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How to Cultivate a Spirit of Thanksgiving in Your Marriage

A marriage thrives when both the husband and wife love Christ more than anyone in life, including their spouse. And when they look to The Lord as their provider - rather than demanding their spouse meet all their needs. When you learn to devote your heart to loving the Lord, there will be a natural outpouring of thankfulness and God's love spilling out of your heart and onto those around you - especially your marriage partner.

5 Biblical Ways to Break Free From a Spirit of Ungratefulness

We all grumble from time to time, whether it's about the traffic, the weather, or the lines at the grocery store. However, when we are constantly complaining, unhappy, or discontent, we probably need to break free from a spirit of ungratefulness.The truth is ungratefulness concentrates on the negative. It skips over the blessings of God and focuses on life's problems. Often, it repels those we love most because nobody wants to be around it.I can write about this today because my nature is to grumble and complain. I've struggled with this my whole life, yet God has been gracious in helping me recognize negative thought patterns and turn them into patterns of praise.If you feel bound by a spirit of ungratefulness, here are five biblical ways to break free.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Doucefleur

12 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes for Different Seasons of Life

Ahhh, the aroma of slow-roasting turkey, the clang of pots and pans amid lively kitchen chatter, the football game droning from the family room. Flour-powdered, grease-splattered aprons. And kids . . . so many kids, in and out of the backyard, begging to lick the beaters, vying for the wishbone, pleading for one morsel of pre-feast sustenance, lest their plump bodies waste away.That sweet memory is my idea of a delicious Thanksgiving. Your traditions may be different. Undoubtedly, your food favorites are too. But change happens. Kids grow up. Dietary needs change. Aprons go out of style. Anything containing raw eggs can’t be licked off beaters anymore. Grocery prices skyrocket. And football . . . ugh, Dallas Cowboys, why? But as my quiet and gentle Mamaw always used to say, “Those who can’t change their minds can’t never change nothing.”Okay, two disclaimers. First, no one would characterize my die-hard Southern grandma as “quiet” or “gentle.” Mamaw was as tough and raw as overworked bread dough. And we loved her for it. Second, I later learned that Mamaw’s wise advice about change was a George Bernard Shaw quote, minus the double negative and Southern flair. Go figure. Regardless of who said what, the wisdom of the quote remains the same. Change is good. And that’s true in the case of our food choices, too. Here are 12 non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes that will help you celebrate deliciously, even when the seasons in your life change.Photo Credit: © Getty/Drazen Zigic

The Top 10 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).As we approach the holiday season and really any season, it is always good to find something cheerful that will put a smile on your face. As you read this article, I hope that is what you will find.Every year when we gather for Thanksgiving, we share food, enjoy family (most of them), and in my house we watch football (this one is non-negotiable). We know with Thanksgiving, the turkey has become the star of the show, the lead singer, if you will. Any talented singer usually performs with backup singers, and so it is with the turkey.While turkey may be the star of the table, for me Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. So in honor of this wonderful holiday, which is one of my favorites, I want to give you my ranking of the top 10 side dishes for Thanksgiving.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Alex Raths

3 Ways to Be Thankful During Grief

The holiday season often becomes a season of renewed grief. The passing of a loved one, whether fresh or years past, becomes raw again as their absence is felt anew. This will be the third season without my mom, and I keep functioning under the idea that it will get easier. Perhaps, in some ways, it does. But in many ways, I feel the aching emptiness of the spaces she filled.I’ll be honest. Mom wasn’t that great of a cook or baker. She wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t anything exceptional either. But now, I miss her freshly baked gingerbread cake and homemade lemon sauce. I miss her turkey and the way she despised making it. I miss her laughter as she sat down to wrap Christmas gifts and shooed me from spying on her. I miss addressing all the Christmas card envelopes while she handwrote a note in every card.I miss her. When they say grief can physically hurt, I understand that now. The weight on my chest bears down. The unshed tears make my throat sore. The mustering of smiles hurts my cheeks. The rhythm of my heart seems to make it crack a little more with each successive beat.But I’m also learning something new. A reframing of my perspective. A way to enter the holidays with joy—true joy—while also not denying myself the reality that my grief exists. Finding ways to be thankful during grief is not easy. Especially this time of year. But it can bring about a healing to the grief that is oh, so very important.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Kerkez

10 Comforting Prayers for Those Who Are Alone on Thanksgiving

During the holiday season, there is an expectation or assumption that everything will be merry and bright. On Thanksgiving Day, we imagine that we will be at a table filled with delicious food and many loved ones. However, that is not always the case. For some, the holiday will be spent alone. Perhaps you are estranged from your family, or you live too far away and are unable to travel.Most people have had lonely holidays, but being alone is never easy. When we look to Scripture, we find evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness. If you or someone you know will be alone this Thanksgiving, here are 10 prayers you can say to bring comfort and hope.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/DGLimages

