The Power of an Attitude of Gratitude

For decades now, I’ve been captivated by the untapped wealth concealed in a simple holiday now almost buried by the commercial presence of Christmas. (Somehow the irony of one day of thanks being overtaken by, well, mass consumption on ‘black’ Friday—even admittedly for the sake of others—makes me chuckle, or occasionally worse. But I digress.)

I think perhaps one of the reasons that this vital little holiday continually catches my eye is gratitude links to so many traits in life—in character, yes, but in especially in knowing God. I see now how thankfulness is thickly twined with trust. Contentment. Joy. Peace. Praise. And simply, godward eyes. Henry Ward Beecher’s quote challenges me: “The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” My focus on Thanksgiving has now in part become year-round, because it is a retraining of my eyes to see in new ways.

So I’m compelled to nestle that atmosphere deep in my home. If the eye is the “lamp of the body”, filling our whole body with light—I want people to see that light in my home: in its atmosphere, its conversation, and its faith, when thankfulness trumps doubt over what can’t be seen. Thanksgiving, with capital “T” and lowercase, changes me. And as an environment, it changes families.

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