Happy Thanksgiving, PI Girls!
I love Thanksgiving, and ours is somewhat small. My parents are divorced and my dad has Thanksgiving with my aunts and grandmother, and my sisters live out of state, so that just leaves the three of us (my husband, my mom and me) together for Thanksgiving dinner. One of the best parts for me is that I get to do most of the cooking and I love to cook, so I’m always thankful for that, among many other things.
In the past, Thanksgiving made me think about what I’m thankful for. Of course, I’m still aware of the many blessings in my life, but this year I’ve been thinking a lot more about giving others a reason to be thankful. I’ve spent time with many students this year who don’t feel like they have much to be grateful for.
They understand the usual stuff—thankful to have a roof over their heads and food to eat—but how is that supposed to apply to a homeless student or a student experiencing some type of abuse? Are those things supposed to mean much to a person diagnosed with a terminal disease or a student whose parents just got divorced and whose mother just had her second stroke in four months? In the past six months, I’ve dealt with people experiencing each of these things.
People are losing hope and some just need something good to happen. People need a reason to be thankful, something to restore their hope.
Jesus and His disciples didn’t just give people some ideas to think over and send them on their way. No, they helped people in practical ways. They fed people who were hungry, healed people who were physically hurting and spent time with people who needed to know they were loved. So today, I wanted to give you a list of ideas you can use to give someone else a reason to be thankful.
- Create a quiet place. For those of you who are introverts, you know the importance of spending time alone to renew your energy. Do you have an introverted friend who lives in a chaotic, loud or crowded home? If so, is there a way that you could offer her a few hours of sanctuary at your house? Having a place to go and relax without needing to converse with, entertain or take care of anyone is a tremendous blessing to someone who rarely gets any time alone.
- Send encouragement. Everything is “instant” these days. It takes very little time to comment on someone’s Facebook status or send a text message. What if you did something that took a little more time, though? Try writing a short letter or a cute card and sending it through the mail. It will be a surprise for the person who receives it and you can even make it more fun if you sign the note “anonymous.”
- Work, so they don’t have to. Do you know someone who’s going through an especially tough time right now? No matter what the circumstances are, it’s always a blessing to have help cleaning a room or house. It’s also great when someone brings you a meal so you don’t have to cook, or offers babysitting services for free just to give parents some free time.
- Listen without talking. For some people, the holidays are difficult because they’re reminded of loved ones they’ve lost. Could you make time to listen to and spend time with them?
- Show appreciation. This specifically applies to families of military personnel, police officers, firefighters, etc. If you know one (or more) of these families, could you let them know that you’re thankful for their sacrifice? Some of these families won’t see their loved ones for the holidays because their loved ones are working to protect and serve the rest of us. Make sure they know that you appreciate what their family has given up for you.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27 ESV)
Girls, there are so many things we can do to inspire thankfulness in others. What are some of your ideas? Share them in the comments below!
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