November is a time during which we stop to enjoy all the things for which we feel especially grateful. This may include things such as our families and pets, cars or other materialistic items and, most importantly, faith. But how often are thoughts of this nature from a prideful heart rather than a heart of sincere thanksgiving?
Here are some ways to show your sincere appreciation and thankfulness this holiday season:
1. Reflect. Take time to write down things for which you’re thankful. Consider people, experiences and other factors that have shaped you. Think of the things you take for granted like food, a bed, talents and abilities you’ve been given. Reflect on the importance of these things and show gratitude to the One from whom all blessings are given.
2. Be real. Don’t simply post on Facebook or social media about how grateful you are for things. If you’re thankful for specific people, take the time out of your day to call or text them and share with them why you’re thankful for their presence in your life.
3. Volunteer. There are many opportunities this time of year to participate in a food drive, Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child or similar charitable project. Give of your time and/or money because you realize how truly blessed you are by what you’ve been given.
4. Be intentional. Giving of yourself means so much more than a shout-out on social media. Drive to your grandparents to spend a weekend with them. Babysit for a friend who needs a night out with his or her spouse. Go to lunch with an elderly person – he or she will appreciate your time and interest and you’ll leave with a little more wisdom about life. Invest in people and realize how blessed you are by the people in your life.
Giving thanks isn’t just for November. Make it a point to do these things more than just once a year. It’s easy to show gratitude and serve when everyone around us is doing the same, but we should be intentional to do all of this year round. Everyone needs a friendly smile, a helping hand or a kind word every now and then and you can be the person to offer that. Reflecting on our blessings also gives us refreshed perspective and a sometimes-needed attitude adjustment. I encourage you to take time to think and act on each of these things and I think you’ll find that you reap the most benefit.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and take time to reflect on the many blessings God has given you – especially grace and salvation.
— Whitney Hooper, assistant director of admission, extension centers