wall of thanks

My Thanksgivings the past few years have looked (and felt) very different than they used to. Granted, I've celebrated most Thanksgivings of my adult life across the ocean in a country that doesn't even recognize the holiday. But it didn't matter. We made them uniquely special, and always a memorable celebration of giving thanks.

My favorite tradition is one I began in Africa. Every year, we build a Wall of Thanks.

I place out Post-it notes and markers, and throughout the day, people write down things they are thankful for and post them on the wall.

I always make multiple trips to the wall—to read and to add more things I am grateful for—and love watching others do the same.

It is heart-filling to stand and read the gratitude plastered on that wall. Deep, meaningful, significant things as well as the humorous, inside-joke-only kinds of things.

The wall stands as more than a list of what we are collectively thankful for. It holds memories, hope, promises, truth. It holds what was and may never be again, but also what will someday be. It holds the joy of loving and being loved. It holds... me.

And this altogether new and different and somewhat strange Thanksgiving, I'll surely have my Wall of Thanks yet again.

Will you join me?

Maybe it's a new tradition you can start with your own loved ones. And together we can build our Wall of Thanks wherever we are...

If you post pictures of your Wall or your Post-its, I wanna see them! Tag me on Facebook—and on Twitter and Instagram, use the hashtag #WallOfThanks, so we can celebrate with each other.

No matter what is going on in our lives—no matter the season we've just endured or are currently crawling through—we can choose to say "Thank You" to the One who understands even when we don't.

And please know this... YOU, my Gritty family, will certainly be a Post-it note on my Wall of Thanks.

Will you join me with your own Wall of Thanks this year? What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

thank God!

It's really hard for me to remain thankful in all things. In moments of disappointment, hurt, anger, frustration, impatience, whatever, it's often impossible difficult to lift my eyes and say, "I will thank You anyway." And as if that weren't a sufficient enough challenge, I'm not just instructed to be thankful in all things. I'm commanded to be thankful for all things.

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything..."


That means I need to live from a heart that readily says---

  • Thank You for my husband's infidelity.
  • Thank You for his decision to leave me.
  • Thank You for this loneliness.
  • Thank You for yet another high-pain day.
  • Thank You for the uncertainty and the unknowns.

I need to start thanking God for my "all things". Even before they work together for good.

Thanking Him even for what hurts and confuses me, develops trust. It helps me acknowledge that He's in control, and that He has even this---whatever this may be---in His hands. Thanking Him for what makes my heart ache, builds my faith.

And my faith sure needs building.

But, to be honest, I'm nowhere near there yet. I don't know when I'll be able to say with a sincere and genuine heart, "Thank You even for this."

But this week I am going to start praying, "Lord, I want to want to thank You, even for this..."