A Week of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Week everyone!

Rather than write about work this week, I thought I’d take a little time out to reflect on Thanksgiving and what it means both as a holiday and as a spiritual endeavor.

Let me just say that I love Thanksgiving. I love the weather, I love the food, I love how everything slows down for a little while. I especially love it this year because my Dad is traveling from Oregon to spend the holiday with me and the rest of the family here in Dallas. But even without special visitors, Thanksgiving is a terrific time to reflect on all of God’s blessings in your life.

In preparing to write today’s blog, I came across this passage by missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot, and I just had to share it:

Thanksgiving is a spiritual exercise, necessary to the building of a healthy soul.  It takes us out of the stuffiness of ourselves into the fresh breeze and sunlight of the will of God.  The simple act of thanking Him is for most of us an abrupt change of activity, a break from work and worry, a move toward re-creation. I am not suggesting the mouthing of foolish platitudes, or evasion of the truth.  That is not how God is glorified or souls fortified. I want to see clearly what I have been given and to thank Him with an honest heart.  [Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, Nov-Dec 1985]

If you want to read more of Elisabeth’s essay, you can check it out here.

I love this passage because it expresses so beautifully the meaning and value of giving thanks.  By the time Elisabeth Elliot wrote this in 1985, she had been married and widowed twice.  Her first husband (and father of her daughter) Jim Elliot, was violently killed by a remote Ecuadorian Indian Tribe while attempting to share the gospel.  Rather than returning to the United States, Elisabeth sought out the same tribe, leaned their language, and ministered to them for two years, even living with them for a time (along with her toddler daughter!). All this to say, Elisabeth Elliot lived.  Her words are not the facile platitudes of someone who’s had it easy.  There is real depth when she says, “I want to see clearly what I have been given and to thank Him with an honest heart.”

I’m inspired!

What about you? When you “see clearly what you’ve been given,” what are you thankful for this season? Let us know in the comments!