Is Everything Ready for Thanksgiving Day?

Just a few days and it will be Thanksgiving Day once again.  

Is the menu planned?  Do you have all the fixings on hand? Has everyone received their invitations and replied? What else? Maybe something (or someone) has been left out?

With all that goes on this time of the year we can fail to be the “mood” for Thanksgiving.

This past Sunday we spent some time in the worship service I attended thinking about thankfulness and gratitude.  Allow me to offer two things that were shared.

First, Belmont Abbey published a short booklet entitled 10 Steps to Gratitude. You can signup for a copy at .

Step 4 is a practice of making a list of 3 things – 

From: 10 Steps to Gratitude


Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. (Acts 4:32)

As step four on our road to gratitude, I’d like to share a daily ritual my mom and I practice each day. It began at a time in my life when I was struggling with anxiety, and Mom suggested that we each share three things about our day in a quick email every night. The email itself could be as simple as a brief, numbered list, but the items – all three – should be blessings we’d enjoyed that day. They could be small things: getting a note on my desk, completing something I’d been putting off, or finding tiny wildflowers out by the mailbox. They didn’t have to be flashy or impressive, but Mom insisted that there were always three things (at least!) to celebrate by the end of the day.

So here are Mom’s “Three Things” rules, in a nutshell:

Keep track of blessings, large and small, throughout the day.
These don’t have to be big,
but there must be at least three. Share them!

It’s beautifully simple, but I’ve come to realize that, not only do I get better at noticing the many gifts throughout my day, I also find a fresh, added joy in sharing them. I love getting “three things” lists that are seven or eight entries long, then sending my own, manifold “three” back. By acknowledging and sharing our blessings, we enrich each other and cultivate a community of gratitude in our own, small way.

The monks have long understood this miraculous quality of community. While human communities certainly come with their challenges, they also fill our lives to overflowing with opportunities for grace and gratitude. Rather than having less room for our individual joys and griefs, we find our capacity for gratitude and comfort multiplied by those of our brothers and sisters.

So, for step four, ask a friend, spouse, or family member to be your partner in gratitude, and allow yourselves to rejoice in each other’s many gifts.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4: 6-7

Second, the following Thanksgiving Prayer comes from Diane Butler Bass’ book Grateful.

God, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors. When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful.

But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.

We choose to accept life as a gift from you, and as a gift from the unfolding work of all creation.

We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.

We choose to thank our ancestors, those who came before us, grateful for their stories and struggles, and we receive their wisdom as a continuing gift for today.

We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating and accepting them for who they are. We are thankful for our homes, whether humble or grand.

We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted, whatever our differences, or how much we feel hurt or misunderstood by them.

We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.

God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.” We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.

Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks. We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around our family table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth.

We choose thanks.


May you find a time a quietness that opens you to the spirit of gratitude in this hurried season.


{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


Is Everything Ready for Thanksgiving Day? — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: ISSL Reflections November 27 2022 Ephesians 6:10–18 Post 2 | The Lectio Room

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