Before our daughter could say “Thank You,” she could sign “Thank you.”
“Please,” “More,” and “Thank you,” were the first three signs we taught her.
Thanks is a response we all try to instill in our children from the earliest age. “Please” and “Thank You,” are phrases that can help us in any situation.
Those foundational words of life are also foundational words of faith. In her book, Help, Thanks, Wow, author Anne Lamott says that “Thanks” is one of the most important prayers we ever pray. It connects us to others as we express our gratitude, and it brings us closer to God, as we acknowledge God’s work in our lives.
Thirteenth century theologian, Meister Eckhart, wrote, “If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.” In a way, he’s telling us that thanksgiving is the highest form of faith.
The Apostle Paul urges us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But that’s hard to do when the circumstances of life are consumed by deadlines and carpool. Perhaps the thing we need most this Thanksgiving is a sense of contentment amid the chaos. Cultivating contentment means spending more time giving thanks for what we have than thinking about what’s wrong or missing from life.
Some people call this an “attitude of gratitude.” Gratitude is a sign that we are living in the present moment. November is the perfect time to cultivate this sense of gratitude. You don’t have to go out and buy anything to do this.
What if you decided to make a list every day of the blessings God has given you and your family? This could happen verbally, or write them down and watch the list grow. Not sure where to begin? Keep it basic. Thank God for the roof over your head that kept you safe through the night.
Our prayers of “Thanks,” have a way of shaping us. I am most content when I choose to emphasize the positive and focus on the good. May your everyday expressions of gratitude create a sense of wonder, joy, and love within your heart and your family.