thankfulness
A page from my gratitude binder

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! I had wanted to go to a “community service” that the Catholic Church in my area was hosting this evening. They were hosting int in honor of Thanksgiving but also in hopes of showing that the town is in unity. As of late, sadly, many in our town have had KKK flyers strewn on their lawns or posted around town. Frankly, I find it all sickening. I did not get to make it to the service. Winter is a difficult season for my body, and I was stiff by midday. By the time I got home from work all I wanted to do was sleep. My uncle/godfather doesn’t like when I go to bed without eating, though; not to mention, I could not leave my aunt/godmother with all the dinner clean-up. So, here I am writing a post, waiting for the dishwasher to finish, wishing I could be sleeping.

Earlier, when I was supposed to be at the service, I decided to review my gratitude binder. I had started this in January and was consistent with it until May. Then, I switched to that “Five-minute” journal app. Because of my idocyncies, that didn’t work out. At the beginning of this month, I went back to writing the things I am thankful for on the pieces of paper as shown above. I have enjoyed reviewing these pieces of gratitude. Some of the things are as simple as; laughter, books, reminders, being able to walk today, egg white and turkey bacon sandwiches. Others, however, are slightly more serious; my brother Jon’s quick recovery, having friends who pray, the safe birth of my friend’s baby, finding out that Talitha was not deaf or hard of hearing.

Gifts of gratitude can be large or small, and you can find them every day if you just look. Trust me; I know it isn’t always easy to find things to be thankful for. when I am going through one of my episodes of depression it often takes every ounce of me to function–finding things to be grateful for in those days;  nearly impossible. But, I notice that between January and May I did not miss, but a day or two here and there. So it has to be slightly possible.

This concept of recording the things I am thankful for on a daily basis came from two primary sources. The first one from a book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts. I am still working on this lesson obviously but doing my best to put it into practice. As you know from a previous post, I am currently reading her newest book: The Broken Way: A Daring Path to the Abundant Life. In this book, Ms. Voskamp moves beyond eucharisteo (The giving of thanks to finding the joyous miracle to koinonia–communion. According to Ms. Voskamp communion can only come in the giving, in pouring yourself out to share with others. After finding your fill of the joy of the miracle that comes in giving thanks the next step is to share what you have and pour out (even your broken self) to others. In this, you move from joy to abundance. At least that is the gist as I understand it; only being a little more than half-way through the book.

Writing out what I am thankful for also was suggested to me by one of my counselors. She suggested it in this faction; “I want you, for the next week, to record twice a day, five  ways God has revealed His grace to you today.” That is slightly different than gratitude and a little more challenging. I still do at least try to find one way each day, a way in which God has revealed his grace to me. Today, it was in the fact that my co-worker shared my blog post about BASICcon with the people that run the events. Not because I hope to be noticed, but I want my life, my story to be an encouragement to people one way or another.

“Then He [Jesus] took the bread, gave thanks and he broke it.” After Jesus had given thanks, the miracle of feeding over 5,000 people happened. Giving thanks brings the miracle. As you spend tomorrow in giving thanks, may your eyes be opened to the miracles in your life.