Thanks to a verse from the psalms, I have a new idea on how to start and end each day.

courtesy of Luis Quintero, Pexels

Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ve been trying to focus on being thankful each day this month. It’s an uphill fight, not that I don’t have loads to be thankful for, but because I’m having a hard time finding Thanksgiving anywhere. As soon as Halloween is over, everyone seems to skip directly to Christmas without stopping for a breath. Christmas movies, Christmas music, and Christmas lights appear, along with Christmas candy and gifts for everyone on your list (and of course the “much deserved” treats for the shopper along the way).

Thanksgiving gets only a nod. There aren’t even any specifically dedicated songs of Thanksgiving on Christian radio or in church. Other than ingredients for the traditional feast and a few decorations, we pretty much move right past this vitally important holiday. I know three holidays, three months in a row can be a lot to get excited about. But why miss one that can mean so much to us spiritually?

My theory is, we’re much better at eating, dressing up, partying, eating some more, and giving and getting mounds of presents, than showing gratitude. Me included. Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating, feasting, and presents, but I believe it is extremely important to pause and reflect on all the ways God has blessed us. At least one day a year.

Since I easily fall into complaining when everything doesn’t go my way, I try to practice this year-round, with a 3×5 reminder in my Bible to list 10 Things I’m Thankful For each day. And when we have days off or are traveling together, my husband and I take turns listing our ten items. Talking about them magnifies our gratitude even more.

That’s why my favorite part of Thanksgiving is when I pass out three candy corns to each family member and we take turns telling three things we’re thankful for. This represents the scarcity of food during the pilgrim’s first winter in America, when they purportedly had only 3 kernels of corn apiece. I can’t wait for this! And now, thanks to a random phrase from Psalm 149, I’m trying something else to practice grateful worship.

Psalm 149:1-5 says, “Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people….For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.

That’s interesting, I thought. I’ve never noticed that before. I know singing has tremendous power to lift our spirits and elicit praise, but I never thought about singing in bed before. Sometimes, I go to bed or wake up with a song playing in my mind. But I’ve never put voice to it. It’s hard to sing from your diaphragm when you’re laying down.

So why would the psalmist invite God’s people to sing in bed? I found three reasons in this passage:

  1. The Lord takes delight in His people.
  2. He crowns the humble with victory.
  3. It’s an honor to belong to God!

First, God delights in us. He loves it when we praise Him with others or singing to the radio in our car. So why not in the privacy of our own bed?

Second, out of gratitude for the victories He has given us. When we humbly seek Him, the Lord will help us conquer fear, addiction, bitterness, grief. So why not sing Him a nice praise song?

Third, no matter how hard the trials we face in this life, it’s an honor and privilege to be His children. We belong to Him. He is our Father, Shepherd, Guide, Comforter, Provider, Healer—our very life and breath! And He is preparing a place for His faithful people to live with Him in heaven.

I’ve been trying this—singing softly to myself before my husband comes to bed. The other night I started humming while we were both getting ready, and he surprised me by joining in. Morning is harder, my croaky voice doesn’t want to wake up and be cheerful, but as the notes rise, so does my spirit. Afterall, it’s not for show, but for Jesus.

I challenge you to try this. What other reasons can you and your family think of why we should sing in bed? How about singing a song with your kids as you tuck them in. Sing when you lay down, and when you awake. I’d love to hear how it changes your attitude of gratitude through each day and night to come.

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!