On this week’s homeschool podcast I’d like to introduce to you our newest team member and writer, Nikisha Ware. I decided to read aloud her encouraging post for this week’s Thanksgiving-themed podcast. I pray that you’ll be encouraged.
The following was written by guest blogger, Nikisha Ware of http://www.successtory.org/.
I confess that Thanksgiving used to be my least favorite holiday. A distant fifth behind Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and New Year’s. As a child, I can remember hearing the story of Native Americans and pilgrims enjoying a lovely feast together. But, the story never resonated with me.
But now, it’s more than just a wonderful mealtime. Thanksgiving is now a time to remember, review, and refocus. It is a time to tell God thanks for giving new life. It is a time to tell our friends and families thanks for giving us the opportunity to serve. It is also a time to tell our children thanks for giving us a legacy of service.
One of my favorite praise and worship tunes is 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord). When I sing this song at church, my hands automatically raise. This song says it all. So whenever the holiday season gets frenzied and you’re tempted to use your outside voice, remember there are literally thousands of reasons to be grateful and to give thanks.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies
never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
As a child, I believe Thanksgiving was my least favorite because it wasn’t associated with any gift-giving. I know awful, right? I have come to appreciate the gift of service and to understand that giving with a grateful heart is my offering to God. Mark 10:45 reminds us that Jesus came to serve, not be served. So becoming more like Him involves asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of disobedience, self-sufficiency, a growing self-righteousness, or a growing self-confidence, outside the bounds of what God would have us walk in, that would hinder us from giving freely, joyfully, and without expecting anything in return. Whew! Only with God is this possible.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to count your blessings and give thanks to others. Researchers link an attitude of gratitude to greater success and better health. Most of us are aware of this, but still struggle and need to be reminded of how fortunate we are. Counting our blessings is great, but it doesn’t help the people begging for spare change to buy food, get a job or feel cherished. To appreciate what we have is good, but more than that, we need to give back. My family is re-focusing on what it means to be thankful this holiday season. I never want our children to count their blessings in lieu of reaching out. We decided it’s not the season to gloat over our gifts and mumble a few grateful prayers. As we look for ways to serve the people in our community, we intend to turn our gratitude into action and pass the hope we have been given in Christ to others.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow
I will give it”—when you have it with you. Proverbs 3:28
I challenge you this Thanksgiving to stand with me and my family in remembering, reviewing, and refocusing on God’s blessings, our offerings to others, and how we can better show Christ to the world.