"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 107:1
For the past few years, I've been creating a workshop in November with the same theme: remembering and practicing thanksgiving.
It is a simple creative workshop: a painting of a home titled, my 'thankful home,' with the specific things I am thankful for written in.
Painting this sweet and cozy autumn home is a time of reflection and remembering the many gifts of the year. As I paint, I think and pray. Often, I ask Holy Spirit to bring to my mind the gifts given this past year. There are always some I have forgotten!
Gifts include people, activities, unexpected surprises, help through a hard circumstance, a difficult circumstance that isn't going away but God is walking me through.
Gifts also include the simple sweet gifts of life I don't want to take for granted like morning coffee and healthy legs for walking and the beautiful trees where I live that bring me so much joy.
After the watercolors have dried and details with the micron pen have been added, the specifics are added in. Over the branches of the trees and the doorway of the home and the tiles of the roof I write down the specific gifts I'm thankful for.
This year I chose traditional "fall" colors: cinnamon browns, burnt orange, fiery reds, and warm yellows. The home and trees remind me not only of the richness of the autumn season but the great many gifts I've been given.
After the painting completely dries, I'll flip the back of the art over to write a prayer of thanksgiving on the back.
This year, the theme is "a heart full of thanks." When I live from a place of thanksgiving, I change. My attitude, outlook, and choices change.
There is so much in God's word about living a life of thankfulness and it is all for our good. A heart of thanksgiving is the foundation to a beautiful, well-lived life.
Every good gift builds off a thankful heart.
I am convinced that it doesn't matter what we get or are gifted or achieve in this life: if we do not have an attitude of thankfulness, the gift loses its sweetness.
Even if 2021 has not gone as planned, if the outcomes we desired are still only desires and not reality...even in the difficult times it is good to fill our heart for heart with thoughts, songs, and words of thankfulness.
A Thankful Heart Protects & Opens Eyes
Thanksgiving is a shield to our hearts.
It protects against the poisons that want to creep into the interior of our very beings: bitterness, comparison, envy, cynicism, and suspicion. These harsh venoms cannot penetrate a heart shielded by gratefulness and joy.
Second, a thankful heart opens us up for the joys of seeing and receiving the gifts in our lives.
We need eyes to see. I need eyes to see. I can't see when I'm (literally) blinded by comparison, jealousy, envy, and a cynical spirit. But when I embrace a thankful attitude, I can see, and I receive more, simply by being more aware.
I need this time of reflection and quiet thanksgiving.
Every year, life threatens to take over with many things. Good things. Necessary things. Obligatory things. All the things.
So I set aside time to...
Sketch and paint.
Allow my mind and heart to quiet down.
Lift up thanksgiving for everything.
I invite you to join with me in this warm and wonderful exercise of painting and counting our blessings!
This workshop is free. It takes about an hour to complete in total. Usually I start this, then let it dry, then come back allowing my heart and mind to soak in extra time remembering, reflecting, and practicing thanksgiving.
Sign up below for this free workshop.
And thank you for reading and being here! I appreciate you.