Thanksgiving! What is  the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear this word? Most of us think of fabulous food: turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pecan and pumpkin pies! Then when we think a little more deeply we think of all the many things we need to give thanks for. When we count our many blessings and name them one by one we come up with some great lists. The Red Team puts God at the top of the list, family, friends, health, and our careers are a few that we all are grateful to have. In our family we always try to go around the table and try to pick one specific thing that we can share that no one else has said yet. We have had contests to see who can come up with the longest list in 15 minutes. In the past year we had nine of us on a group text that each takes a month and texts each daily with a topic of thankful suggestions. This is really interesting and can be really thought provoking and can get pretty silly!
One day one of us said to give thanks for something every single time you get a drink or go to the bathroom! Another example was that once the leader asked us to do a voice recording thanking God for the first 3 things that come to our mind within the next 10 seconds! Not much to ask when we have 64,000 seconds in our day. It only takes three seconds or less to come up with one thankful item so surely you can take less than one minute to thank God for three things each day.. This thankfulness habit begins to change us little by little.

My favorite devotional book,
Jesus Calling,talked about this subject this week. It said if you give thanks for everything regardless of your feelings then He will give you joy regardless of your circumstances.
Shifting our focus will change our attitudes!

One of the best ways to bring joy to us is to serve others. During this time of the year we have more than enough opportunities to reach out with a helping hand. Just this past week my church wrote letters of thanks to the teachers of an elementary school we adopted and filled hundreds of shoe boxes with
Christmas gifts for kids in Croatia. Then last night hundreds of International people came to our church for the annual Thanksgiving dinner. At our table, we had seven OC students, six of which were from Africa and one from  Portugal. They really enjoyed their Thanksgiving feast. Today Keller Williams  gave back to the community through The Hope Center. We walked there  and had a truck full of canned goods for their pantry! Another realtor posted on Facebook the need for Foster Kids and their wish lists.  If you want to be of service, you don’t need to look far!
Remember a grateful heart is a happy heart!

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