Gratitude

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. There’s not any religious controversy, little commercialization…just the gathering of family and friends, good eats, and remembering all of the blessings we have to be grateful for. And though the early settlers celebrating the first harvest did not partake in food-induced afternoon coma or NFL football games, the purpose of Thanksgiving is the same. We approach this holiday with an extra dose of gratitude. It’s a good reminder of a posture we can choose not just the fourth Thursday of November, but everyday. 


Beyond material blessings, we can focus on the four things that went wrong in a day, or we can be grateful for the myriad “rights” that operate just fine without us ever noticing. I listened to a podcast a few weeks ago about a man who intentionally started being grateful for everything in his life, including the really arbitrary things. He pushed the elevator button. As the doors opened, he mentally acknowledged his gratitude that they functioned properly. And he did the same thing as he ascended. “Thank you, elevator, for taking me up so quickly and not breaking down.” It’s silly, and it takes a lot of practice to be that grateful for little things in our lives. But giving thanks is all over the Bible. It aligns with God’s character and his desire for us to give him glory.

Grateful people tend to be happier, too. I think it follows that the more we acknowledge everything that we have to be grateful for, the happier our outlook is, no matter our circumstances. Gratitude is a perspective, it’s a choice for how to approach how we live.

So today I wrote a Thankful list. The order is not edited. It’s a little shameful that “no homework” falls way before “Jesus,” but this is the order I brainstormed. I suppose it’s a pretty accurate reflection of my priorities and thoughts, skewed as my sinful heart may be.

Much of it is silly. But the items listed are still real, and I still give thanks. Color makes the world brighter, hot cups of tea are one of my small joys of life, and kitchen appliances have revolutionized my ability to store and cook food. 

Happy Thanksgiving. May you find blessings and opportunities for gratitude all around you, this day and always.

Among much else, 


I am thankful for…


the Compton Clan
     Hoffa’s ridiculousness and provision
     Mama’s listening ear
Georgia’s vivacity
     Rosa Marie’s gentleness. And her style.
     Cain’s humor
extended family
slow days
no homework
rest
feelings
friends – near and far, new and old
Sugah Cain
South Carolina
home
the beach
the lowcountry
Pearl the CRV
plane flights
literature
food and feasts
long walks
sunny days
joy
relationships
breakups
love
redemption
Jesus
the gospel
new days
gifts
affection
FaceTime
Boosterthon
beds
mountain trails
fall leaves
crisp days
mac computers
freedom
America
security
my health
fun trips
hot drinks
bon fires
smiles
warm socks
down coats
Booster Baes
Church
new seasons
New Zealand
callings
passions
abundance
Instagram
outdoor gear
beauty
water
strength
kindness
honesty
waterfalls
mountains
camp
disciplers
disciples
communication
happiness
movies
tennis shoes
contact lenses
makeup
lattes
salad
Scripture
art
ceramics
rainy days
wisdom
peace
that I am not in charge
sisterhood
snuggling
dentists
healthcare
light
encounters that seem serendipitous
remembering all that God has done
the cross
forgiveness
grocery stores
online shopping
2 day shipping
children
the chance to change the world
the chance to make a difference
the fact that individuals matter
hope
dancing
scholarships
exploring
crying
laughing
support
money
color
sweet potato casserole
pets
nalgene bottles
toiletries
all the extra
different cultures
ethnic food
new experiences
changed mindsets
the ability to think
safety
my kindle
journals
my pillow
household appliances
electricity
education
caring people
peanut butter
apples
avocados
guacamole
opinions
long conversations
traveling
massages
charities
free will
the 21st century
my iPhone
wine
beer
margaritas
greek yogurt
encouragement
Facebook
oatmeal
fresh-baked bread
sunrooms
waterfront porches
music
964 Tall Pine Rd
my apartment in Houston
restaurants
second chances
seasons
running
biking
the animal kingdom
justice
hammocks
sunrises
sunsets
memories
courage
lessons learned
stories
testimonies
clean air
lungs
rocking chairs
hymns
contentment

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