Remember when you were a kid and the large toy catalogs came in the mail? I loved getting those! I would look through them for hours and hours to find the exact items I wanted for Christmas. If your family was anything like mine, every year my parents would ask each of us kids to write a Christmas list. I would make sure to write down everything ranging from large to small gifts. With my nature being more detailed and organized, I would even make sure to write down the store, item number, and best price you could find on a certain item. I can even remember pointing things out that I wanted while walking through different stores and hearing my parents say, “Put it on your Christmas List.”
Recently someone shared with me an incredible book called, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. In this book, Ann encourages readers to start making a list of the things they are thankful for, just as her friend had encouraged her to do when she was battling anxiety and depression. She shares in this book how doing this helped her overcome those struggles and cultivated a life of thankfulness. She was determined to make a list with 1,000 things she was thankful for, and now it’s actually grown to 5,000. Ann now leaves a book on the counter that she has all her friends and family write in each time they are at her home of what they are thankful for.
As you prepare for Christmas and look at the many lists of things you need to get for others, I challenge you to create your own list of what you are thankful for in your life. It can be as small as being thankful for your brown eyes or your long legs; or even larger like being saved by God’s grace and having eternal life with Him, for having a home to rest in and a bed to sleep in. Keep a notebook with you and write down what you are thankful for as you go about your day.
Make your list, check it twice. You will begin to see that God has blessed you with so many things…many of which you didn’t even ask for! But that’s how much your Abba Father loves you! Don’t let this season pass you by, cultivate a life of thankfulness.