Dear Church family,
Happy Thanksgiving! We can already sense the frenzy of December’s busy-ness even here in November. What a wonderful time it is, then, to stop and breathe and be thankful. In preparation for Thanksgiving, I have been rereading the “Thank You” section of Max Lucado’s book Before Amen which he spoke to the congregation about a few years ago (and copies of which we have in our church library). In that section, Lucado writes this about thankfulness:

“To say thanks is to cross the tracks from have-not to have-much, from the excluded to the recruited. Thanks proclaims, ‘I’m not disadvantaged, disabled, victimized, scandalized, forgotten, or ignored. I am blessed.’ Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems” (pages 82-83).

What an image for us when we feel toxic or when we feel like we are surrounded by the toxic! Gratitude—thankfulness—can be our dialysis, flushing out the toxicities of complaining and comparing. Being thankful for something, large or small, will literally put us in a different space. It opens our hearts to the blessings we have received rather than what we lack.

One way Lucado recommends to add more thankfulness in our lives is to work through the alphabet. Before you fall asleep or just after you rise in the morning, start listing what you are thankful for, letter by letter. Some thanksgivings will be huge and others the small gifts we often overlook. Try it for yourself and you will find yourself feeling more grateful and blessed no matter the time of day.

I’ve begun an alphabet for you that would be part of my “letters of gratitude.” What does your alphabet include?

A for the clothes category “active wear” which is really just sweat pants I have permission to wear outside the gym
B for all the businesses on Rogers that boast “pho” and “tamales” and “pupusas”, reminding me of what a gift it is to be in a melting pot town
C for cookies that are still warm and that someone else made and shared
D for dogs who make me feel like a super hero in my own home simply for rubbing their ears
E for electric blankets turned up on high so that finally, finally, my feet are warm
F, G, H, I am thankful for all of you.

Grace and peace be with you this day,