The push is on.
Have you noticed it too?
It seems like midnight of October 31st, the store aisle went from costumes, pumpkins and a splash of fall leaves, to all things Christmas and consumer hype. Marketing on the radio, television and internet have been blaring how short the shopping season is for 2013. Advertising claims how we must “shop now,”grab at “never lower prices this season,” and even “pre-pre-Black Friday sales.”
Our youngest daughter works in retail. Her position is called a visual merchandiser. Her job is to put together product in such a way, that when the customer enters the building they can see themselves owning it. The company she works for doesn't advertise, have great sales and will have no “door buster specials” to draw the crowds. They will however be open on Thanksgiving.
Last year at that one store, they sold over 400 pairs of jeans, just because the doors were open. People who found themselves milling around in the wee hours of dark, gathering big savings elsewhere, splurged on jeans that can be purchased at that premium price, every. single. day. of the year.
I get it.
I love Christmas too.
And I’m not sitting in condemnation of anyone or anything. But I don’t want to be part of the reason that drives corporations to stay open and demands that hard working people miss the one single day set aside to be with family and give thanks for all we have been given.
The masses can do what they do, but I want to take a different path. To slow the pace of commercialism in my own life and fully embrace family, home, time spent exhaling love, resting that what we have, is enough.
So I have been intentionally grasping onto these wondrous days and pouring out thanks and thought I'd share some here with:
1. The first blustery day brought down the leaves that hung on long as the clouds rolled and the wind howled its warning of the change that rode on it squalling gusts.
2. My office being such a cozy retreat to read, write, and create. It wraps my heart full.
3. Steaming bubble bath with chamomile and sipping on green tea.
4. A virtual exodus of tumbleweeds on a very windy day.
5. Fresh baked bread with homemade choke-cherry jam.
6. Four moon-rises where the evening light rose like a copper blazing ball and sat on the horizon as if it was too full to continue its journey across the sky.
7. Half way through the study Breaking Free. Wanting my life to be a story of freedom.
8. Beautiful women, new friends, deeper relationships forged along with returning friends and the conclusion of the third session of on-line (in)courage groups. Only God could have dreamed this up!
9. Worship song This Is Amazing Grace Jeremy Riddle
10. One golden moment that I sped by, this blanket of leaves and the sun shinning brilliant, so much that I drove two miles back out of my way to capture with my camera. #wortheveryminute
11. Sick but thankful to be home and for things that bring comfort and speed healing.
12. My beautiful little blonde headed mentee Christina. She causes me to lean in on Jesus and to pray.
13. Rare and wonderful time spent with my friend Cherri. Shared birthdays and hearts for hearing from Jesus.
14. Quiet Mornings, a cup of warm tea, time to read and consider all Jesus has done for me.
15. Saturday morning meeting with a room full of women that spend themselves to love on women.
16. Crazy full day that started before 4:00 AM, moments of grace in the crazy. So good.
17. Dancing in the living room to this..... Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman
18. The adventure and journey to attend the IF Gathering.
19. Walking this one day in the reality of all that Jesus wants from me.... is my heart.
20. An amazing, unexpected offer of a place to retreat, rest, write, rejuvenate.
21. Beautiful new friend Heather. We were instantly connected by the golden three-cord-strand of love for Jesus. Being able to worship together a few days later. Pure grace.
22. To grasp a few minutes of refreshment and a mug of hot chocolate.
23. My husband and his unconditional love for me.
24. Preparing food like I would for those I love, for people I don’t know. Blessed.
25. To be a Thanksgiving baby, but more, to be a child of thanksgiving.
26. JQ being home this week.
27. Seeing God be so creative and good to bless us with gifts for loved ones. Nearly done shopping. Miracle!
28. Lord willing, my whole family gathering in our home to celebrate the goodness of God.
I’m pushing back.
Running from the urge to decorate for the next holiday, just because we have an afternoon that both JQ and I are home.
Clinging to the quiet.
Clutching the heartbeat of Thankfulness.
I'm reminded too, that being thankful is a lifestyle.
It’s in the everyday. It’s in the wonder how we are able to draw another breath. Wrapped up in courage, to live different.
It’s the reality of living in this one spinning world, flying through this life, yet capturing the moments of gentle whispers of all that is good, lovely, true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, and gracious. The best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Philippians 4:8)
Thankful lives are lived out in thankful days, thankful hours and thankful moments.
Yes giving thanks is a lifestyle.
Happy Thanks-living friends.
Sometimes The Message Bible just says it so perfect, it makes me laugh!
Jump to your feet and join me?
On your feet now - applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
Psalm 100 MSG