November in Michigan can sometimes come in like a beast. Last year, October ended in snowfall, and the snow never really went away until April.

This year, the beast of winter is running late, and I’m hoping he loses all sense of direction and never meets up with the Mitten state. For once I would love my birthday (it falls on Thanksgiving this year) to be a sunny, mild day. It’s yet to happen, but I’m ever the optimist. Maybe this year.

Other things about November also stay relatively reliable. First of all, there’s Thanksgiving. Turkey, potatoes, pie, family, football, naps… Then of course, there’s my birthday. It happens every November, though I’ve been telling it for years that it doesn’t need to show up anymore.

The 11th month of the ¬†year has also always been my “Gratitude” month. The month where I reflect upon God’s goodness and take time to express how blessed and grateful I am. November is my month to make the conscientious decision to stop the grumbling and start the gratitude. My list oftentimes looks like this:

  1. Thank you, Lord, for my children.
  2. Thank you, Lord, for my faithful and loving spouse.
  3. Thank you, Lord, that we are all healthy.
  4. Thank you, Lord, for your provision.
  5. Thank you, Lord, for your protection.
  6. Thank you, Lord, for my country and those who serve to protect it.

This November, in light of the missing winter beast, I’ve decided it’s time to shake things up. What if my gratitude lasted longer than November? What if I continually had a heart of gratitude? If every day I woke up and the first thing out of my mouth was, “Thank you, Lord.” What would happen if I took the apostle Paul’s advice to heart: In whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

It would be transformative, wouldn’t it? One thing I’ve learned is that thankful people are happy people. When we’re focused on the goodness of the Lord, it’s hard not to smile and pass on that good energy like a baton in our fight of faith.

Here’s my goal: in my prayer journal, I’m going to spend each day starting out with thanksgiving. I’m going to let gratitude submerge me until I’m baptized in all the blessings God has bestowed upon me.

Because He deserves no less.

What about you? Share how you develop a thankful heart. Are there Scriptures to encourage you? I’d love to hear them!