More than Thanks.

I love Thanksgiving time. The colors of fall along with a cool breeze outside set the perfect stage for a day of thankfulness. To spend the day with family, taking a break from the monotony of everyday life, relaxing and enjoying home cooked food makes being thankful seem normal.

But if you’re anything like me, being thankful is far from normal. Oh, how I wish that an “attitude of gratitude” came easily to me, but it certainly does not. Yet each year as Thanksgiving time approaches, I resolve to be different. I resolve to be thankful all year ’round and to be more conscious of the numerous blessings in my life. Then New Years rolls around and I realize that somewhere in between compiling my Christmas wish list and opening a multitude of gifts, that whole “thankful heart” resolution somehow fell through the cracks. Oops.

This pattern seems to only repeat itself over and over again throughout the year. On days where something extraordinary comes my way, I shoot God an extra prayer of thankfulness. But on the days that seem just like all the rest, I’m nothing but a whiny, ungrateful sinner.

A quick glance at my Facebook news feed tells me that we live in a world full of whiny, ungrateful sinners. I see things like “the stupidity of people amazes me” or “my life stinks.” She complains about the weather, he complains about politics. And ironically, it’s only a matter of hours after Thanksgiving is over before people line the streets, ready to body slam the first person to obstruct their path to a brand new, slightly discounted blu- ray player. But it’s not just Facebook and Black Friday enthusiasts, it’s me, too.

I sit behind the wheel of my very own car, frustrated that it takes a good three minutes for the heat to kick in when it’s cold out. I get irritated when people don’t respond to my text messages in what I deem an appropriate amount of time. I groan over the thought of putting away my laundry or vacuuming my room. And here’s a good one- I complain every year on Thanksgiving Day about just how much I loathe Thanksgiving food.

I remember my pastor asking me several years ago what my favorite part of Thanksgiving was. Then, he specifically asked me if I enjoyed the food. I clearly remember the look of surprise on his face when I told him that “I HATE Thanksgiving food and all I had was a roll. And I don’t even really like bread.” Not one of my shining moments as a 12 year old.

This Thanksgiving my heart is burdened with a longing for true change in my life. Without a life that truly reflects a spirit of gratitude, our prayers of thanks are nothing but mere words. I’m face to face with the conviction that Jesus is asking for more than my words. He wants my heart. If Jesus has my heart, thankfulness should always follow.

This blog is titled “In Each Season” because the more I grow up, the more I realize that people and things change just as quickly as colors of the trees. Yet God’s goodness is not confined to a season, so neither should be our gratitude.

So it is this Thanksgiving that I sit in the warmth of my home, blogging from my Ipad, thankful for a car that runs, an iPhone to text from, dear friends to text, laundry to do, a room to clean, and yes- even dry thanksgiving turkey. And with my heart full and stomach fuller, I’m overcome with gratefulness for a sovereign King, for His provision, His protection, and for His pure and perfect love for His people.