A Heart of Thanksgiving

As a child, I was taught to always be thankful. Before I ever read the Bible, I was reminded of its principles. Mom often said, “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive” and “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” When you are a kid, that doesn’t make a lot of sense because you want everything … and you want it now! But Proverbs says,

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”  —Proverbs 22:6

Like a good builder who knows that if you start with a solid foundation the building will be sound, a parent can instill a strong foundation in their children. Today, because of the love and wisdom Mom instilled into my upbringing, I have become successful in life. Thanks, Mom!

Gratefulness is synonymous with being thankful. A grateful heart empowers us to be thankful and to give thanks! An easy way to “see” this is by simply examining the suffix, full, or to reach capacity or maximum potential. When our hearts are grateful, there is little room for anything else. And when we give from a grateful heart, amazing things begin to manifest.

Consider the impetus behind the original celebration that launched our Thanksgiving holiday. It had little to do with what was on the table and much to do with who was at the table: first nation indigenous people and Pilgrims from England who had set sail in search of a new land where they could escape religious persecution. When one considers the awkwardness of language barriers as well as social, moral, and ethnic differences, it becomes quite obvious that this event was simply about sharing the best they had with each other. When we unselfishly give the best we have with a heart of thanksgiving, it can become an unforgettable event… maybe even history making.

By the time you receive this letter, loved ones will be boarding planes, trains, and automobiles, headed to their holiday destinations. Kids will be giddy because grandpa and grandma are coming (and they have a vacation from school!). Last minute grocery shopping will be in full swing, and hopefully, those who prepare their turkey in a fryer will remember to defrost it first to avoid an explosion! Yes, Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to reconnect and prayerfully disconnect from all of the distractions, deadlines, and drama that far too often permeates our lives.

Here is a suggestion from my wife, Lillian. Have a basket handy for everyone to surrender their phones and tablets before coming to the Thanksgiving table. This is a sacred time to spend with the ones you love, looking into each others eyes, and sharing stories, not keeping up on the latest YouTube videos or Facebook posts! When the turkey is carved and the host is seated, join hands and remember to give thanks to the One who provided not only the feast, but gave you life.

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” —Psalm 95: 2-3

I would be remiss if I forgot to thank YOU, my Wholetones family, for your love, unselfish support, and prayers. You have no idea how your testimonies, notes of encouragement, and patronage throughout the year have touched my heart, THANK YOU!!! You have been a pivotal part of Wholetones reaching the nations. Check your email for a special, “thank you” gift via a “Black Friday” special on 11/27.

Michael S. Tyrrell