Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the message of being with those that you love and being thankful for what you have.
It is a time for us to focus on what really matters: our relationships. It gives us moments to cherish one another and deepen the connections we have with those that we love. It is a time to create memories and reconnect with fellowship.
As a kid, it was a time where a family who seemed disjointed by divorce was able to have togetherness and celebrate that family is what you make of it. These moments around the holiday table made me realize that I had a normal loving family even if it looked a little different than a cookie cutter family. So I always enjoyed the holiday get-togethers. And who doesn’t love three Thanksgiving meals?
I love that it encourages everyone to be thankful for what they have. It just is a happy holiday for me.
And then Friday comes.
I have never really understood Black Friday. First of all, I am a woman who loves my sleep, so getting up that early has never made sense to me. Also I hate lines, so nothing seems worth waiting in line to get into the store, then another line for the item, and yet another line for checkout. My time is worth something people.
Most of all, I feel that it is completely opposite of the meaning of Thanksgiving. The idea is erroneous to me. It is like the day before was a sham and all that we were thankful for is no more. To me it is a day spent being greedy and wanting more of things we don’t necessarily need. (Don’t even get me started on the commercialism of Christmas.)
I am human just like the rest of you, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t want a new car or a new laptop like the rest of you. I am no better in that I have those urges too.
I do also know that for some people Black Friday is a family affair and it is time spent together. For some people it is a rush to get those deals, and they find so much joy in the activity. If that is the case, rock on and have fun together! I will remain in my pajamas on my couch eating the tons of turkey left overs.
But for the most part, I fundamentally disagree with the idea of the day and the message it sends. As I said, it seems as though the world is dismissing the day of thankfulness we had not even hours before. (For some stores they are doing Brown Thursday-What?) It perpetuates this desire to always want more. The stories out there of people fighting over linens and getting trampled to get that new thingymabob just boggle my mind at what we are doing as a nation. We compare ourselves to what others have, and we become envious. If you live your life always looking for your happiness in the next thing or sale, you tend to miss out on what is happening right now and enjoying the little blessings that you already have.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 “But godliness with content is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Thanksgiving was extremely important to me this year. I have talked about how this fall I have been on the struggle bus. I have been waiting for the “next” thing to happen. I have been wasting my life in a line of unfilled expectations waiting to get a bargain in my career. These wants of having a big time job have had a disastrous effect on my psyche and my relationships. My anxiety was controlling my life, and all because I wanted to be in a different place.
All the while I was missing out on the wonderfulness of right now.
I have spent a good amount of time the past month pondering on a few verses. I needed to refocus and re-center myself around what matters.
I needed Thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”
I wrote about making this a reminder to help with my anxiety. I have this verse on repeat in my head when I am having a moment. It is so helpful just to throw up your requests to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”
I have really tried in the last few weeks each day to count my blessings. I have a notebook where I jot down things that I am thankful for. Some are simple things like having a DVR or the chocolate chips in my banana bread, and others are more grandiose things like the ability to cultivate a long distance relationship over the phone with my parents or having all day yesterday to lay around with Tom and just be in love. If I am having a really low moment and have lost sight of where I am, I can look back at these scribblings and know that I am truly blessed.
God has blessed my life, and that is something worth taking a moment to be thankful. I don’t want discontent to run my day.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Walk faithfully with God every day of your life and enjoy each gift he gives you now. I have been amazed at how my attitude and perspective have changed once I stopped the comparison game and was more content with where I am in life and the things that I have.
So if Black Friday is your thing, awesome. I’m not one to stand in the way of a good deal. You do you, and I will do me. I just hope you remember to be thankful for what you do have and focus on what really matters in life. I will tell you those sheets on sale isn’t it.
Thanks to Susannah for the Thankful for All link up idea!
How do you remember to be thankful? Do you keep a journal; do you say them out loud to yourself in the car? How do you remain mindful of your blessings?