Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Make A Difference graphicTalkingTuesday

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

When do you and your spouse/family typically decorate for Christmas?

I’ll get us started …

Steve and I love Christmas, and we’re not shy about admitting it! For us, the sooner we can decorate, the better. So, typically, we get out all of our indoor decorations and outdoor lights, and put those up the weekend after Halloween. We get a live tree; so unfortunately, we have to

be more patient with getting that up and decorated. Most places don’t start selling them until after Thanksgiving, so we head out as soon as we get home from our Thanksgiving travels to get one. We have a fun tradition of picking out our tree, ordering pizza, and decorating with Christmas music blaring. Of course we cap it off with hot cider (for Steve) and hot cocoa (for me).

Some people think that decorating and getting Christmas festivities underway so quickly undermines Thanksgiving, but we don’t feel that way at all. If anything, it gets us in the perfect, thankful spirit for Thanksgiving. We thoroughly enjoy Thanksgiving and make the most of it, but we have the added bonus of also enjoying Christmas as long as possible too 🙂

Okay, it’s your turn!

Talking Tuesday Weekly Announcement REVISED

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Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

TalkingTuesday

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are your plans for celebrating Thanksgiving this year? What are you looking forward to the most?

I’ll get us started …

Every Christmas and Thanksgiving my husband, Steve, and I alternate between our two families. Having his parents in the bay area of California and mine in Pennsylvania, it was the only fair formula we could come up with. Based on that rotation, we will be spending Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family this year, and I couldn’t be more excited! There really is no place like home, and I can’t wait to enjoy my mom’s traditional Thanksgiving feast while spending time with the family! What I’m looking forward to the most though is being with my entire family! As we get older, it gets more and more difficult for my three sisters and me to all wind up in the same place (we all live in different states), but this year that’s exactly what will be happening. All 9 of us will be bunking up in my parents’ home tucked up in the scenic mountains of Central Pennsylvania catching up, laughing, and just enjoying our time together. My heart is so full just thinking about it 🙂

Okay, it’s your turn!

LAST CHANCE to WIN this month’s special Month of Gratitude GIVEAWAY!!!

Gratitude Talking Tuesday Giveaway Details

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

 

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

How do you and your spouse incorporate both of your families into the holiday season?

I’ll get us started …

When Steve and I started dating we discussed how we would handle the holiday season with our families. My parents are still in Pennsylvania, and his family is up the in the Bay Area, so we wouldn’t have the convenience of just hopping from one house to the next for Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, we agreed to rotate those two holidays each year. For example, this year we did Thanksgiving with his parents, and Christmas will be back East with my parents. Next year will be the opposite.

It’s never easy for either of us to be away from our family of origin on these special days, but we wanted to be fair to one another and our families. Plus, we’ve both learned to enjoy the traditions of the other’s family despite them being pretty different from what we’re accustomed too. Marriage is about compromise, adjustments, and a good attitude, so that’s what we’ve tried to have in accommodating both of our families this time of year.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

Congratulations to our November Talking Tuesday Giveaway winner … Jamie B.! We love hearing from all of you, so make sure you keep joining our weekly conversations for your chance to win December’s Giveaway!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I’ll get us started …

I feel like there is so much to be thankful for that it’s tough to list it all out. God has blessed me with so much to be thankful for that it overwhelms me at times. It’s like that feeling you get when you just love someone so much you think your heart might burst. That’s how my spirit feels with gratitude toward God; He is faithful, generous, and constant. From my incredible husband to our amazing families; our health, home, and all needs met; the warm sun, twinkling stars, and big blue sky; feeling there’s a purpose and plan for my life.

Every day we are surrounded by so much to be thankful for, and yet, we’re often too busy to notice. Or we’re so fixated on what we don’t have that we miss out on what we do have. It’s a challenge, but I try really hard to stop and count my blessings because it’s pretty amazing how many there really are.

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are your plans for Thanksgiving next week? What are you most looking forward to about it?

I’ll get us started …

My husband, Steve, and I are headed to his parents for Thanksgiving this year. Each year we rotate between our parents’ houses for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so this year it’s Thanksgiving with his family (and Christmas with mine). What I’m most looking forward to about it is being with his family. I love seeing his parents; sister, brother-in-law, and their kids; and his uncle. The older I get the more I come to treasure those precious moments and memories made with family. So, I’m looking forward to seizing those moments together in just a matter of days!

Okay, it’s your turn!

If you have a question you would like to see asked in our weekly Talking Tuesday discussions, we want to know what it is! Just contact us with your idea!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

 

I’m Thankful For …

Friday, November 25th, 2011

By Ashley McIlwain

The other day I was sitting down racking my brain for ways to express gratitude to my husband Steve. He is such an amazing man that inspires, encourages, and loves me. He does so much for me and everyone around him that I knew I needed to take the time to verbalize all these thoughts of admiration and gratitude I have for him. So, I came up with an idea that I wanted to share with you all.

Many of us tend to either get caught up in negativity or just neglect to convey our appreciation to those around us. Our spouse often takes the brunt of this lack of praise. Philippians 2:3 instructs us, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Are we doing that for our spouse? Are we holding him/her in higher esteem than ourselves? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that many of us struggle with that one.

It’s essential to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). There is no one more deserving of our praise and encouragement than our spouse. While he or she may be imperfect, they are a treasure. You chose them and promised to love and cherish them through it all until your dying day. That’s a pretty significant promise that most of us need to work harder at upholding.

