Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Celebration!

Celebrate Thanksgiving!
Life is not easy and often life is extremely difficult. However, even in the best of times many of us dwell on the negative side of things and fail to notice the positive side.  We take many of life’s joys and pleasures for granted. We fail to notice the positive moments paralleling our negative ones.
Luci Swindoll in her book You Bring The Confetti, God Brings The Joy, challenges us to celebrate life. She literally means we should throw a party at every opportunity and celebrate. She views life as “a festival to be enjoyed rather than a drudgery to be endured.” 
She tells of having to leave her office on an errand on a dreary day when she was out of sorts. She asked God to send her a “perk,” something to cheer her up.  Just then she turned a corner and saw in the cab of a pickup truck, two clowns decked out in red wigs and painted faces. They smiled toothless smiles at her as she drove by. All day long this incident lifted her spirits as she thought about it.
She suggests that life is full of unrecognized “perks” ready to bring us joy. But we need to notice them and celebrate them, not take them for granted or miss them.
Here are some ways this Thanksgiving we can celebrate and be optimistic:
Celebrate Now
Learn to live in the present and savor each moment. We must learn to notice some of the enjoyable experiences today brings. We can’t do this if we’re pessimistic. We can’t do this if we’re dwelling on regrets or resentments in the past or if we’re worrying about the future. We must be fully present in the now. Even in the midst of trouble we can notice the laughter of a child or the smile of a friend.
Celebrate Friends and Family
Think of those who have loved you and helped you throughout your life. Think of the people who have influenced you and made a difference in your life. Reach out to the people currently in your life and let them know you appreciate them. Celebrate them!  Remember, no one is perfect, think of the positive qualities of the people in your life. 
Celebrate Accomplishments
Most of us dwell on our failures and mistakes. We forget the successes big and small that we’ve had. Make a list of the things you’ve accomplished in life. Remember finding jobs, and job promotions. Remember paying off debts, learning a new skill, climbing a mountain. Remember difficult challenges you’ve met, illnesses you’ve survived. Remember the love you've given to others. The list can be endless. 
Celebrate Beauty
There is amazing beauty in a glorious sunset, in a starlit sky, in a rose garden or in a single rose. Beauty is also found in the words of a song or poem that inspires and in music that lifts our heart and soul. There is beauty in every day. We must not take it for granted.

Celebrate God
When we count our blessings we feel like celebrating. When we’re grateful for the blessings in our life, our troubles are minimized. When we notice God’s kindness and faithfulness, all else seems less important. Luci Swindoll says, “Let’s throw a party in celebration of the God who brings us joy!” That’s the way our Thanksgiving holiday began and that’s what it’s all about. Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving!

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100

Blessings, Dottie

This didn't go out prior to Thanksgiving! I hope readers enjoy it and give thanks, count your blessings through all the holidays.

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