During this period in time in which we all reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives, I find my mind wandering to one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, a sometimes controversial, VERY liberal writer who tells it like it is with such gifted use of the English language that I can oversee some of her ideological views that clash with my own. Anne is a devoted Christian and regularly attends a gospel church in Marin County, California. She is in constant conversation, or so it seems, with God and I must admit, her faith is such a solid rock to her that you can’t help but find yourself trying to focus on doing the same. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture she gave at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and a small group break-out session the following day with just Anne. To say it made me love her even more is an understatement—there were so many great pieces of wisdom that flew out of her mouth that I decided to stop trying to write it all down and just focus on listening and being in the moment. Perhaps the most wonderful thing I walked away with was the simple prayer she says throughout the day of “Thank you, thank you, thank you…” I realized that, hey—I can do that! Prayer does not necessarily have to be a time in which we isolate ourselves from everyone and sit down to meditate though it is certainly wonderful when I am able to find the space to do so. Prayer and being thankful to God can come while rinsing off the breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner dishes or while we fold another load of laundry (assuming that you fold laundry, of course!). It can be as simple as talking to God about the difficult concept of grace and how God gives us so much that we cannot possibly fathom his ability to do so. It can be while we are changing yet another stinky diaper and it certainly can come when we are drying tears from a skinned knee or hurt feelings. Thanking God is easy to do when we remember that he is always there—his omnipresence allows us to know we are not alone when we think we are and assures us that he does indeed have a plan for us. The other aspect of this prayer that I love is just the sheer gratitude that saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” expresses to God. It is a short breath prayer but yet communicates so much. You don’t even have to list specific things you are grateful for as God knows your heart and He knows what you value and cherish in your life. So during this sometimes overly-scheduled holiday season when we feel a little overwhelmed by cookies that need to be baked, turkeys that need to be cooked, and potatoes that need to be whipped, let’s remember to stop and simply say “thank you, thank you, thank you.” After all, to put things in perspective, we are all far richer than anyone could ever imagine. I once read that if you don’t ever have to worry about where your next meal will come from, you are blessed beyond belief—wouldn’t it be so wonderful if we all just remembered that simple thought throughout the busy holiday season? Breathe in, breathe out, and “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

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