24 11 2010

The beginning of the giving season usually comes on the heels of Thanksgiving. We mark the onset of a season devoted to giving with Black Friday sales, leftover turkey sandwiches, and putting up decorations.

In our focus on the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving, we often overlook “giving.” Thanksgiving is a time set apart to give. Instead of filling ourselves up, we are given the opportunity to pour ourselves out. On this day, we are called to open our eyes, step outside of ourselves, and celebrate the opportunity to give something which should define our hearts – gratitude.

When we dedicate our hearts to giving thanks, it changes our perspective, posture, and priorities. Giving thanks encourages us to look around and trace the movement of God in our lives. It moves our hearts away from “I” to the face of Jesus. We recognize anew that life is not centered around me, my feelings, my struggles, my joy, or my pain, but the avenues He creates for me to give Him praise and bring Him glory. When I give of myself this way, it shoves out the junk that tends to pull my eyes off Him all the other days of the year.

By its nature, giving involves a change in my posture. My hands open wider. My arms extend outward. I stop grasping and clinging to my rights, my demands, and my way of doing things. In choosing to give thanks, I open myself up and stretch. In the stretching, my heart becomes a little bigger, my eyes open a little wider, and my faith grows a little deeper.

Giving reshuffles our priorities. When we give thanks, it clears our vision to what is truly important. Traditions become avenues that help us give with greater joy. Time with family reemphasizes the truly valuable pieces of our lives and realigns where we invest ourselves in the day to day.

My Jesus Resolution today is to give – give thanks, give joy, give grace, and give myself. I am going to open my heart to the ways in which giving opens my eyes, stretches my soul, and reorders my priorities. I am going to look for the movement of God and give myself over to His plans for me. It is appropriate that Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the giving season. When we give thanks first, the rest of the season takes on the right tone.



One response

24 11 2010
brenda hutchens

Dear Casandra

I am thankful for your comment today – have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
In Christian Love – Brenda

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