Be thankful and be at peace…

November 22, 2022

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this quote that I got in an email recently makes great sense and sets a wonderful tone for the holiday.

I have known some families who make it a practice on Thanksgiving Day to have family members voice their gratitude for something or someone in their life during the year. I suspect that we all pause to reflect on things that we are thankful for at some point during the day of Thanksgiving. Perhaps we should make that a daily habit, rather than just a once-a-year occurrence.

 It is relatively easy to see how being grateful can bring closure and peace about events in the past. It is also not hard to understand that being grateful allows us to pause and be at peace with the present. It is a bit harder to see how being grateful for something or someone in your past provides a vision for the future; however, the thought process that starts with that gratitude quickly morphs into thoughts about how that event or person changed the trajectory of your life.

One can’t help but allow that process to project them into the future and a quick vision of where one is headed. The thought process of, “I’m so grateful for this event/person in the past that go me to where I am today”, just careens on into “and where I hope to be tomorrow.”

So, this Thanksgiving, either out loud or just in your thoughts, pause and let yourself be grateful for the things that have happened and people that you have encountered over the past year. It’s all good. These things and people helped get you where you are today and they have changed and directed your life’s trajectory into tomorrow. If you happen to be celebrating the holiday with some of the people in your thoughts, be sure to thank them for their impact on your life.

Be grateful. Be at peace.

Gratitude or entitlement, which are you teaching?

November 24, 2021

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Fred shared this Thanksgiving prayer sent to him by one of his followers –

“Put gratitude in your attitude!”  (Sent by Carol Retan)

A suggested Thanksgiving Table Prayer for you to use:

For food in a world where many walk in hunger,

For faith in a world where many walk in fear,

For friends in a world where many walk alone,

We offer our humble gratitude, O Lord.  AMEN

In our society, many seem to have moved away from being thankful for what they have to a selfish attitude of entitlement. Perhaps much of that results from our tendency to try to give our children all of the things that we might not have had. While that seems like a worthy goal on the surface, it may actually be an attempt to enjoy life through our children and it teaches them the wrong lesson. There is very little “value” associated with things that we don’t have to work for to achieve, and that is true for our children, too.

A recent survey found that the majority of parents say that their children are not thankful for all of the things that they’ve been given. Well, DUH! If they didn’t have to do anything to get those things, how are they supposed to assign a value to them and be thankful for them. We have created generations of young people who feel entitled to everything, rather than grateful for what they have.

So, what are we to do? It’s never to late to start teaching the right things and gratitude is certainly one of those things. Insisting that children write a letter/card or call those who give them things to say Thank You, is a start. Don’t allow just a text message or a post on Instagram to suffice. When children achieve a goal or have a major accomplishment, they should be encouraged to thankful to any and all who may have helped them, and they should thank God for giving them the patience and perseverance to prevail.

Gratitude is based upon humility, whereas entitlement is based upon hubris. Which are you teaching your children?

Be grateful on New Year’s Eve.

December 31, 2019

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Jack Freed used this quote – “Thank you God for this good life, and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”  (Garrison Keillor) 

Jack went on to write about being thankful for our lives on New Year’s Eve. I went looking for more quotes about being thankful and found these thought provoking gems –

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

Many people use New Year’s Eve to look ahead and hope for things that they don’t have. Better if pause to they look back a bit, not in nostalgia, in thankfulness for the life that God gave them in the past year.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” -Meister Eckhart

For some it is hard to see what they should be thankful for at the end of the year. Perhaps they don’t stop to consider that they made it to the end of the year. That is especially true of people living in war zones or under duress.

Habeeb Akande expressed his gratitude for making it thorugh another year this way – “I may not be where I want to be but I’m thankful for not being where I used to be.”

