T is for Thankful!

Tuesday, November 4

11-4By Gwen Simpson of Lamoni, Iowa, USA

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

—Psalm 16:11 NRSV

When our sons were young, every November we would get a piece of poster board and write in large letters at the top, “T is for Thankful.” Each evening, just before bedtime prayers, we all would think of things for which we were thankful. With pens or pencils we drew on the poster board and let the rest of the family guess what we had drawn. We drew pictures in the beginning because the boys were too small to spell. It was fun guessing what each child drew.

Throughout the month our poster filled with drawings. After the typical pictures of mom, dad, brother, our house, and friends, it became a game to see who could think up something new. Toilet paper, zippers, safety pins, fingernails, and doorknobs were some of our more unusual ideas. Each year we compared it to the previous year’s board to see if we had thought of more blessings than before.

The boys have grown now and have kids of their own. But each November, I remember that long-ago tradition. Throughout the month that joyful memory reminds me to count my blessings. The list is always long. I find when my heart fills with gratitude my whole attitude is different. I am more thoughtful, more caring, and yes, more joyful. At this busy time of year, that is a blessing in itself!

Prayer for Peace Generous God, we have so much for which to be thankful. Help us be aware of each blessing in our lives. Help us look on every day of the year as a blessing of your love and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Listening to Children Sit in your quiet place and center your heart and mind on God’s presence. Spend several minutes asking God to bring into your awareness the names and images of children in your life. You may see their faces or hear their voices as you receive these impressions. Listen deeply to the unique gifts and needs of the children who come to mind. Offer a prayer of blessing for each child and the needs you sense. If you feel led, you also may want to write a note or card and give a message of affirmation and love to each child.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will look right under my nose and find blessings too many to list.

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1 Comment

  1. Janné Grover

     /  4 November 2014

    What a wonderful tradition, Gwen. Thanks so much for sharing. A heart full of gratitude can change a lot of things!

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