Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.  – Oprah Winfrey
The invitation to give thanks arrives when we need it the most, because that is the nature of thanksgiving.  We give thanks effortlessly on sunlit days, but we are called to give thanks in the season of darkness and waning light.  Sometimes that mirrors our souls; sometimes that mirrors our circumstances.  But still the invitation comes—right on time.
If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it will be enough.  – Meister Eckhart
Before the merriment and mayhem of Christmas, before, even, the season of Advent waiting, and long before we turn our faces to the start of a new year, is the collective summons to pause and remember that everything we have is gift.  We can compare our gifts to one another if we want; we can even compare to ourselves of years gone by.  But if we do, we’ll miss out on more than turkey.

It is in remembering that we are blessed.  Taking inventory is a sacred, healing task that restores, centers and gives us a sense of the larger whole.  Thanksgiving is the antidote to anxiety.
I will thank you forever for what you have done.  I will put my hope in your name for it is good.  - Ps 52:1

I am aware that many folks are lonely for those no longer at their table, are separated from loved ones, are struggling with health or financial issues, or will otherwise find it challenging to be the obligatory "merry.”  My prayer for all is that the peace this season was meant to herald will in some way be realized in our lives.  I suspect that will only happen through the kindness and compassion of one another.  I look ahead to Christmas and to a God who felt compelled to share this human life with us, not from afar but up close and personal, with skin on.  May we know that presence through those who are kind, even though they do not know us, and through those who love us, even though they do know us.
Give thanks in all circumstances.  – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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