You are here

Grateful on Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving, and I'm feeling grateful. I'm grateful for the anticipated joys of the weekend - spending time with family, friends, and a wonderful meal. It seemed extra special today, as we enjoyed the unseasonably warm sunny days we're enjoying this autumn in Canada outdoors enjoying nature.

Before the family arrived, the sunshine insisted that I spend time in the garden instead of at the computer, as I had intended. After digging up a bed of day lillies, which remind my of summers with my grandparents, I had two buckets of bulbs to give away, and a sore back. A neighbour I hadn't met yet stopped to ask for gardening tips, and not only could I give him advice, I could share a generous supply of bulbs and seeds (I love sharing plants, and have helped two others start gardens this summer). Knowing that people love to give as well as receive, I asked for his help carrying a load of compost to the front. As we chatted while I shovelled it, I learned he was from Bangladesh, where he had worked for the organisation I work for, World Vision! What a small world! That made our connection much closer; it felt like a divine appointment. How lovely that God can arrange them even when I don't leave home!

On Sunday I was grateful leaving church, for the dear old and new friends I've made in that place. We value relationships so much that we take a coffee break in the middle of the service to talk, and continue the conversations for about an hour after the service.

I'm grateful for the friends who sent me thanksgiving wishes today in English, French, and Spanish. Last night I talked to my foster son from Uganda. I am grateful for the people that I've met all over the world gathering stories of peace.

Sitting in my prayer chair after a wonderful day, I noticed a book I haven't read for a while, Sleeping with Bread (Linn, Linn and Linn). It shares a wonderful meditation, inspired by Saint Ignatius, called the examen. In its simplest form, it is reflecting at the end of the day on what made you most thankful, and what made you least thankful. It's a way of daily reflections on God's presence and direction in your life. Where you are most alive and grateful is probably where you are being who you were created to be; where you were least grateful might indicate how you or your focus should change.

The Bible states, "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thankfulness is like carrying a camera — it makes you look for the most beautiful images, where the light is shining. My sore back was an extra nudge to request help from a neighbour, and it led to an unexpected connection.


Thankfulness is like carrying a camera it makes you look for the most beautiful images.


Tonight, why not find a quiet corner where you can reflect on your day. What are you most thankful for? Give a prayer of thanks, and pause for a moment to see if it reveals your gifts, your leading, or where you should invest more time. Then think for a few moments on what you are least grateful for. Without judgment or shame, pause to hear any inner direction it inspires. As you continue to examen your daily life, you will notice patterns that can influence your life's direction. That's how I found my path to peacebuilding, and deep connections with strangers. They excite my soul and inspire my pen.

Article Type: 
Location :