You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day, after the music fades and our cars leave the parking lot, pieces of the message tend to fade, too; somewhere along the way, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. 

So follow along each Monday as we seek to integrate that Truth into our daily lives; leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Monday After Sunday, November 18, 2012: Thanksgiving Service

By Anita Everly

I’m grateful that our church sets aside this entire Sunday every year to reflect on our year and the work that God has done in our individual lives and in the Body of Christ represented at Immanuel Church.

I went to both services this year, as many people did.  There is absolutely no way to contain on the pages of this blog the testimonies of the people who spoke of God’s power in their lives.  I wrote them all down, but to mention one above another would diminish the importance that each speaks to the provision and glory of God and the growth of faith in each believer’s heart.  And for each of those who did speak, there were hundreds more who had stories just as powerful that were left unspoken.

Perhaps that might be why so many of us love Thanksgiving Sunday.  We are seated in the stillness of His presence through worship and declaration for over an hour as we reflect on His greatness.  We are slowed to an unscripted pace where we are encouraged by the testimonies of others and driven to look deeper into our own blessings.  We experience the truth of Psalm 16:11 (ESV):  In your presence is fullness of joy.

Through the words spoken by our people on Sunday, there were a few notable threads that were woven through many of the stories in both services:

He is trustworthy and faithful.

He brings peace and joy beyond explanation, even in the midst of life’s storms.

There are people in our midst who have suffered great trials, hurt, and loss in the last year.  However, almost more than the words of abundant blessings of Christ were the thanksgivings for the growing pains that have brought many to a deeper relationship with God.

They have lived and testified the truth of the childhood song almost everyone knows:  Jesus loves me.  This I know.

Above all, the stories giving thanks on Sunday, and those yet to be told, all reflect the Father’s glory as our people displayed his splendor.

It’s Monday and likely you are already deep in the schedule of today.  Not to mention, you are well aware of the work week you have to cram into only three days, the house and food that you must scurry to prepare or the packing and loading for the long trip over the river and through the woods later this week.

Just yesterday was Thanksgiving Sunday.

Is the profound effect of this time with our Immanuel family praising our God still with you, or has it already been swallowed up with this busy holiday week?

It’s sometimes hard to hold onto Thanksgiving Day and its true intent.  Our culture doesn’t help with that, does it?  The holiday is now whittled down to a few hours and has become almost Black Friday Eve more than it is Thanksgiving Day.

I was recently reminded of an almost-forgotten challenge, issued to me nearly two decades ago:

Make your Thanksgiving list before you make your Christmas list.

It’s a powerful challenge when we take it seriously.  It was a blessing to ourselves and to the Lord to be witnesses to what we heard in the services yesterday.  However, even for those who spoke, I suspect what they shared is just the beginning.  For those of us who did not share verbally, we have a lot yet to say.

What if we put a list on the refrigerator door, in our journal, or on construction paper leaves?  What if we were intentional to take some daily moments to truly Give Thanks to the Father for the personal ways He has been alive and working in our own lives this year?

We have three more mornings to awaken before we dine at the Thanksgiving table.

If we take today and write out five blessings, and do the same the next three days, we would have twenty blessings reflecting His glory by the time we sit down for all our meal.

And that’s certainly more gifts in number and importance given to us already than the number most of us will receive for Christmas.

I feel the rush already infringing in on my quiet.

It will only take a few precious minutes to declare His glory.

Four days in a row.

A Thanksgiving List.

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

5 thoughts on “The Monday After: A Thanksgiving List {Anita}

  1. Anita, thank you so much for these thoughts and also the wonderful challenge. I’ll join you in doing it :). May God open our eyes to so many ways that He intentionally loves us!

  2. Anita, Thanks for sharing these words with us. I will be writing down my five things as soon as I am off the computer. Thanks for the reminder cause oh! how we need them.

  3. I love your words and your love for the Lord. Truly inspirational to see all the gifts bestowed to us by our Heavenly Father prior to making the “I want list”. Only then to celebrate the gift of His Son. Where does the “I want list” really fit in when our hearts swell and want to burst with gratitude? Thank you Anita for sharing your heart and gift of the written word…it seems to run in the family ; )

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