Costco chaos, Fred Meyer frenzy and madness at the local mall is just another reminder to me of what I have dubbed as UnThanksgiving. Not to sound “unholidayish,” but the craziness and the rush is starting to create an anxiety level in me that does not lend itself to being grateful for tomorrow or the next 27 days 6 hours 49 minutes and 52 seconds left until Christmas arrives. Thanksgiving is a noble holiday in which President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” You can read the proclamation at the end of my blog post. It is quite moving.
The rush paralyzes and holds my productivity captive
No praise is found on my tongue only cranky thoughts and phrases.
I get an aversion to doing anything to move ahead for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
It robs my joy and I start complaining and become “unthankful.”
That’s what is happening on the inside although only those closest to me would know that my outside face doesn’t match what’s brewing underneath. I know it’s getting bad when I start to leak on strangers oozing unthankfulness. I am trying to live more honest and tell myself the truth. I want with my whole heart to be more grateful in the midst of the chaos.
I’ve learned something however rather significant this past week about gratitude from a course I’ve been taking by Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection. Let me see if I can summarize briefly how it has impacted me. I don’t always feel grateful, and so practicing gratitude is the key to joy being released in my life. It is the cornerstone of cultivating thankfulness in my heart and spirit, it is contagious! This has helped me so much and has created a pathway to understand more of what gratefulness actually looks like. Because I am more aware, even today, I had a stunning moment when an eagle flew so close outside the window carrying reeds of grass to build her nest. It was magnificent and I was in awe. It was a moment that caused me to worship! I realized that my “awe” was cultivating gratitude.
What I’m learning is that It’s not about capturing gratefulness in the big events in life, it really is about the little things.The little things that lead up to the big things. To keep my awareness moving ahead I’ve decided that I am going to create a Thanksgiving Manifesto to defeat my “unthanksgiving” attitude. I know I am not alone in this, will you take a few moments and write your own manifesto in your journal and then share it with me? I’d love to hear!
MY THANKSGIVING MANIFESTO
I am reclaiming gratitude in my life. I will no longer allow circumstances, disappointments and sadness over things I can’t change to rob my joy. I choose to practice gratitude daily even if I don’t “feel” like it. I will embrace the gift of confessing the incredible blessings that come to me from the moment I open my eyes each morning to the time I lay my tired head on my pillow each night.
I choose to proclaim the creed of thankfulness from God’s word;
“I will come into His presence with thankfulness (Ps. 95:2)
And I will “Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps. 100:1-5).
In all that I do, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col.3:17)
This is my manifesto of thanks so I can flourish and restore my joy and peace in the midst of all that would speak otherwise!
ABRAHAM LINCOLN PROCLAMATION
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State