From Thanksgiving to Thanks Living


The cool crisp air greets us in the face in the morning.  Coffee steams aromatically. Turkeys, pumpkins and acorn squash are abundant in the markets.  It’s that season again...Thanksgiving!

For some of us, this is a time of great expectancy, but for others, the holidays bring back memories of broken dreams and disappointments.  We almost dread the turning of the calendar from October to November because we know what awaits:  observations of joy filled reunions at airports, stories of happy families gathering, an abundance of succulent food on the Thanksgiving table, we run the tapes in our head as we remember our own holiday experiences.

The question comes, then, how do we move from “Thanksgiving the Season” to a true lifestyle of “Thanks Living?”  Thanks Living arises from living in an attitude of thankfulness to our loving Heavenly Father who delights in giving us good gifts, in a dialogue of gratitude with the people close to us, and generosity to the world around us.

Did you know that when we think positive, productive, and thankful thoughts we actually have a shift in our brain?

Dendrites are like trees and they either become shriveled black weeds or leafy trees that wave freely in the breeze. It all depends on what we feed the dendrites:  will it be the daily poison of negative, resentful, bitter thinking, or will it be a dose of “thanks living” which replenishes the soil of the dendrites?  Breezy trees in our brain seed a life of peace and joy.  This is the reality our Heavenly Father designed for us to live each and every day.

Changing our thinking is both simpler and harder than we think. 

The concept of moving from negative to thankful thinking is quite easy…but implementing it takes determination, intentionality and repetition.  But, the rewards of “RID” are so very worth it.  Wouldn’t you like to wake up each morning with an expectancy that “good things are going to happen today?”

Here’s a process to help you “RID” your garden of all its black, thorny dendrites:



Breaking one habit and developing another comes through doing the opposite of the status quo over and over and over again.  Greg Wingard, author of the “The Red Bucket Strategy” advocates for 90 days of focus to change our thinking.  He states,

“The first segment of repetition feels awkward, but if we keep at the repetition, we move into the easy stage.  Keep at it, however, the changes only solidify if we focus for 90 days.”



Moving from disappointment and despair to Thanks Living is best accomplished with an “Intentional Plan.”  When we take the time to discover how to best practice “RID,” we move intentionally.  Once again, making a decision to enter into a season of intentional shifting of our thinking leads us to a life worth living: Thanks Living!



Determination is like fuel in our gas tank.  Determination either leads us to action, or it leads us to a continual downward spiral of destruction.  Determination comes out of a decision that it is too costly to maintain the status quo: I am determined to “walk in the breeze of the trees” of thankful thinking which leads to “Thanks Living.”

I’ve made a decision to “RID” myself of disappointment which leads us to the thorny black dendrites and to implement my plan to continually be on the look out for yet another good gift from my Heavenly Father.  So far, I am experiencing an enjoyable “walk in the breeze of the trees.”

Will you join me on the journey?

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Tamara BuchanComment