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Thanksgiving Parade!

Whether or not watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is part of your family's custom, there's another "Thanksgiving Parade" I invite you to make part of your life -- your daily life.  

And that's to think back over the past 24 hours of your life, imagining each hour going by you slowly -- and ask yourself, "what happened in that hour for which I can be grateful?" And then turn your "feeling of gratitude" into a "prayer of Thanksgiving." 

Your "thanksgiving parade" might go something like this -- this was mine, today: 
  • (upon awakening) -- I'm grateful for my warm bed and comfortable pillow; thank you God for giving me a warm home to sleep in. 
  • 5:45, first cup of coffee: I'm grateful for coffee; for milk -- for cows, for farmers, for truckers. Thank you, God, for coffee and milk getting to me. 
  • 7:00, walking Sadie, our dog: I'm grateful for Sadie; thank you, God, for exercise -- the fact that I can exercise. God please be with _____ who are grieving having to put their dog down yesterday; give me new appreciation for our dog's companionship. 
  • 8:00, prayer: I'm grateful for time to pray, to read the Bible, to journal. Thank you God, for giving me faith. 
  • 9:00, planning time: I'm grateful for good organization at the church; I thank God I've found a personal task management app I find useful. 
  • 10:00, staff meeting: I'm grateful for Terri, our "front office" Administrative Assistant. I turn my "feeling of gratitude" into an "action of Thanksgiving" by pointing out that at the Day School Board meeting which I attended last night, several of the board members commented about how wonderful Terri is at greeting Day School children. I share that with the rest of the staff, in Terri's presence. I go on to say that many churches (and businesses) have either "highly competent" or "very friendly" people in the front office, but it's rare to have both, at the same time, in equal measure, in one person, as we do in Terri. 
  • 11:30, Day School Children's Chapel: I use "thanksgiving parade" as a theme for my sermon; I'm grateful for the inspiration, and I give thanks for the parents and teachers. 
  • 1:30 -- a surprise visit from an old friend, who is in D.C. interviewing for a job! I'm grateful for her insights; I thank God for inspiring her to come by the church and visit. 
You get the idea. You go through each hour of your past day, looking only for those things for which you are grateful. You then turn your feeling of gratitude into a prayer (or better yet, an action) of Thanks-giving. 

And there you have it: a Thanksgiving Parade that you don't just watch, but create in your own heart and that will -- by increasing your sense of gratitude -- drastically reduce  the amount of complaining and worrying you do, as you relish how blessed you are in so many ways.     


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