Monday, November 23, 2009

A Life Of Thanksgiving

I'm stealing this idea from a friend because it's something I need in my life right now.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of my favorites...food, football, family, friends and lots of fun. But, originally, it was meant to be a day to pause and give authentic thanks to God. Unfortunately, for many, including myself, thanksgiving is more of a one-day holiday that a way of life. I don't know about you, but I've been blessed beyond comprehension, and even in the unwelcome moments of life, I have so much to be thankful for.

What would it look like if I ONLY spoke words of gratitude the entire week of Thanksgiving? If I went so far as to look at a pile of laundered clothes that awaits my folding and putting up, a task I normally hate, and instead think and speak out loud, “God, thank you for these clothes, for providing covering.” When my daughter voicing her grumpiness, “God, thank you that she has a voice that works and you are shaping her own unique personality.” If every time next week I see a person, I tell them why I am thankful to God they are in my life.

So, starting this Monday morning and going through this Sunday evening, I'm challenging myself to live an entire week full of thanksgiving.

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
(Ephesians 5:4 ESV)

Anytime I'm tempted to think/say/do something negative (filthy, foolish, crude or otherwise unthankfull), I will instead choose, in that very moment, to give thanks to God for His blessing in my life.

If you'd like to join me, please leave a comment saying so AND repost this (in our own words, if you'd like...no need to link me) on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc. and challenge your friends to do the same. Even if you're not reading this until after Monday morning, it's never too late to take up a good challenge. And, keep in mind that nobody who takes this challenge is going to make it an entire week without missing the mark...so, when that happens to you, just pick yourself back up and start again!

Thanks!

Nate

51 comments:

YoungNaNa said...

Thanks for the challenge. Happy Thanksgiving to your family!

Christi said...

What a great challenge -- I'm definitely in.

Tamera said...

Thanks for the challenge. Perhaps if I could do this for 21 days, it would become a habit of gratitude!!

BrunetteKoala said...

this is a fabulous idea...um...now...just let me delete half my grumpy tweets from today alone....

Stephanie L. said...

I'll give it a go. I love having a clean house, but I hate cleaning. A while back I started sort of praying out loud as I cleaned. Something like, "Thank you Lord for giving me a house to clean, and healthy arms to scrub my bathroom with." I don't always remember to do it, but when I do, chores sure go by easier.

Jenn said...

Hi Nate!!
Wanted you to know that I am taking on the challenge and also challenging my girls this morning during a women's ministry meeting!! "Thank you God for Nate and his beautiful family. Continue to bless them over and over."

Kerry said...

what a great idea. I like it. I'm going to do it - sick kid and all :-)

Stephanie said...

I was so thankful I opened up your blog this morning...my newborn son woke me up at 5 am and didn't want to go back to sleep. Instead of being annoyed, I opened up my bible and took the time to study His word. Then, I saw your post and realized I could even THANK Him for waking me up early, because I had the opportunity to begin my day in His word. I posted about your challenge on my blog too - http://tjsmhanesfamily.blogspot.com/2009/11/life-of-thanksgiving.html - and hope it becomes a habit to thank Him in EVERYthing!

Amy E. said...

I love this! I'm in. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Candy said...

I posted something very similar on my own blog about 5 mins ago! I will join in on this challenge (I didn't have that part in there) for this week and hopefully beyond. Hope Tricia is well, Nate!

mandie said...

i am most definitely in :)

Sarah H. said...

Awesome, I'm in! Today I'm thankful for a 3 day work week!

Tara said...

What a great idea! I will be joining you.

Josh and Kelly said...

I'm in!

shoutingforha said...

I really love this idea.

Elena said...

I am totally in. This is a great Idea. I truly believe that we all need to be more thankful in our daily lives.

Tara said...

I am in.... Starting with Thanking God for this blog post! =)

Kathy said...

What a wonderful idea! Count me in. Perhaps we'll all develop a new attitude of gratitude. Thanks for your blog, I enjoy it and it inspires me. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. kathy

Anonymous said...

I'm up for the challenge!

Megan said...

JUST what I needed. Thank you!

lindsay michele said...

Since you live with a CFer I thought you might appreciate this... I ate at quite the greasy spoon yesterday for lunch and apparently did not take enough enzymes because this morning the toilet and I are good friends. But as I was sitting there in uncomfortable pain, all I could think was, "well Nate's trying to be thankful for everything this week, so... Thank you Lord that You saw fit to have me work from home so that on days like this I could have my very own bathroom!" As much as I joke, it truly is a blessing when a CFer can have their own private bathroom!

Barb said...

Great idea ... I've revised it a bit and posted on my blog. Thanks, and have a blessed, thankful Thanksgiving!
http://halfdozn.blogspot.com/

-stephanie- said...

