Giving Thanks — Grateful, yet Grieving

G. K. Chesterton quote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving next week, I suspect we are making lists and planning our gatherings. I just glanced at the ads to see where I could get the best deal on a turkey. However, I want to get my heart in a posture of thanks before I plan the meal.

We are wired to give thanks. Our brains fire off good things when we give thanks. Our mood can change when we give thanks. Even amidst our loss and grief, we can give thanks.

A couple of years ago, a friend posted a gratitude challenge on her Instagram feed. She invited people to post something they were thankful for using the letters of the alphabet. Beginning with A, then B, and so on. I posted something I was grateful for each day of November. What I noticed in doing this was a deep sense of gratitude even amidst my grief. 

I was thankful for air, beauty, coffee, doctors, energy, faith, God, hope, invitations, Jesus, and so much more. This simple practice made me intentionally focus my attention on what was right in front of me that is easily taken for granted. Allowing myself to write down what I was thankful for in one word became a tool to see all that remained after so much had been taken.

An open invitation awaits us as we offer up thanks this season and find ourselves experiencing “happiness doubled by wonder” like Chesterson says…Blessings on you this Thanksgiving.

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