Gratitude, Joy, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy

A Voskamp Thanksgiving and joy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Today, I had planned to share some tips for dealing with busyness for this holiday season.

I think it’s more important we take time and consider Thanksgiving. Both the holiday and the attitude. So, that  post will be up next week.

I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, and it’s a choice. When we choose thankfulness, joy is the result in our hearts. We see the good things God has placed in our lives. When we take the time and make the effort to say, “Thank you,”  we not only show Him appreciation, we build up a storehouse of joy within us.

It’s not always easy to choose thanksgiving in our circumstances. Some people have lost loved ones this year. Others are dealing with terminal illness. Divorce. Prodigal children. Heartbreak. Job loss. And perhaps the thought of “putting on a happy face” absolutely drains you.

Maybe, taking a few minutes to write down things you can be thankful for will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed. It won’t change your circumstances. But, choosing to give thanks will lift your heart, and begin letting joy back into those dark places.

D Bonhoeffer gratitude makes life rich1

As we Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of our country, may we also choose thankfulness in the midst of our circumstances.

What about you? What’s one thing you are thankful for right now? How can I pray for you over the next week?

I’ve linked up with Holly Barrett‘s and (for today) Angela Parlin’s sites this week. Check out some other wonderful blogs!

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21 thoughts on “Thanksgiving: Finding Joy”

  1. This is my favorite line in your post, “choosing to give thanks will lift your heart, and begin letting joy back into those dark places.” When we choose to do the right thing usually our emotions will follow-up and join us! Great reminder! Happy Thanksgiving Jeanne! I’m from the #RaRALinkup! Glad to meet you!
    ~Sherry Stahl

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    1. Hi Sherry, it’s so nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, sometimes we have to choose with our minds what we’re going to think, and the emotions follow along behind. Very good words here. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving also!!

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  2. I am thankful you stepped back and highlighted the importance of giving thanks! 🙂 There is such blessing for others when we show our gratitude. I am finding that I am also blessed in the process because we honor God when we pause to give thanks. I love doing this throughout my day and make sure that I give thanks for others hard work. Great words today!

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    1. Mary, you’re right. When we express gratitude, it blesses others, lets them know we appreciate and value them. Pausing to give thanks . . . another opportunity to be intentional, yes? Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂 Have a great Thanksgiving!

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  3. Yes, Nehemiah said it well: The joy of the Lord is our strength.
    I’ll keep his words and the Ann Voskamp quote close to heart during this busy season — and I’m thankful to have found your blog today!

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    1. Michelle, I love that verse (and the Twila Paris song that goes along these lines). So, if we practice gratitude, we’ll walk with joy. And if we have joy in the Lord, that will be our strength for each day—through the easier times and the harder times, yes? I’m so thankful you stopped by! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. Amy, beginning a relationship with Jesus is probably the best thing we can be thankful for! It is truly amazing how God opens our eyes to so much when the eyes of our hearts are opened up to who He is. Thank you for the reminder to never take this relationship for granted! Thank you for stopping by, and I hope your Thanksgiving is special!

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  4. I am thankful for the journey. The journey God allows us to travel with others and others travel with us. I’m continually learning it’s not just a race or one moment here or there but all of them together that make up this journey together and I’m grateful that God allows us to travel with Him and with others! We are not alone and that is good! Thank you for these encouraging words!

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    1. Rachel, I love what you shared here. Our journey isn’t a race, or random moments dropped into each day. It is all off them together that make up this journey. I’m with you—so thankful that He travels with us, and that He places people in our lives to walk alongside. Thanks for adding these thoughts to the conversation. 🙂

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  5. I’m thankful that Bea is old enough to start understanding holiday traditions. It’s been so fun doing our thankful tree this year and getting ready for our Jesse tree. Her excitement and observations have brought new depth to the season already!

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    1. Annie, it is fun when our children begin to understand and embrace holiday traditions. You are at such a fun stage of mothering. I haven’t been able to get my boys on board with the Jesse tree. Sigh. You’re starting at a good age for that. 🙂 Savor every moment with your girls. 🙂

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  6. Love this! I actually posted a list of things I am thankful for on my blog yesterday: My A-M list. I will post my N-Z list probably sometime later today. I love that quote from Ann Voskamp too. So so good!

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    1. I love that idea, Tara! I’ve toyed with a list of things I’m thankful for, and for having people add to it. I just haven’t done it. I’ll have to see what your list includes. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend!

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    1. Shelli, I’m so glad you’re headaches are becoming less frequent! I find it so difficult to function when I have one. I pray they’ll disappear altogether. I hope your Thanksgiving is extra-special!

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  7. Jeanne, Thank you for this wonderful encouragement to be thankful, and to list it out. I like what you said here–“Maybe, taking a few minutes to write down things you can be thankful for will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed.” I’ve found it to be true as well!

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    1. Angela, first of all, please forgive me for not responding sooner. Some things slipped this weekend. I so appreciate you stopping by. I try to find things each day to write on my own personal gift list. It is good to think thorough our days to see God’s gifts, even in the hardest days, right? I hope your Christmas season holds much joy!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! Time off, especially when you can be with your family, is definitely a great thing to be thankful for. 🙂 I hope your Christmas season holds many such moments. 🙂

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