Knowing that I could always be better at affirming and building Steve up, I decided to come up with a list of twelve things about him that I am thankful for. Then, I whipped up some cute little note cards and wrote one of those things on each of them. Next, I placed those notecards in twelve different spots where he would unexpectedly find them throughout an entire day. At the end of the day I had a little gift waiting for him when he got home along with a card that more explained more in depth just how much I love and appreciate him. The goal was simply to bless him. To take time to convey all the love, appreciation, and respect I have for him. To let him know that he is cherished, admired, and adored. He deserves nothing less than that.

Hopefully each of you will try this out on your spouse because I think it would really bless and encourage them. You can download my template for the notecards here. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes!

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Gratitude Attitude: Part 3

Friday, November 26th, 2010

With Thanksgiving this week, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is so-to-speak. While it is nice to receive thanks, it is more important that we give thanks. Hence, Thanksgiving. Here is what I recommend you do to take on a Gratitude Attitude:

1.       Make a list right now of ten things you are thankful for.

2.       Now, take the time to say a little prayer to God and thank Him for each of those ten things.

3.       Make a list of ten people you are thankful for. (There may be a little overlap)

4.       Call, message, or tell each of those people that you are thankful for them and why.

This is an easy and practical way to get started on being thankful. Sometimes it’s just taking the time to think about what we are thankful for. I would encourage you to do this, not just at Thanksgiving, but on a minimum of a monthly basis. It will make all the difference in changing how you feel about life, and it will surely help those around you to feel loved and appreciated, which can’t hurt your relationships!

This is continued from Gratitude Attitude: Part 1 and Gratitude Attitude: Part 2 – click on the title to read them.

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Gratitude Attitude: Part 2

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Gratitude is a discipline that we must teach ourselves. Gratitude entails expressing our thankfulness for the blessings in our life. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Bible tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Just like most things in life, it requires a choice and then an intentional effort to be and express gratitude for those people and things we have been blessed with in our life.

All too often we allow the joy of living to be stolen from us in our search for more and better than what we already have. You turn on the television and are plagued with advertisements touting products that we must have in order for our lives to be complete. You open a magazine, and 75% of it are images and messages of items that will finally make our lives complete. The reality is that there is no product or item out there that can make your life complete or fulfilled. Life isn’t about how much junk we can accumulate; it’s about appreciating what we already have and valuing the things that are invaluable like our marriage, family, and friends.

We so easily get caught up in the vicious cycle that we will finally be happy and content when we get there when in fact we will get there and find out we now want to get there. As our pastor Kenton Beshore mentioned in his Thanksgetting message, “Contentment is here, not there!” Philippians 4:11 says, “…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Everything we have is a gift from God himself, and if we begin to change our perspective to align with that, we will be left with a gratitude attitude. First, we have to make that decision to view things as a gift from God, appreciate them, and be thankful for them.

Psalm 118:24 & 29 continue to tell us of the importance of thankfulness, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it…Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” It is easy to find ourselves deceived by Satan that we always need just one more thing or that God is not good because He is holding something back from us. God has given us all that we need and then some, now it’s time to realize, acknowledge, and express praise for that fact. We are told how to posture ourselves in Psalm 103: 1-2, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”

It is up to us to make the decision to be content and thankful people. Express this gratitude to God for all of His provisions, and express it to your loved ones to help them feel valued and appreciated. A simple thank you can make a world of difference in someone’s life, especially in those that love you so very much. We all need to feel valued and appreciated.

Find out how to express gratitude to those you love in Gratitude Attitude: Part 3 tomorrow! If you missed Part 1, click here.

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Gratitude Attitude: Part 1

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

 

 

 

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude. It’s a time to reflect, not on what we don’t have, but rather, what we do have. It is a time to stop, smell the roses, and then be thankful that they exist and we are endowed with a nose to smell, eyes to explore, and hands to feel them.  

Unfortunately, many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the kickoff to the holiday season and forget what all of it is really about. We become frantic preparing meals, packing suitcases, writing out cards, shopping, and before we know it, we have sucked the very joy out of the season. We forget the very reason for preparing that big meal, packing that suitcase, writing out those cards, and grabbing those gifts and groceries.

Thanksgiving was not designed to break us emotionally, mentally, and physically, but rather to encourage, uplift, and strengthen us as we reflect on all of the wonderful things in our lives. It is that time of year where we can step back and realize just how blessed we really are. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, there is always an overwhelming presence of things to be thankful for.

Personally, I know that God has blessed me beyond belief. While it can be forgotten or lost at times, all it takes is sitting down for five minutes with a pen and paper in hand, and the list of things to be grateful for exceeds my ability to write quickly enough. And while it is easy to think of all those things we don’t have – that new car, the big house, that perfect wardrobe, that fabulous gadget – the truth is, those are the things that don’t really matter or enhance our lives in the long run. It is that loving spouse who works so hard to provide, brightens your day with a smile, shares a long list of memories with you, and brings fulfillment to our longing hearts. It is that beautiful family who is always there for you, provides support for your dreams, cares about your struggles, and feels pride when they talk about you to others. It is the simple fact that you have your health – it may not be perfect, but you have arms, hands, fingers, legs, knees, toes, lungs, and air to breath. It is the realization that you have a roof over your head. It is a stroll outside that enlivens your senses with the overwhelming beauty of God’s creation.

It is easy to forget about those simple things that are the true essence of what living is. Those are the things that make life possible and worth living. Those are the things that we should stop taking for granted and start appreciating. There is always a lot to be thankful for; it is a matter of choosing to be thankful for them.

Gratitude is a discipline that we must teach ourselves….

Read about this and more in tomorrow’s Part 2 of Gratitude Attitude! 

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