Piles of Thankfulness


Hey there– I was scrolling through facebook last week and came across a post from Amit, one of the smartest, most inventive, intentional people.  It was his birthday and he asked friends to leave a comment of something they were thankful for –as a gift to him.

He started it up–being thankful for a day on the playground with his nephew.  And he promised to donate $1 to an organization that helps small businesses around the world for each thankful comment.

It was heartening to read through the piles of thankful comment thoughts–  Matt was thankful to be a parent, the most humbling and rewarding experience he’s had so far.  Duane, thankful to be able to use and move his body.  Alex mentioned beaches and friends.  And Grace was thankful for the internet and instantaneous communication between friends.  Melissa talked about the luxury of a home. Cold coconut water and new babies and rainstorms also made the list… I added our beautiful, soul lifting hikes in Sequoia.

I checked back today and Amit had donated $175 for all those thankful thoughts.

It made me think again how wonderful (in the true sense of wonder) it is to review all that we can be thankful for.  I want to pile up reason upon reason to be thankful, to thank God for all those things big and small–to be overwhelmed with that wonder and thankfulness.

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.”  –Psalm 107:1

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”    — Colossians 3:17

And a favorite quote from George Herbert (Welsh, 1590-1633)
“Thou that hast giv’n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.”

P.S.  photo–walking to the swimming hole on our camping trip a couple weeks ago.

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30 Days of Gratitude

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Hello Friends– It’s November 1st.  When our kids were small, it was the day we posted “The Thankful Heart Chart” on the fridge so they could draw pictures (donuts and dads, dancing and dogs…)  all month to show how they were thankful. I have well over 20 of those precious charts folded and tucked away in a file.  Love them.

But now our kids are grown and out, I need to continue daily thanks this month of Thanksgiving.  So I have a little list.  My plan is to answer one of these questions a day– just writing a word or two on my calendar until I have a whole month of thankfulness accrued.  I thought you might like the list too…

So here’s a list of 30 questions, one a day, to urge our hearts to be a little more grateful.

#1. What made you smile today?
#2. What is the thing you love the most about the person closest you?
#3. What is some comfort at home you are grateful for?
#4. What accomplishments in your life have brought you the most happiness?
#5. What has changed in the last year, that you are grateful for?
#6. What is the best part of autumn for you?
#7. What is something a family member did this week that gave you joy?
#8. What is something beautiful you saw today?
#9. What is something that was hard for you, but you did it anyway?
#10. What made you laugh today?
#11. What was your favorite family outing you went on this past year?
#12. What is your biggest talent?
#13. What gift did you love receiving this year?
#14. What is something that you love in nature?
#15. What is the sweetest thing that happened today?
#16. What is your favorite family tradition?
#17. What is one kindness someone did for you this week?
#18. What do you love about your parents/grandparents?
#19. What do you enjoy about the place that you live?
#20. What do you love about one (or more) of your friends?
#21. What trial or challenge has strengthened you?
#22. What is a dear memory from your childhood?
#23. What is the best part of your job?
#24. What freedoms are you grateful for?
#25. What occasion have you enjoyed with friends this month?
#26. What thing in your life gives you strength?
#27. What have you read/heard this year that made a difference in your life?
#28. What things in your days give you quiet and peace?
#29. What day in the last year brought you pure joy?
#30. What can I do to express your thanks for all these things?

All this thankfulness from my heart goes to the God is good and merciful and faithful in his immense love for us.

“Many, O Lord my god, are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”
Psalm 40:5

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thank you margeretbergart.com for the graphic.

Gratitude and Prayer

img_8715“Let Gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”
—Maya Angelou  (1928-2014,  American poet, memoirist and civil rights activist)

Don’t you love this idea?– it’s true.  If I can come to God full of thankfulness for his blessings big and small at the end of my day, it puts all else into perspective.  The day’s irritations, disappointments fade. I can thank God, love God for who he is, for all he has given in his great love and mercy.

photo: San Francisco hike, 2013