Thanks a Day: 30-Day Challenge

Thursday, October 26, 2017

You ready for a challenge? The countdown has begun toward Christmas. Retailers, news broadcasters, memes on social media all are reminding us there are “x” number of days until Christmas, putting some people into a panic. You can choose to jump on that merry-go-round of consumerism or you can shift gears, slow down, and with intentionality refocus your month of November on thankfulness — not just one day, Thursday, Nov. 23, but 30 days of thankfulness.

I want to suggest to you the Thanks a Day: 30-Day Challenge. Print up a blank November 2017 calendar (If you type “November 2017 calendar” into your search engine, images will instantly pop up for your use) or take a piece of paper and list numbers 1-30. Begin to list people in your life for whom you are grateful: maybe someone who was there for you in a particularly rough patch, your postal carrier, your physician, your neighbor, a mentor, a babysitter, an elected official, a serviceman or woman, someone who inspires you — you get the idea. Put a different person’s name in each square or next to each number.

When the month of November begins, take the time to write a personalized thank you note to each person. Communicate to them why they hold a special place in your heart. Don’t just call them and tell them. Give them something they can hold on to, a tangible letter they can choose to keep for a day when they might need an extra pick-me-up. Snail mail is best, but you might find it easier to use text, email or private message. Allow your words to be a blessing of thanks. Be as specific as possible.

The apostle Paul said in his letter to the church in Ephesus, “I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” We can establish this same practice. Besides taking the time to write to each individual, lift praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of their presence in your life.

Look around you. Everyone you meet wants to know that they matter. May God use your words of gratitude to lift up, encourage and affirm the particular people you identify as extraordinary. May God weave us together with an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness that serves to strengthen our bonds of connection, love and grace in the name of Christ.

Spencer and the world will be better for it.

Ready for the challenge? Go!