When we arrived in Bozeman, snow was falling gently in large, wet flakes reminiscent of those in a snow globe. This Minnesota girl, who’s lived in California for nearly 20 years, took a deep breath and inhaled all the wintery goodness. The next day, I woke to find myself in a snowy wonderland surrounded by trees laden in white, skies every color of blue, distant mountains, and quiet in the air. It was an invitation to slow down and notice the hints of God’s care and goodness all around me.
I don’t know about you, but I can easily get swept up in the things I need to do. I can get restless and hurried, busy and worried about the details of life. I lose my sense of “enough”—that I both am enough for the tasks of the day and that I have enough of whatever I need. However, we’re invited to a different way of seeing and a new way of being.
When our kids were younger, we’d occasionally read Psalm 118 call and response style. Mark would read, “Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,” and we would echo boisterously, “God's love endures forever!” The author opens and closes the poem with this declaration. In between, we hear where God showed up in the midst of the challenges of life. When I affirm God’s love in the daily happenings of life, it reminds me that I can trust—that the Creator has taken care of me in the past and will be with me in the future.
In our family, we often take the month of November as a cue to slow down and notice the ways that we’ve been cared for. I often cut a piece of brown paper to use as a table runner for the kitchen table and put out a few sharpies. I invite people to write down what they are grateful for. It requires us to slow down and notice God’s goodness throughout the day. As the month progresses, we have a tangible reminder of all the places in life where we see God’s love and care revealed to us—whether in the falling snow, strength and wisdom to complete a project, or in our relationships. And this practice of gratitude leads me to breathe deeply and trust when I have needs in the daily details of my life.
- record your gratitudes on a piece of paper throughout the month of November--ask the people you live with to join you.
- when you are tempted to worry or feel you are not enough, look for God's goodness in your day and add it to your paper.
- on Thanksgiving, read off what you've recorded.
by Lisa Scandrette