Thankfulness is a decision. On a recent trip outside of the country, I was talking to a lady who was undergoing chemotherapy. She told me how thankful she was for her health and her life. Her condition and her smile seemed incongruous, but thankfulness oozed from her spirit. Thankfulness made a difference in light of what she was suffering. I stopped to think about how a thankful spirit is so different from that of a critical one. In the Scriptures we are encouraged to give thanks at all times and I suppose she was fulfilling that verse literally, but beyond that she seemed genuinely happy and at peace.
When we lose our thankfulness, we lose the ability to see the good. We remove our eyes from what God is doing and get our eyes focused upon what we feel God is not doing. We then begin to entertain a critical spirit. This Thanksgiving as you sit around the dining room table, take the time to allow each family member to share in brief what they are thankful for or what they see God doing in their lives. It will set the mood for a more positive meal time together.
Another idea might be to celebrate communion together as a family and together rejoice in what Christ has sacrificed for us. Perhaps you might want to even read the following verses together before you pray and give thanks to God for all of His blessings:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Ps. 100: 3-5)