An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

By Steve Downs

I love the Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s the one true American holiday where we are supposed to slow down, spend quality time with family and friends, and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for in our lives.

I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving Holidays in the past.  I remember the smells of the turkey feast being prepared, the huge array of foods that we only enjoy on this special day, enjoying quality time with family and friends, watching football and taking a nap halfway through the game, indulging in all the amazing deserts prepared for this holiday, soaking in the crisp fall air and letting my eyes take in all the multi-colors as the leaves change.  It’s the one holiday that isn’t commercialized – no gifts to buy – no places to have to go to – no jingles to sing – just being thankful and enjoying family and friends.

Unfortunately, over the years, especially in the last several years, the importance and special meaning of this day have been eroded.  I call it the “forgotten holiday”.  It has become just another couple of days that we get off from work and most of the focus is placed on “Black Friday” shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  

So, this year I have intentionally slowed down and committed to having an attitude of gratitude.  I am doing this by counting my blessings and expressing gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord.  I am looking up – looking around – looking within – and just saying “Thank You, Lord.”  I am intentionally attempting to put on an attitude of joy and gratitude and maybe some of these thoughts below will encourage you to do the same this Thanksgiving.

Looking Up – Thank you Lord:
  • For your sovereign control over all the circumstances in my life
  • For your constant faithfulness in everything I go through
  • For your unending love that always holds me close
  • For your compassion and care as we face difficulties, heartaches, and struggles
  • For your grace that removes all my guilt and shame
  • For the fact you are a Promise Keeper
  • For the truth that you are always for me and are working all things out for the good
  • For your Word that always guides and strengthens me

Looking Around – Thank you Lord:
  • For my beautiful wife and the family you have blessed me with
  • For the church family that is so encouraging and filled with so many gifted, loving people
  • For the privilege of growing up and living in the amazing country I live in
  • For the heritage and legacy you have blessed me with
  • For the gift of serving as an Ambassador of Jesus Christ
  • For the opportunity to disciple, help, and support others
  • For meeting all my needs fully and completely all the time

Looking Within – Thank you Lord:
  • For eyes to soak in the beauty of your creation
  • For ears to hear the sounds that surround me
  • For the senses of touch, taste, and smell that open a whole world to me
  • For hands that work and legs that walk
  • For a mind that is creative and competent
  • For memories of the past and of recent accomplishments
  • For a sense of humor that can bring healing to my soul
  • For the freedom that comes from knowing with confidence that my sins are all forgiven
  • For the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, strengthen, and give me hope
  • For knowing with confidence that my name is written in heaven
  • For the sheer delight in knowing and walking with you on a moment-by-moment basis

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  Once you start counting your blessings, it changes your whole perspective.

As you enjoy Thanksgiving this year, I hope you will join me and slow down, count your blessings (by looking up – looking around – looking within) and express to the Lord and all those around you an attitude of gratitude and joy.

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