“because a thankful heart is a happy heart”

With holidays come many different emotions. For many, there are a host of exciting expectations for the good things to come of the season. From food and family and gifts, it is often the youngest among us that capture the most joy for the festivities.

For others, most of us ‘grown-ups’, we can get caught up in the other side of all the expectations. We feel the pull to be everywhere for ‘all the things’. There are more stresses with these expectations; making sure all the gifts are bought and given, all the foods are cooked, all the traditions lived up to better than last year.. on and on.

Still others of us see the holidays as another place marker simply highlighting an already real and deep loss. Parents gone leave holes in traditions and events that you didn’t realize they filled. Some who have lost children, oh the searing pain that is ever present, piled with holiday reminders that they will never experience those traditions like they had hoped. Sometimes the cheer can only serve as reminders of pain.

Today I pray this year, this time of year, can help you remember the love that was shared. And look around you at the gift that you still have in your life and the loves that surround you.

You are deeply loved and cared for by an ever present, good God. Remember the things that draw joy into your heart. Write them down. We know that simply being thankful can improve mental health and happiness. There are loads of studies done on this!

Chose to look for the joy. You will find it. Be thankful, and choose to give. thanks + giving. Giving of your time, talent, and resources can give the most joy to your person than anything else. Make a meal for a friend. Donate toys or winter coats to a shelter. Backpacks to kids in need.

There are endless ways we can be thankful and ways we can give. This make us better, happier people, and it also makes the world a better and happier place.

What are you thankful for and how are you giving, this thanks + giving time of year?

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