Love it, I'm in. Hopefully this can become a habit for the rest of my life.

Just Me - MJ said...

What a great idea & wonderful inspiration. In addition to Thanksgiving this week, today is our son's birthday - and he's quite the miracle himself (preemie after infertility, complicated pg, multiple severe illnesses during his 1st year of life). By anyone's count, he should not be here - but he is, and he's happy, predominantly healthy, and adds immeasurable joy to our lives. What a wonderful week to celebrate and give thanks! Thank you for the idea, Nate! And Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

Abby said...

thanks nate for that challenge.. I was very excited to add it to my blog for others to do also! something I needed this week!

Masto Mama said...

This challenge made me teary eyed--I'm in! What an awesome way to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Debs said...

Great Idea! Just as we should celebrate Christ everyday not just on Christmas, we should not reserve our thankfulness for one day a year.
Any time we complain or are generally ungrateful, we are disrestful towards God who either placed us where we are, or allowed us to be there.

~j~ said...

I think this challenge and it will be a challenge is so awesome, thanks for the suggestion, the commissioning and the perfect timing of this post.
j

JUST A MOM said...

HAVE A NICE THANKSGIVING.

Tracey said...

What a wonderful thing to do! I'm in and recruited my husband as well! Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Being a Nonny said...

I will have an attitude of gratitude and begin this today! Thanks!

Renee said...

I love a good challenge! I am definitely in. What a great thing to do.

Rebecca Meyers said...

I'm in! Thanks for the wonderful wake up call!

Andrea said...

Thanks for the challenge. I posted about it on my blog today and linked to this post, I hope that is okay:
http://andrea-andbabymakes6.blogspot.com/2009/11/week-of-thanksgiving.html

Laura said...

great idea. the 2 day work week may make this a bit easier.

Alison said...

I was given a similar challenge by a friend on Facebook. I started this task 2 weeks ago and write what I am thankful for each day. I have found it easy to think of something I am thankful for daily, and it is also starts the day out on a positive note. Good luck on your challenge, I look to forward to reading it daily. This morning matter of fact, I had a friend say how much she enjoyed reading my thankful posts!!

Anonymous said...

I love this....and will take the challenge. I have sent it out to loved ones and friends (who are loved ones too). Thanks! I wish all good things for you.

Emily said...

This a great idea! What an awesome way to look at things....
I'm thankful that I have food to put in the dishes that I wash!
Prayers,
Emily

Kerry said...

I'm up for the challenge--- As I think about it, it's really how I want to live all of my life, but I like the idea of setting aside a time to be very aware of what we say and do?? I'm convicted already LOL-- thanks for passing it along, Nate! I will put it on my blog too!

Prayers for Tricia too,
K

Brody's Mom said...

I'm going to give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing challenge. Thank you for sharing and posting it. Today is the first day to live INTENTIONALLY in Gratitude and Thanksgiving to our Lord our Savior. I read you blog everyday, but do not really have a blog of my own.....Grad School sort of got in the way. But your outlook on life makes me smile EACH and everyday. I am so honored to be able to read your blog and share in the blessings your life has bestowed upon you all.
Angelica Barron-Gutierrez (FB name and where you can find me. Don't remember my google account name. :(

Anonymous said...

Don't have a blog or facebook page to post it on, but I really do think this is a wonderful challenge. I will be trying my best all this week to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. ~Bethany

Kate said...

please check this blog out! the30dayjourneyforhope.blogspot.com

Lisa L said...

A beautiful and loving thought. I have a life full of misgivings..but I will not focus on them. I will focus only on the positives...thank you for the idea. Love your blog...

Anonymous said...

Your blog was frwd. to me from a CF dietian....I am the wife of a CF spouse....Lately the fight against this has had me feeling so hopeless...I have posted to the CF forum my thoughts, in hopes someone would respond...but no one has....so reading this has helped me in....I am so grateful to have read this...I wish you and your family all the best....I wish to start my own....Bless You..

Sharon

Anonymous said...

Can you update on Trish? We pray for her often and the last we heard was that she was at Duke. If you don't mind, we'd love to know if she's home or how she's doing.
Thanks so much! You have a beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that my friend.. i love it and will do this..

CFHusband said...

Tricia is home and doing very well.

Alicia said...

I needed to hear this. Thank you.

Karen said...

This is a very good thing, Nate. As usual you are always up to something transformational.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I've been reading similar sentiments A LOT this last week (more so than in Thanksgivings past...I think Someone's trying to tell me something...). :)

As my pastor reminded us in church recently, sometimes we need to focus more on the One we're thankful to, as opposed to what we're thankful for.

--KJ in Vancouver, WA