Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

commissioned by Children’s HopeChest.
created by Elizabeth Ahlem.

In the U.S., we observe a national holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The day gives an opportunity for families, often geographically scattered, to gather in table fellowship and to share their traditional foods. The time is set aside to be thankful for abundance, and for the company of loved ones.

Certainly this is a simplified description, and I know that many people are on their own, or hungry, or in unhappy homes, or grieving, or worn down by injustice. In the midst of these complexities and challenges, we still can find a spirit of gratitude. We can be thankful for our minds, ready to create a world of equity and peace; for our hearts, that long to give love where it is missing; for our souls, crying out for God’s kingdom to be built here, now, in our midst.

My heart knows that we are meant to give thanks every day, even (perhaps especially) when it it hard. Instead of giving thanks, we let our worry about what is lacking get in the way of seeing the good that is present. Even in hard times, we have gifts that we can use in service of those in need. As we turn to God in gratitude, may our eyes be open to the needs of those around us. When we see injustice, and want to know where God is amidst the pain, may we remember that we each are meant to carry out the vision of building God’s kingdom. Each of us has a part to play in lifting up the lowly, in giving strength to the weak, in granting rest to the weary.

Let us give thanks for courage, and the strength to act on our convictions as we endeavor to build a more just and equitable world. Let us turn our thankfulness into action. We nourish seeds of peace by giving our time and material resources to those who are working to eliminate poverty and injustice.

My thanks to artist Elizabeth Ahlem for permission to share her artwork. This image was commissioned by Children’s HopeChest, which works to serve orphaned and vulnerable children.


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30 days of gratitude journey concludes, with a hope for gratitude ever-increasing

The blessings in my life are abundant. Even on hard days, tiring days, I truly do not have to look far before  I realize how much goodness is present in my life: the people I love, the natural world, sensory pleasures, the basic physical needs of survival, my passions and skills. Cultivating gratitude reveals the beauty, and it shines light through the darkness that sometimes surrounds us.

May God help me to have a  prayer of gratitude always resonating from my heart.

And if you were to count God’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely God is forgiving, merciful. —Qur’an, Sūrah al-Nahl: 18

And whatever good thing you enjoy, it is from God. —Qur’an, Sūrah al-Nahl: 53

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30 days of gratitude journey continues 

Friday, day 23: a brisk walk under starlight, arm in arm with beloveds

Saturday, day 24: the twinkling lights of the holiday season

Sunday, day 25: three generations visiting together

Monday, day 26: hawk swooping to land, backdrop of mountains

Tuesday, day 27: first snowfall of the season, daughter racing outside to enjoy the beauty

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To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel
To say your nightly prayer

© Maya Angelou (from her book “Celebrations”)


This verse speaks my hope, my intention. May God help me to live this way, always. I’m feeling grateful to all the poets, ancient and contemporary, who gift me these reminders to be conscious, fully present, and aware of God’s gifts.


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© Roy Corral

30 days of gratitude journey continues

Thursday, day 15: volunteers willing to give their time and care

Friday, Day 16: glimpse of bird’s nest through bare tree branches

Saturday, day 17: tiny chickadee darting among the trees


Sunday, day 18: generous hearts sharing abundant food

Monday, day 19: a day of quiet rhythm

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, my prayer is that I can sustain a sincere sense of gratitude throughout the year.

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30 days of gratitude journey continues, with a gift from Thirty-One

Today I am grateful for people who are helping women to find satisfying work. I am grateful for those beautiful things that we use in our everyday lives, the soul-satisfying pleasure of artful objects. I am grateful for people who reach out and do all they can to make life better for others. These blessings are on my mind as I share a special giveaway with you.

Luisa Ogbuike, a high school classmate, is a wife and mother, a gifted baker, and a woman committed to random acts of kindness. Luisa has a Thirty-One Gifts business, and would like to give one of my readers a free medium utility tote.

For a chance to win:

• Visit Luisa’s Thirty-One page before November 30.

• Send Luisa an email telling her that you saw this giveaway here, on my blog. (An email link is on the right-hand side of Luisa’s Thirty-One page.)

• That’s all!

Please share this giveaway with your friends. Luisa is a wonderful woman, and you will be glad to have this gift to brighten your day.

Thankful for you and your generous spirit, Luisa. May you and your business be abundantly blessed.

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30 days of gratitude journey continues

Here I offer glimpses into the past week’s journal.

day 8, Thursday: a healthy body and the opportunity to enjoy exercise

day 9, Friday: a week full of work and the anticipation of rest and refreshment

day 10, Saturday: celebrations with friends

day 11, Sunday: visits with family full of stories and laughter

day 12, Monday: access to medical care and wise, compassionate doctors

day 12, Tuesday: a roof repaired and ready to protect from storms

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