Every year on the way home from vacation Nan and I ask the same question of each other.
How do we preserve our ‘vacation feeling’ as long as possible?
Of course the reality is usually the same. It fades pretty quickly once we get back into the work day world. But some years we are able to do better than others. One year Nan spent a large part of vacation working through Gordon MacDonald’s book “Ordering Your Private World”, and was able to make a couple of important shifts in her life.
I bring this up now because we just celebrated Thanksgiving and I am wondering how we might keep this feeling of gratitude for as long as possible. I suspect that it is also an inside job just like keeping the vacation spirit. Last year I suggested keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ and an ‘affirmation scrapbook’.
I would add practicing spiritual disciplines to the recommendations as well.
Every year during our Thanksgiving celebration we have a family ritual where each member shares two things that they are thankful for that year. It helps us, young and old, to focus on the positive areas of life, even in the midst of struggles. Often I hear expressions of gratefulness for health or longevity. Others will be thankful for relationships, and some for “stuff”.
For me this year I was thankful for: (1) Sleep, and (2) for C.A. (our church) being a safe community.
I have struggled for years with getting adequate sleep, but lately I have been doing better. What a gift sleep is, but often we don’t fully appreciate it until it is in short supply. My bedtime prayers have often been for sleep – it’s nice to know they do get answered.
What I mean by ‘safe community’ is this: I am free to be myself without fear of condemnation, with confidence that if I mess up I will still be accepted. This atmosphere of grace is precious to me because I haven’t always felt it during other times in my life. Church hasn’t always been a place where I wanted to be, but Christian Assembly is – and a place I can invite people with no hesitation.
I would love to hear two things that you are grateful for this year. Perhaps it will suggest more things to add to my list.
Oh, by the way – I am grateful for all my blog readers.