It's that time of the year when people seem to become a bit more intentional about counting their blessings and naming things they're thankful for. A time when people gather together from near and far to share a special meal around the table. A time when people google things like "how to cook a turkey" and "watch macy's parade online" (No? Am I the only one?).

Maybe it's the time of year, or maybe it's a response to the chaos of life the past few months, but I find myself needing to take a step back, needing to create space for thankfulness. Eugene Peterson said it best:

"We stop, whether by choice or through circumstance, so that we can be alert and attentive and receptive to what God is doing in and for us, in and for others, on the way. We wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies." -Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way

Silly Faces

Sometimes, we need to take time to make silly faces.  It’s important.  In the midst of those days that overwhelm you, those not-so-fun grown-up to-do lists (how many more hyphens can I add to one sentence?!), and those times when life feels way too serious, remember what it feels like to be silly and laugh at yourself.

It started out innocently enough – just trying to take a nice picture together for the background on Steve’s phone.  Obviously, one of us was feeling a little silly that day.  This is now one of my favorite pictures because it makes me laugh every time I look at it.  It reminds me to not take life too seriously, to let go of the things that don’t matter, to laugh often, and to be thankfulWe took another silly picture for my phone background so I can remind myself of these things throughout each day.  The result:

Yes, take time to be silly.

Actions Speak

"Actions speak louder than words." I think we often pause to "think before we speak" (at least we try to) but are we as careful and intentional with our actions? If our actions truly speak louder than words, then what kind of message are we sharing with those we encounter? What kind of impression are we leaving behind?

In this week leading up to Thanksgiving, everyone seems to be talking about counting their blessings, living a grateful life, and ways to give back to the community. The church is in full stewardship swing, the grocery store is doing a food drive for the local food pantry, and Christmas organizations are already asking for donations for those in need (as an aside, does anyone else think Christmas is coming a bit early this year?).

I think it's wonderful that people recognize Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful and reflect on God's abundant faithfulness but aren't these things we should strive for every day of the year? I want to count my blessings multiple times a day. I want to live a grateful life every day of the week. Every time that there is an opportunity, I want to give what I can to help those who are less fortunate. Actions speak louder than words. How will you show your thankfulness this week and in the weeks to come?