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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mitchell

Turkeys and Trees and Lists

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me bless His holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits."

Psalm 103:1&2

I forget his benefits all the time.

I forget that mercy and grace are not my rights.

They are a gift.

Why are the most important things the ones that I forget so easily?

I’m reminding myself in this season of lists…Grocery lists, Christmas lists, New Year’s Resolution lists…that what will actually bring joy is to make a list of the things I already have. Especially the things that cannot be taken from me like forgiveness and love. The best things in life aren’t really tangible.

This year I’m revisiting the habit of counting my blessings.

While Christmas looms on the horizon I refuse to miss Thanksgiving. I am a firm believer in one holiday at a time. Don’t hate me for this. I love Christmas and have been known to leave my dying Christmas tree us as long as possible into January because I don’t want it to be over. I’m going to try to mesh the Holiday season this year and carry my Thanksgiving right into Christmas and New Years by celebrating thankfulness in each moment I get. When I choose to bless God with my recognition of His gifts it helps me remember, not just who He is, but who I really am – a beloved child.

The idea that doing this, recognizing and remembering, blesses God is really amazing. The idea that I can choose to bless God, to bring Him joy…let that sink in.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,

and he prepares the way so that

I may show him the salvation of God.”

Psalm 50:23 NIV

Our thanksgiving can be an offering, a sacrifice when we recognize God in the things we didn’t or wouldn’t choose. When we choose to thank Him, to recognize His hand in the hard things it’s a gateway to seeing more of Him. It “prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God”; God’s salvation is Jesus. When we recognize Him in the hard things, we get to see more of Him, God reveals more of Him. I want that more.

So, on this Monday before Thanksgiving lets purpose to recognize God in our day and to bless Him with our remembrance. I’m revisiting the habit of keeping a list of blessings, an idea I got from Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts. I dare you to join me and let thanks color your holiday season until it is vibrantly alive with blessings that you forget in an mundane day and transform your ordinary everyday life into Thanksgiving without all the calories.

I dare you to see how many gifts from God you can list.

#1 the internet which gets me into my reader's homes.

#2 God's word to remind me of His benefits.

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