A Grateful Heart

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“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” - Psalm 107:1

I’ve become very good at asking God for things. My prayers are filled with requests for a variety of areas of my life. But what about gratitude? Do I always tell God how much I appreciate what He does for me?

Beginning this Thanksgiving, I am taking on a daily challenge: I want to develop a grateful heart. The challenge will be simple:

Every single day I will find a quiet moment and choose one thing for which I’m grateful. I will then use that moment to say a short prayer and thank God. My goal each day is to have a unique focus of gratitude with no duplication. I’ll keep a small notebook to keep track of things.

I’m hoping the result will be a new habit—my way of consistently discovering things that I value in life. I want God to know that I appreciate everything He does for me every single day. In one year's time, I hope to have a list of 365 things I’m grateful for. And I will have developed a grateful heart.

Won’t you join me?

The Blessing Box

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One of our family Thanksgiving traditions is the Blessing Box. The concept is simple. As family members arrive, they take a moment to write down on a colorful strip of paper the one thing they are most thankful for from the past year. These written blessings are placed in the Blessing Box. Just before dinner, the collected strips are distributed randomly among the guests. We circle around in anticipation of the sharing and begin with “May the blessings of one be the blessings of all.” Then we take turns reading what is on each slip. When the circle of sharing is complete, we say the meal prayer.

We were blessed with Elmo, “blankies”, and school when the children were younger. As the years go by, our blessings are becoming more profound and sentimental. Each year, these collected blessings are placed in scrapbooks. The scrapbooks have become part of the Thanksgiving tradition as well. It is fun to look back on pictures of dearly departed family members and their blessings written in their handwriting. These little nuggets of history begin “remember when” conversations that knit our family tighter together, and when we do have guests join us, they become part of our story too.

Posted by Jill Fischer

The Beauty of Prayer

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I spend a lot of time in prayer. It is woven through the fabric of my day. The beauty of prayer - when you are quiet and listening to the stirrings of your soul - is that you will hear the voice of those you pray to and with. That is why I love going to Adoration. It is a quiet spot in my week to just "be" before the Lord. I love it when I am actually able to adore alone. That is some powerful stuff - to be alone with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That quiet time can exhaust me of the need to talk and move me into listening mode. In listening, God reveals His plan. I feel I've become a good listener. I'm a good listener, but I am not patient. I’ve learned that God does answer in His own time and in His way - the best way.

I spend a lot of time in prayer. Always have. Always will. I won't ever make a decision without it. God is my best friend. He never steers me wrong.