So this New Year’s Eve, express your gratitude to God and anyone else who is there to listen. Not to do so is like –

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

Be thankful and be happy. Express your gratitude. Give the present of your gratitude.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie

Gratitude is a thing to be given and to get from others, sometimes when you need it the most.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -Albert Schweitze

The pass on that spark by sharing your gratitude with others.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” -Ralph Marston

So, use this New Year’s Eve, not only to look ahead, but also to look back in gratitude on the blessings of the past year. At midnight say, “Thank you” to God for the life that He has given you.

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.” -Alice Walker

I for one am grateful to be here on another New Year’s Eve and to be able to share with you my gratitude that you read my humble blog.

Have a great New Year!

What are you grateful for?

November 29, 2016

“Gratitude improves your attitude, dude!”  (James Taylor), as seen on a recent post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

When you get older even things like waking up for another day can be something that one gratitude-1is grateful for. Being grateful is a realization and acknowledgement that the things that happen to us, the experiences that we have and the successes that we experience in life are not totally within our control. Other powers, or other people, have a causal effect on our lives. When you can acknowledge that, the veil of feeling alone in this world is lifted and your gratitude improves your attitude, dude.

When we can put aside ego for a moment and acknowledge and be grateful for those other people and that higher power, we are embracing the fact that we are part of something greater than ourselves; we are a part of society, a member of the pack called “We”. There is some reward in saying “I” did it; but there is a much greater feeling of goodness when you can say “We” did it. It is much more rewarding to thanks and hug others and receive hugs for having accomplished something together than to sit alone and ponder your success. Gratitude improves your attitude, dude.

gratitude-3Beyond acknowledging and being grateful for the help of others, there is the awareness that a higher power is at work in the world and does not ignore you. You may call out for help in prayer to God or you may thank God for saving your bacon today; in either case you are stepping back from your own ego and acknowledging God and showing gratitude for His presence in your life. A secondary benefit of thanking God in prayer for what he has already done for you is the comforting feeling that you’ll get that the future will be OK too, because He will be with you then, too. Gratitude improves your attitude, dude.

We are in the season when people overload on Hallmark Channel feel-good movies and shows and all of the classics from Miracle on 34th Street to Charlie Brown’s Christmas. In every happy ending to those stories there is a group acknowledgement of gratitude for each other and for God and the spirit of Christmas as expressed in the manger in attitude-2Bethlehem. Every Christmas story ends with a group hug and cheerful attitudes as the characters acknowledge and are grateful for the birth of Jesus and His lasting impact on their lives. What are you grateful for this year? Think about it and then say it our loud. It will make you feel better to do that, because gratitude improve your attitude, dude.

Have a grateful week ahead!

Thanks to you, my readers….

November 28, 2013

I was looking at quotes earlier this morning about giving thanks and having gratitude. A couple stood out

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  – G.B. Stern

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  – Robert Brault

I suspect that too many, like me, forget to express the thanks that we might feel towards the people who deserve to be thanked for something that they have done to make our lives better.  It could be a little thing like holding a door open for someone or stepping aside to let them pass, because they are in a hurry. It could be much bigger things, like visiting a sick friend in the hospital or taking a meal to a shut in. There are so many opportunities in life to say “Thanks” to someone.

I wanted to take the opportunity today, on our national holiday of thanks giving to say thanks to my readers, the people who follow this blog and who occasionally send me comments or tell me that they like it when I see them.  People who write blog posts usually enjoy the act of writing, but they also hope that someone else enjoys reading it, too. So, thank you for taking the time to read what I’ve had to say over the past year. I hope that you’ll continue to follow my blog and let me know what you think when I see you or via messages.

I also wanted to encourage you to give voice to your gratitude on this day and every day. It doesn’t  take a lot of time or effort to say “thank you” to someone for whatever kindness they have extended to you. You’ll feel better about it and they will, too.

Finally, I stumbled across a little saying that sums up best why expressing gratitude can make one feel so good. It comes from the best place –

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. – Anonymous

Have a great Thanksgiving and make the giving of thanks to others a part of your day every day.