Yesterday (November 14 if you're wondering), I took the girls to the mall to look for a couple of things. When we walked in through Barnes and Noble, there was Christmas music playing. When we got inside the mall, we saw Santa has already taken residency.

Love Christmas. Feel bad for Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love the idea of focusing on all the good things in our lives, and giving thanks to the One who provided it all.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving things is at our church back home. It's got a fancy name like the "Harvest Festival of Praise." I still call it the Thanksgiving Eve service. We've actually been going since before we had moved there, and it's always been one of our favorite things. It's a service with mostly music. Some kids, some families, some hymns. The saw*. Lots of pie afterward. What I love about it is that it helps me to slow down and refocus. Instead of thinking of all the things I have to do, I'm reminded why we're doing it.

I'm excited that we're able to go again this year even though we've moved. I feel incredibly blessed and thankful this year. And I think it's time to reclaim Thanksgiving. It's time to focus on what we've been given, and not take any of it for granted. I'm going to keep a list for myself and keep adding to it. Well beyond Thanksgiving.

Our pastor this morning talked about living with an attitude of gratitude. ThanksLiving. I love that idea. And I know when I am able to focus on all the things I'm thankful for, everything looks better. His scripture was in Luke 17, when Jesus healed the ten lepers, and only one came back to thank Him. I pray that I would not be so full of myself, that I would run off without a second thought. I pray that I would be thankful in everything, so that the only thing I could think of would be going back to the One who has blessed me. To shout His praise the whole way there. To fall at His feet. I pray that my faith will make me well.

*Edited to add: Burt actually plays a hymn of some sort on the saw every year (no Saw movies). It's quite impressive - and a favorite of a lot of the kids (and me). It's not Thanksgiving for me until Burt plays the saw.


Marylisa said...

Do you think you should share with the friends that someone plays the saw -- which is really quite a feat. There isn't any actual sawing or showing of the "The Saw" movie series.

StillH2o said...

Looking forward to ALL of our family AND the saw...

faith said...

I'd love to join you in dwelling on Thankgiving... to give it our full attention before we begin preparing for Christmas.

I pray that doing so will help me to focus on 'ThanksLiving' all through out December and into the new year. Your words were the boost I needed, Sarah! Thanks!

gretchen said...

This was absolutely beautiful! Last year, Jude brought home from kindergarten a little heart that he'd colored with the following quote on it "O Thou who has given us so much, Mercifully grant us one thing more, A Grateful Heart." - George Herbert. I just loved it, and it's been hanging in my kitchen ever since. I say it every day. I love the phrase Thanksliving.

And BTW, I'd love to hear some saw!