I love Thanksgiving. I appreciate the focus on family, the yummy food, and how time slows down just a bit as we gather and focus on the things we’re thankful for. Instead of consumption, Thanksgiving – at least until Black Friday begins – is on choosing to give instead of receive.

But it’s just one day and honestly, I want my mindset to stay in that place a while longer.

I’ve got to show up to life, live and move and breathe amongst the falling leaves and the crisp, chilly air if I’m going to keep the Thanksgiving spirit alive. Because when you steal some time and show up to life, you choose thanksLIVING. You choose to declare that all is a gift, waiting to be unwrapped and appreciated.

One year and two days ago, I wrote that in order to truly live one must do one’s living amongst the breathing.

What a gift it is and what a waste we too often make of it. We may not know the future or what is right up ahead, but I want to live in a state of being that declares: I will savor life. I will suck the marrow out of it. I will dance and laugh and throw my head back with abandon, arms spread wide. I will sing off key and eat too many bowls of ice cream. I will take pictures because I love the beauty, not because they would make beautiful graphics. I will listen instead of doing, slow instead of worrying, love instead of doubting.

I will live and love amongst the breathing.

God has not called us to run a frantic race towards the finish line, but to love deeply and intentionally. I’m finding more and more that I love best when I forget all of my lists.

Your people need you more than they need your to-do’s checked off. They need your time, your undivided attention, your text messages and phone calls, your letters and coffee dates and inside jokes. They need you.

Last year I asked myself what I would leave out and what I would add in. I wrote that I hoped it would be a season of leaving out worry and adding in time with people, focusing on slow moments of laughter, love, and life. I haven’t always gotten it right, but when I’ve gotten small and loved deep, I’ve somehow wound up choosing thanksliving which then circles me right back around to thanks-giving.

What will you add and what will you leave out? I’m slowing down – writing less and closing the computer more. In the hustle and bustle and frantic pace that arrives just hours after we clear the Thanksgiving table, let’s focus on people and live a life that says “thank You.”

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