I heard a sermon on thankfulness last week and, with Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve been trying to keep it in mind as I go through each day.

What struck me from this particular sermon was the idea that thankfulness is not merely the reaction of feeling glad or grateful for something, but a more intentional decision to stop, acknowledge the joy it brings, and give thanks for it. And like so many decisions, it’s one that becomes easier and more natural the more you make it.

This past week, I’ve been trying to practice that decision myself, actively taking a moment to stop and give thanks when something crosses my path and improves my day, or simply makes me smile. And I can tell a difference on those days when I get off to a more successful start with that; the earlier I remember to give thanks, the more I find to be thankful for throughout the day.

So, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, as you and your loved ones go around the table and say what you are thankful for, I challenge you to take note of them and continue giving thanks in the days and weeks that follow, and to find how much else you have to be thankful for.

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