The influence of others can be very positive, former procrastinators. One friend is very quick to notice small things that are a blessing from the Lord. The way travel plans work out, running into someone in the library, being able to take advantage of a narrow window of opportunity. She sees the blessing and credits God with His goodness in her life. She sees Him orchestrating things on her behalf.
One reason she recognizes these things is that she moves at a pace that allows her to notice them and remember God. She has a super quick mind and accomplishes plenty. But she does a good job of regulating herself so she doesn’t rush. She does what needs doing when it needs doing. That often includes working ahead which relieves pressure.
Another friend dwells on truths I sometimes seem to take for granted. We recently spoke of ways we see the goodness of the Lord in our lives. As she spoke of Christ’s salvation and His favor, I realized how quickly that was her first thought. She dwells in the gospel. Interestingly, she too, does what needs doing when it needs doing. She works ahead.
I first noticed her thinking ahead with small children. Before traveling, she’d gather toys and snacks to help keep kiddos content in their car seats. She’d make notes of games to amuse them. Now, she exercises “think ahead skills” serving her husband, six children, six spouses, twelve grandchildren, and dozens of friends – sometimes all at once.
These two women show me ways to live out grace, gratitude, and generosity. I don’t notice God’s blessing because I’m in a hurry. Or I overload myself with a do list that does not honor Him. Or I expect to handle things myself. These block gratitude.
Let’s slow down, see God’s goodness, thank Him and the people He has used to bless our lives.
- Shop for groceries.
- Cook ahead as much as possible. Your peaceful presence will be more enjoyed than any freshly prepared food. You’ll have more fun being available than being perfect.
- Check recipes for “pre-prep” to streamline cooking later. Label, including what dish the item is for. “Sugared walnuts-salad” “Grated cheese – broccoli casserole” “Grated Cheese – breakfast casserole” Post a note stating where you stored these ingredients so you don’t lose time you saved.
- Preplan use of the oven on Thanksgiving Day so there’s no line up of uncooked dishes waiting for the turkey to emerge. Allow margin.
- Decide on a centerpiece, if any. Gather what you need.
- Decide with husband or a friend how you’ll focus on gratitude that day. Kernels of corn on each plate as reminders of the pilgrims’ tough year, reading a proclamation from William Bradford, Washington, or Lincoln, a reading from Psalms, each person’s own verbal expressions of gratitude? Gather anything you need for this.
What will you do to slow your pace during Thanksgiving so you can experience gratitude?
I am a definite list maker, but sometimes that list gets me into trouble with time. I have learned to create my list, cull down my list, then prioritize it. Allowing others to help on Thanksgiving has freed up time that I used to use frantically preparing, slicing, arranging, etc and replaced it with time with family and friends. Taking a deep breath and never forgetting to spend time with the Lord early on that Thanksgiving morning helps me to enjoy the day and helps me …..help others to do the same. (on another note- it’s still crazy on that day with 20 folks piling in, but we make great memories!)
Beth Sterne says
Viki, we should take a page from your list – create a list of all we hope to do, Then cull the list, omitting several things, then prioritize the remainder. Allowing others to help is big – and good for everybody. People like to feel included and that they’re making a contribution. Time with the Lord to set your heart and mind on Him benefits you and others. And, accept the craziness being grateful for the memories. Thank you for Wonderful counsel!