It has been so much fun to decorate my new house. After our wedding, I moved in, unpacked my belongings, and got to work hanging pictures and thoughtfully setting out decorations in each room. As the season of fall approached, I enjoyed putting out colorful leaves, turkeys, pumpkin candles, and reminders to give thanks. This past weekend Steve and I brought all of our boxes of Christmas decorations up from the basement. We set up our Christmas trees, strung glowing ice cycle lights on the roofs outside, and I began replacing some of the fall decorations with Christmas ones. Out with the old; in with the new. I pulled out an empty box and started packing the fall decorations away until next year.
But when I came to this beautiful sign, I stopped. Give Thanks. We hear that over and over during the month of November. We take on a challenge to be thankful each day of the month. We go around the table at Thanksgiving to share what we are thankful for. But then what? We move on to the busy excitement of Christmas and on into the new year.
As I stood there looking at it, I said to Steve, “I don’t think I can put this sign in the box.” For one thing, I love how it looks right there on the little table at the entryway to our home. But I think more importantly, I want my heart to continue to give thanks, even after the Thanksgiving holiday has passed. And I want people who enter our home to see that reminder as well. Give Thanks.
Right before Thanksgiving our pastor shared that the words praise and thanks actually come from the same word in Hebrew. Therefore, when we give thanks to the Lord, we are also praising Him. Psalm 92:1 declares both thankfulness and praise beautifully, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.”
Steve and I desire that our commitment to each other would bring praise and honor to God, and it seems that in only five short months, giving thanks has already become a central strand in our marriage. Having waited years to meet each other, Steve and I are both keenly aware of the amazing blessing it is to have each other. We give thanks to the Lord every day for His provision of a companion and for the preciousness of our marriage. This morning as Steve and I prayed together before he left for work, his prayer was almost entirely one of thanksgiving. Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me, but God is faithful. He got us through it, and standing on the other side, our hearts are thankful. Even when we have pressing needs, it seems that every prayer we pray begins with thanking the Lord for His goodness to us. Big or small, there is always something for which to thank our Lord!
So, even though the leaves have all fallen from the trees outside and the Thanksgiving holiday of 2016 has passed, this sign will remain at the entrance to our home, and Give Thanks will remain at the forefront of our minds. Through every season our hearts will be thankful.