Herb’s Reflections on Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving

Herb Chavers, APLC

Power of Appreciation

It seems that the early Thanksgivings were held to acknowledge God’s provision as manifested through the
recent harvest by being thankful. I’m wondering whether the local store opened early to allow the Pilgrims
to jump start their Christmas shopping?

My wife and I are learning about the power of appreciation (thankfulness) to restore fractures in
relationships. We are discovering that when one’s feelings are hurt, you turn off your relational circuits.
When one’s relational circuits are off, problems become bigger. When relational circuits are on, no problem
is bigger than our relationships. Expressing appreciation for the one who hurt you leads to relational
circuits being turned back on and the problem diminishing.

While the early Thanksgivings were a time of thanking God for the harvest (provision), since almost half
of the Pilgrims had died fairly recently, I’m sure there were some people that were still grieving and
probably not in a thankful mood, especially towards God, and probably not towards some of their fellow
Pilgrims. Honestly, I find myself upset with God and people from time to time because something did not
happen as I desired or something happened that I truly hoped to avoid.At such times, I’m learning to express
appreciation (thankfulness) towards the perceived offender (whether it’s God or a person). As I do, I
eventually become grateful, my relational circuits turn back on, the hurt/problem diminishes and life moves
forward in a good way.

So if you discover your relational circuits are off this season of Thanksgiving, I recommend expressing
appreciation. You might have to begin with the smallest of things such as, being thankful the person handed
you the remote, took the trash out or washed your car 5 years ago. However small, start expressing
appreciation and experience the joy of this Thanksgiving season.

My wife and I are also learning about joy being relational based. It’s what you experience when you meet a
person who lets you know they “are glad to be with you.” As you gather with family and friends this season
of thankfulness, let them know you “are glad to be with them!”