The Thanksgiving Habit

20 11 2013

I love the Thanksgiving season. It is neat to listen to people talk about their blessings, record their gratitude, and, if only for thirty days, recognize that God touches our lives in personal and amazing ways.

This season of gratitude needs to launch us into a lifestyle of gratitude. Thanksgiving is the soil for deep living. It is the mindset that helps us pause rather than panic, worship rather than worry, and stay focused rather than becoming frustrated. Not because difficult things don’t happen, but because gratitude teaches us to trace God’s hand in all of our moments.

I have to admit to being partial to Daniel. His story holds some big headline moments – maintaining his integrity, interpreting a king’s dreams, being thrown into a lion’s den. I want to have that kind of faith – faith that is strong, sure, steady, and surrendered. But that kind of faith didn’t develop haphazardly. Between the big headlines of Daniel’s story, we read the key to Daniel’s focused faith.

“He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” – Daniel 6:10b

Three times a day for a lifetime, Daniel stopped to pray and be thankful. Daniel’s faith was rooted in the habit of gratitude.

My Jesus Resolution today is to develop a thanksgiving habit. What might the impact be on my faith, my family, my work, and my friends if I stopped three times a day and counted my blessings? Quiet, consistent, deliberate gratitude has the power to open our eyes, reshape our hearts, ignite our joy, fuel our courage, and root us in God’s presence. They say that it takes twenty-one days to learn a new habit. Following Daniel’s example adds up to sixty-three times of pausing, praying, and praising. I don’t want thanksgiving to be a season in my life. I want it to be my daily practice. Who wants to start a holy habit with me?


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4 responses

20 11 2013
Debbie Work

Casandra, I asked you some weeks ago for permission to use some of your blogs in my prison ministry, which you granted.  I thought you might like to hear of the progress.  Last week as I handed out 3 of your blogs, I asked the four young women what their response was to the several handouts that I had given them.  They all were very positive about them, feeling that they helped give them a good insight into how putting Jesus into our daily lives looks like.  I had asked them if these studies had made any change in their lives and thinking and their answer was also positive.  Although I am new at this outreach, I think that I can see a difference in them from when I first began going to the prison.  I am encouraged. Two of these women are due before the parole board this week.  If they are granted parole, it will come with great challenges as they are faced with making huge changes in their lives.  They are aware that they may have to drop old associations with past bad influences, face many challenges in disfunctioning family circles, discrimination as they seek employment, and problems regaining trust in the lives of their children.  We’ve talked about all of these, and their need to keep God in front of them – always – and pray continually.  I thank you for your part in giving them a vision of what a life as a child of God should look like.  Your blog is an encouragement to me as well, as I seek to grow closer to God. Thank you. Debbie Work

20 11 2013
Casandra Martin

Thanks Debbie for the update! It is such a blessing to hear how God is working among the women He loves so much. Thank you for looking like Jesus.

20 11 2013
powells29@yahoo.com

I thought this post so very good. A Thanksgiving heart is hard to do yet a blessing to myself and those around us.

Sent from my iPhone

20 11 2013
Joyce lampley

I do.

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