I thought it might be timely, given the fact that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, to stop for a moment and think about doughnuts.

Doughnuts?!  Unless they are pumpkin spice, what do they have to do with Thanksgiving?!

More than you might expect…

You see, from the 1930’s through the 1970’s every box of Mayflower Donuts had this poem written on the box:

As you ramble on through life, whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole. 

Fast forward into the 21st Century. I think this sentiment is just as relevant today as it was in the 1930’s.  We are a culture drowning in discontent. But we can change that if we have doughnuts this Thanksgiving!

Focusing on the Hole

Advertising agencies have made a fortune on our discontentment, convincing us that we NEED the latest and greatest model.  You don’t have enough!  More is better and newer is best.  We fear being out of style.  These attitudes keep us on a frantic pace of consumption.  And the sad part is that the shiny wears off so quickly.  The new product brings little satisfaction.  Maybe that’s because products and things were never meant to be the source of our contentment. They have the tendency to leave us feeling empty, much like the doughnut hole.

Focusing on the Doughnut

So how do we approach this Thanksgiving differently?  The first step is focusing on the doughnut.  Can we stop long enough to appreciate what we already have?  Let’s face it, most of us have been blessed with abundance.  Here are a few tips to keep you focused on the doughnut!

Tip #1: Focus on God’s Enduring Character

God’s character endures the test of time. He never gets old or goes out of style.  And there will never be a new and improved version.  Read Psalm 136 and focus on these enduring traits of God:

  • God’s enduring goodness
  • God’s enduring love
  • God’s enduring mercy
  • God’s enduring faithfulness
  • God’s enduring righteousness

Tip #2: Be Thankful in Your Circumstances 

I know circumstances can be hard and often tragic.  It’s in these times that we really need to look for the doughnut.  Experience has taught me that the small things in my life are really the things that keep me going.  When we are able to stop long enough to appreciate the small things, things like family, friendships, and opportunities our contentment skyrockets!  Look at the doughnut not the hole. God wants us to have thankful hearts. 

 “Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tip #3: Take Notice of What’s Around You 

God’s creation literally screams of God’s goodness and blessings.  Take time to notice what God has created and thank Him!  Appreciate the cool breeze or the fragrance of Fall.  Take notice of the colors of the leaves.  Finding joy in God’s creation slows us down and gives us fresh perspective.  Thanksgiving is a perfect time to appreciate God’s creativity and His generous provision.

“Everything God created is good. You shouldn’t turn anything down. Instead, you should thank God for it.”  1 Timothy 4:4

“Lord, I will give thanks to you with all my heart.  I will tell about all the wonderful things you have done.  I will be glad and full of joy because of you.  Most High God, I will sing the praises of your name.”  Psalm 9:1-2

Try This With Your Children

Why not have doughnuts this Thanksgiving?! Pick up a few colorful doughnuts and while you’re sharing them with your kiddos, read the little poem. Then ask them how it relates to Thanksgiving.  Gratitude can be a regular practice in our lives.  When you ask your children what they are thankful for, encourage them to tell you why they are thankful for those things.  Help your children learn how to be content through the practice of focusing on the doughnut, not the hole!

I have more ideas!

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