Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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It’s November. Thanksgiving is ONE week away. Leaves have fallen. The temperatures are FINALLY getting colder and the grocery list for Thanksgiving is in the works. I love November. November definitely has to be one of my favorite months. The anticipation of the holidays, the comfort and joy of time spent with loved ones and friends. The sweaters, large cups of coffee, scarves and campfire socks. November totally gets me and that is just how it should be.
One of my favorite things about November, besides the nights that become longer and the cuddles that become stronger is the time of reflection it brings. A time to come together, a time to reflect and a time to rejoice on all that we have to be thankful for.
I remember a very specific memory from college. It was a Tuesday night. And on Tuesdays in college, I met with a relatively large group of students at various different places on campus to come together for worship and fellowship. It was such an important day of the week for me, a time to cultivate friendships and learn and love in faith. Well, I remember one specific Tuesday night. This particular Tuesday night we found ourselves (thirty of us) all crammed in the living space of an off-campus apartment. It was the Tuesday before we were all going to go back home for Thanksgiving break and our focus of the night was to have a heart of thanksgiving. And that is exactly what we did.
Paper. Pen. (This teacher was in her element) and silence. We spent ten minutes quietly reflecting and writing down a list of all that we were thankful for. And boy let me tell you, what happened in that room was quite remarkable. After just a few minutes of writing things down, the room exploded in the most pure, contagious, joyful laughter that I have ever experienced. We genuinely reflected on EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. Our lists became quite detailed and specific, but the result was contagious joy unending. Joy overflowing. And it truly represented what thanksgiving represents. What a thankful heart can do. Joy unending. Joy overflowing.
So as you start to prepare your hearts (and let’s be real… stomachs) for next week’s Thanksgiving celebrations, I challenge you to cling to a thankful heart because the results are surely JOY UNENDING. JOY OVERFLOWING. And in the continuation of lists, here is another one: Steps to a Thankful Heart.
Do it. I promise you joy will overflow and your hearts WILL flow with SO much happiness. Get out a pen and paper (or a napkin or card-stock or a back of a receipt, but definitely make sure it is something that you can actually write on because I believe there is so much power in our own handwriting (as I ironically type away on my computer) but take a few moments to yourself and write down everything AND I TRULY mean EVERYTHING that you are thankful for and watch as your heart completely explodes.
This is also something that can be super fun to do with your entire family, or friend group. Just think of it as more hearts bursting in the same room.
Do you have someone in your life that you absolutely appreciate. A person who is consistent and thoughtful and caring. The person who always has your back and is a constant source of life and joy. Well, find time during this special time of the year to truly say THANK YOU. Write them a note, give them some sort of gift of appreciation, whether that is taking them out for coffee or dinner, or arranging to spend special time together, say thank you and make it count.
It can be so simple to say, but find JOY in the little things. Whether that is just a warm sip of delicious coffee, or the snuggles under a warm blanket with a pup curled up along your legs watching a sweet film OR a moment of quiet, find the most simplest moments of everyday and soak up every single second of them. Breathe deeply and fully. Hold on to these sweet and simple moments let them refine you and define you.
I love, love, LOVE reflecting on memories, memories shared with families, on vacations, memories shared with friends, memories that fill your heart and soul with so much satisfaction and joy. Hold on to that memory, write it down and keep it somewhere special. Call or text someone who is involved in that memory and let them know you were thinking of them and that moment. Or, if you are unable to communicate to that person because the memory is of a dear loved one who is no longer here with us, then write down that memory and your reflections of that memory to your loved one in a letter. Trust me, your heart will thank you.
Treasure the moments. All the moments. Whether it is a big victory or a small victory, whether it is two steps forward, or one step back, treasure and celebrate the moments, all of them. And what better way to truly treasure all of the moments, then remembering the milestones with Atlanta-based East Point Foundry. East Point Foundry is a company that specializes in unique, hand-crafted bronze and aluminum plaques to help you commemorate and CELEBRATE all of your special moments near to you and your entire family’s heart. With the ability for complete and total customization to provide you with the celebration of life that you and yours absolutely deserve.
This post is a sponsored post for East Point Foundry, all views expressed are completely my own.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving friends. Stay thankful & be grateful.
Beautiful Haley! Happy Thanksgiving to you!