4 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Mindset

What is a mindset? How is it determined? And is it possible to change it? The Oxford Dictionary defines mindset as the established set of attitudes held by someone. If so, where, when, and how is a mindset established?Scripture teaches us the importance of where our minds are set. It describes the different mindsets and how they affect and direct our lives. Romans 8:5 explains, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”In a nutshell, whatever we have our mindsets on, leads our thoughts and actions in our daily lives, directing us to either strive for our own desires or to do God’s will. The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”Peter in Matthew 16:23 received what seemed like a pretty harsh rebuke from Jesus concerning his mindset when he tried to talk Him out of the coming suffering He would soon experience. Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”Paul writes further in Philippians 3:18-19 of where earthly mindsets lead individuals. “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmat

7 Forgotten Biblical Lessons to Revitalize Your Thanksgiving Tradition

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day year after year, with the usual routine and practices, can sometimes leave us with a feeling of just going through the motions, leading some to lose the heart of what it means for our nation to focus on and celebrate thankfulness.To many individuals, it has become just another holiday to spend with family, eating and having fun doing the things we love doing. But Thanksgiving Day began in our country out of grateful hearts expressing thankfulness to God our Creator, Defender, Deliverer, and Provider.America’s National Thanksgiving Day Based on Biblical PrinciplesAlong with the Pilgrims committing to a day of thankfulness to God, during the American Revolution, before our nation was officially birthed, the Continental Congress called colonists to national days of thanksgiving, asking all citizens to express gratefulness to God for His divine protection over our troops. Despite what some may try to dismiss, America’s founders understood what Deuteronomy 20:4 proclaims, “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”Inspired by our newly formed nation’s military victories, in 1789, President George Washington declared the first official Thanksgiving proclamation, setting aside time for all citizens to thank God for the end of the war and the Constitution’s successful ratification.Biblical Lessons Help Nations to Be ThankfulOur nation’s founders were on the right path when they set days aside for national Thanksgiving. They understood the value of honoring God and giving Him credit for His help in beginning our emerging country.Psalm 107:31 encourages, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.”Nations giving thanks to God is biblical. Psalm 57:9 urges, “I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of your among the peoples.”America’s founders’ basis for Thanksgiving Day came from biblical truths. The following are seven forgotten biblical lessons to remind us why thankfulness is essential to us and our nation and to revitalize our Thanksgiving Day traditions.Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AlexRaths

The Gift of Thankfulness: A 30-Day Gratitude Challenge to Revive Hope

Before you begin this 30-day challenge, take a moment to pause. Let your fingers rest from scrolling. Resist the urge to multitask. Don’t contemplate how you might fit this challenge into your busy schedule. Just breathe. Thankfulness is not another chore. It’s a gift.Thankfulness can change our perspective, short-circuit our temporal mindset, uproot our bitterness, and bolster our downtrodden spirits. Scientific research shows a link between thankfulness and a healthy immune system, ideal sleep patterns, strong relationships, and many other measurable benefits. Scripture offers powerful examples of those who utilized the gift of thankfulness and reaped a harvest of peace, healing, and strength—despite their circumstances.With all the proven physical, spiritual, and psychological benefits, why do we sometimes struggle with giving thanks in all circumstances? Do we view thankfulness as another discipline to master rather than a gift to accept and use?1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” But within the same chapter is an often overlooked truth: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).True thankfulness overflows from a wellspring of hope that already lives within us. When we incline our hearts to the truth about who God is, what He has done, is doing, and will do—thankfulness erupts from our satisfied souls, and our whole being joins the party.Like every other act of worship, thankfulness is not expressed solely through the fruit of our lips—but also through the fruit of our lives (Hebrews 12:28). During this challenge, we’ll use our five senses as a theme to dive into scripture and celebrate the thanks-worthy attributes of God. On one day, we’ll give thanks. Another day, we’ll show gratitude. Then, we’ll take a day to pray for others who need hope.Photo Credit: Unsplash/Kiy Turk

Encouragement for the Single Mom This Thanksgiving

Whether it’s your year to send the kids off to be with Dad or you’re planning a quiet dinner at home with you and your children, it is my prayer for you this Thanksgiving that the Lord reminds you of His faithfulness, surrounds you with an uplifting single mom community and that His Spirit cultivates in you a thankful heart this season and the whole year through.

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