I’m writing from 30,000 feet in the air. I’m on my way home. For Thanksgiving. A few moments ago I looked over at my daughter sitting on my left, and my husband sitting next to her, and spontaneous breathed out a whispered prayer, “thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you”. I was surprised by the lilt in my spirit verbalizing my gratitude had on my soul. It made me realize anew something we all know but sometimes forget: Thankfulness changes things.
Thankfulness changes attitudes. It changes relationships. It changes atmospheres. It changes outlooks. It changes individuals. It changes groups. It changes families. It changes me.
Thankfulness has the power to change everything.
Thanksgiving week starts a season filled with family, friends, feasting and fun. But it also kicks off a season of added activities and responsibilities. During this time of year there’s just simply more of everything—the good and the bad. Expectations can run high and energy levels can run low. Feelings can soar in the morning but plummet by mid-afternoon. The house may be clean one minute and messy with food preparation and a house filled with guests the next. Busyness and loneliness often co-exist simultaneously, threatening to steal our joy.
But one thing, practiced, can keep all things in perspective: Thankfulness.
But for thankfulness to really change things (including you and me) it must be expressed. You have to say it.
Too many of us feel it but never say it. What good does that do?
Gratitude unexpressed is like pumpkin pie uneaten.
No one benefits from unexpressed gratitude. My parents don’t benefit from my gratitude for them if I never express it. My husband doesn’t benefit from my gratitude for him if I never tell him. My kids don’t get blessed if I never tell them how thankful I am for each of them. My friends, family and co-workers will never know I’m grateful they’re in my life if I don’t speak the words “I’m thankful for you”.
It’s not merely feeling thankful that changes relationships, attitudes and circumstances; it’s expressing it.
Maybe that’s why they call it “Giving Thanks”.
When our gratitude goes public our perspective goes positive.
So what are you thankful for this holiday season?
Will you say it? Even if, occasionally, you simply whisper a prayer of thanks when no one other than you and God can hear?
You might just find your thankfulness changes everything. Including you.