|Daddy & his girls with the Praise Jar.|
2) Thanksgiving floods the Bible. Read the Bible looking for verses on thanksgiving, or expressions of thankfulness and rejoicing, and you'll find that it is all over! The believer's heart should be a thankful heart!
3) The devil hates me (and every other believer). He hates all that we stand for and the very One within us! He is a liar, a murderer, a thief, an accuser, and a deceiver who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. If he could, he'd kill or destroy believers in a second. The obvious implication of that is then that every good thing in our life (every breath, every heart beat, every smile given, every smile received, every love felt, every love expressed, every laugh, every meal, every item of clothing, every healthy cell in our body, etc.) comes from God! No wonder James reminds us that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from our Father in Heaven (James 1:16–17). Looked at that way, that every tiny bit of goodness in our life is the Father intervening against the enemy's desire on our behalf, and we have so much to be thankful for!
Yesterday morning we did what for us is a Thanksgiving tradition we started some years back in an effort to keep God at the center of the day and our hearts. We call it our Praise Jar. During the year we endeavor to write, each night, praises of God's hand in our life that day (sometimes we miss weeks at a time, but it is still our desire). Then, at Thanksgiving, we spend the morning by the fire with hot drinks taking turns pulling a praise out and reading it. Two things strike me about it that I'd like to share with you:
1) You'd be amazed how many things God does for you that you thought, at the time, you'd never forget—and which, even a few months later, you realize you had forgotten!
2) You will find your faith shooting through the ceiling when you spend hours at one time reminding yourself of all the different ways God has blessed your life in the past year! I was stunned how many times over the last year we have seen a physical healing in our family after prayer, how many times we have been blessed by someone reaching out and helping us or giving something to us, how many times prayers have been answered, how many times God has taken care of needs or anxieties I have had that were just special "gifts" from Him to me, how many times He has loved us in our "love language"—just gifting us with something He knew was special to us, how He has met our every need, etc. Each of these, alone, are amazing when we realize the Creator of the universe has moved in our life in a visible way—but taken together, at one time, it is an incredible faith building and thanksgiving producing way to focus our hearts and joy! If you don't have some tradition like that (a Praise Jar, a journal, etc.), I encourage you to consider starting one. Preserving the testimony of God is a strong Biblical theme that not only builds faith, but gives God glory and speaks to generations to come (our heart is to make copies of all the praises in to books that each of our daughters will get when they leave home . . . they will take with them a record of years and years of God's hand on their family to then begin their own record as they begin their own families).