There has been a lot written about gratitude. In the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, the author challenged herself to write down 1,000 things for which she was thankful. When she finished that list, she just kept going.
Allen Hunt, a fantastic speaker and author of Confessions of a Megachurch Pastor, has a great practice of making a yearly list of 26 things he is grateful for – one for each letter of the alphabet. He said in one of his blogs, “Gratitude can be hard to come by in a selfish world. That’s why Thanksgiving is so important. Because gratitude feeds your soul and produces joy and peace. Think about it: Thanksgiving doesn’t ask for much. Just a day to calm down and get real with yourself about what a rich, full life you have. You may not have all you want, but if you live in America, you are among the wealthiest people in the world regardless of your income. But the greatest blessings are rarely financial or material, are they? So each year I list 26 specific parts of my life for which I am grateful. I do it to prevent stinginess and selfishness from taking over my soul.” (11/5/12)
I recently found an “oldie but goodie” from a former MMPG board member which was sent to me before I was even a “Marist Mom.” I hope this helps you celebrate what can be a hectic day with a more joyful heart. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I pray that you have a wonderful day with your friends and family and feel the abundant blessings that God has showered on you today and every day.
How to Observe Thanksgiving
Count your blessings, instead of your crosses
Count your gains, instead of your losses
Count your joys, instead of your woes
Count your friends, instead of your foes
Count your smiles, instead of your fears
Count your courage, instead of your fears
Count your full years, instead of your lean
Count your kind deeds, instead of your mean
Count your health, instead of your wealth
Count on God, instead of yourself
A Thanksgiving Prayer – from the Magnifcat
Most merciful Father, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite.
On this Thanksgiving Day we come before you with gratitude for your kindness:
open our hearts to concern for others so that we may share your gifts of loving service with all your people.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Litany of Thanksgiving
Response: We thank you, O Lord.
This is a day to thank God for all his many blessings in our lives. With gratitude we now say:
For the love of God, for faith, family, and friends: R/
For joys, successes, achievements, and accomplishments: R/
For health, safety, work, and rest: R/
For struggles, sorrows, trials, and sufferings: R/
For our jobs, for those who support us, for our education, and for the chance to serve: R/
For our gifts, talents, and abilities, for honors, for strength and energy: R/
For our homes, for food, warmth, and shelter, for all the things that have made us happy: R/
For our hobbies and pets, for happy memories, for our favorite things, for leisure and relaxation: R/
For our nation, for freedom and peace, for teachers, leaders, and those who give us good example: R/
For the ability to say “I’m sorry,” for the grace of repentance, for the forgiveness of others, for the generosity of others: R/
For good advice, for financial security, for the trust others put in us, for tenderness, understanding, and compassion: R/
For kindness, goodness, joy, and laughter, for the times we have helped others or made them happy: R/
For all the wonders of creation, for beauty, music, sports, and art, for new opportunities and second chances: R
For failures and rejection, for all the ways we have grown up and become better people: R/
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.