Are you in a rush to get into the Christmas Spirit? Before we start decorating our trees, let’s not forget to take time to be thankful and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday first. For the next week, I will be posting some ideas to help you remember to stop and take time to be grateful to God and others! This is a repost of a blog I wrote last November. I have started my Thanksgiving notes. Why don’t you take some time today or this weekend to do the same?
On a stormy June day in 2006 I sat with several hundred people at the unexpected funeral of my uncle, Bob Case. At one point during the moving service, my cousin’s husband rose to read several letters written by my cousins to their step father. Each letter shared memories and love to this incredible man. As I sat listening, I thought of my own memories of my uncle and how I never would be able to tell him “thank you” for spending time with me, for taking me fishing, for letting me drive his golf cart, and for many more happy times spent together.
At this moment I decided that I did not want to sit at another funeral for a family member or friend having refused an opportunity to tell that individual what they meant to me. And the Thanksgiving Thank You idea was born.
Each year I try to choose one or more people who have influenced my life and write them a handwritten note expressing my gratefulness. My goal is to share specific examples of how this person encouraged me in some way. Sometimes these letters are quite lengthy as I try to express gratefulness. I usually try to choose someone that I normally might overlook during a holiday or birthday. Meaning, it’s normal for me to communicate with my grandparents to share love and thankfulness, but I rarely pick up the phone to tell my youth pastor from eighth grade how grateful I am that he taught me the Word of God without wavering.
I challenge you to do the same! Pray and ask the Lord to share with you someone who has influenced you to be the person you are today. Write them a personal note, address it, and mail it before Thanksgiving. Sit down with your kids, and ask them who they would like to color a picture for or write a letter to as well. Perhaps choose someone as a family.
Here are some ideas:
- College Professor
- High School Teacher
- Youth Group worker/leader
- Childhood Sunday School Teacher
- Mentor you haven’t talked to in years
- Extended Relative
Remember, our lives are influenced constantly by those around us. Take the time to give back to someone who has molded you into the person you are today. You never know when it will be too late to say “thank you.”