Thanksgiving in August?

TitleEver heard of Christmas in July? Well, how about Thanksgiving in August? Seriously, the whole kit and caboodle… turkey, dressing, green bean casserole. Whatever your family traditionally does for Thanksgiving, why not make it happen this August too? While we’re at it, bring on the pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales at the same time!

No? Okay, maybe not. But at least let’s consider the spirit of Thanksgiving as we approach the back end of summer. For that matter, why not think about how to move from the yearly pilgrimage celebrating Thanksgiving as a holiday to a year-long “Thanksliving” frame of mind? (Thanks for the term, Steve Miller.)

In moving from Thanksgiving to “Thanksliving,” we must take a deliberate and intentional approach to thankfulness. In doing so, the actions of gratitude — the ways we show the thankfulness hopefully existing within us — become increasingly and continually visible.

Moving from simply knowing that I should live out thankfulness to actually following through in tangible ways is a struggle I’m not proud to admit exists. But, I’m learning to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving and to slowly but surely transition my life to be more consistently one of “Thanksliving.”

Changing my attitude to a more positive, thankful one is not going to happen by me wishing it. I must deliberately choose to pursue “Thanksliving,” and this happens by taking the time to regularly verbalize thankfulness — even when not encouraged by any holiday — and to also stop blocking God’s work in my life.

“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Colossians 3:17)

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

We’re designed to show gratitude. Every part of us longs to give thanks, not just sometimes but continually. Everything we do exists as an avenue for living out this part of our spiritual DNA. We simply must take the time to pay attention to God’s workings in our lives. Doing so grows that desire and moves our focus beyond just celebrating Thanksgiving and into a mindset of “Thanksliving” all year long.

Question: What steps can you take live a life of “Thanksliving”?

6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in August?

  1. What a beautiful, well-written, thoughtful post! I enjoyed reading it very much. Made me think a lot. Especially struck by your quote about God moving us to a greater purpose. I forget that sometimes. It's always important when you've become confused or lost your way. To just follow god's "movement" within you. When we do that we are never quite lost are we? We are found.

  2. That is something I can relate to Kari. I have learned that an attitude of gratitude can certainly change a situation and a day in a hurry. I love the song, "Give Thanks with a grateful heart" and often find myself humming it when I need a reminder to be thankful when things go wrong. We are so blessed that it should not be difficult to give thanks, to live it, but somehow it is difficult in our world today to stay in that positive mind set. Thanks for the timely reminder! Blessings with thanksliving!

    • There are so many great songs that can help cultivate an attitude of gratitude. The world's thinking is so much more toward getting more than it is with being content, and this is why gratitude is such a struggle for so many. All we can do is what WE can do, right?

  3. I have preached Thanksliving for several years. i don't believe Thanksgiving was to ever be confined to a holiday one time a year. We are to live lives of thanksgiving. Hence, thanksliving. I am grateful for much.

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