day you write down, journal, text or whatever something you are thankful for.  Share it with your family and friends.  I saw beginning on November 1st (but you can start whenever, the idea is to focus on being thankful) through Facebook people starting to post what they are thankful for and I really LOVED the idea of that.  Of course me being me, I started to realize that most of the things that I am thankful for I have pictures of.  I then started attaching pictures of the things I am thankful for with my posts.  These pictures didn't have to be recent.  I am not trying to specifically take pictures of the things that I am thankful for because really do we need that added stress right now?  But I found that if I am thankful for them, I have taken pictures of them at some point in my life.  That's just the way I think.  Below is a sneak peek of them so far.  I am also posting them on my facebook page as well.

I hope one or maybe more of these ideas will be helpful to you during this "forgotten" month.

I am Thankful for...

Day 1 - A healthy, happy child
Day 2 - A husband who works hard to provide for us
Day 3 - That God has a plan and purpose for my life.  The road symbolizes that I am hopefully heading in the direction God wants me to.
Day 4 - A wood burning stove that makes my house warm and cozy so I can watch the Bears play.  The flames symbolize the wood stove and of course my Bears logo.
Day 5 - The ability to work a flexible, part time schedule.  The puppies are one of my jobs and one of the many reasons why it is nice to work flexible hours.
Day 6 - To live in a country where I can vote my beliefs without fear, so many places can't.  The flag of course symbolizes the USA.
 Day 7 - Awesome friends who call up to have coffee just because and especially when I needed it at that moment.
Day 8 - Frosty, crisp and beautiful mornings.
Day 9 - Great friends who I can hang out with, laugh like crazy and read the word together.
I hope you have a November full of thankfulness and blessings galore!!

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