30 Days of Gratitude

November 7, 2019
The Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering

November is finally upon us, and I feel like I am almost on top of things again after sabbatical (although thank you all for your patience with the e-news coming out late – I haven’t quite gotten back on top of the deadlines yet). Here in New Mexico, the weather has turned chilly and children donned Halloween costumes over ski coats. We’ve put away the spooky decorations, and our giant turkey has reappeared on our door in the kitchen. We started this tradition last year of creating a giant turkey who each day got an additional feather with something we were grateful for during the day written on it. By the end of the month, the turkey had 60 feathers and two very grateful kids. There were times we forgot and ran out of time to write the feathers (writing takes a really long time when you are 4 years old), so we would do two feathers the following day, but we never missed a day’s feather completely. In the end, it was a great way to grow gratitude at a time of year when the “gimmies” are at epidemic proportions. This year, the girls asked to each have their own turkey, and I decided it would be good if I did one, too. While I practice gratitude every day, I’m not sure the girls always notice or pay attention to it. Just the other day, we were in the drive-thru at Starbucks. The person in front of us must have paid with a $20 and left the change to apply toward our bill. The girls were peppering me with questions about why someone would do something like that. I told them I didn’t know exactly but I did know that I was grateful for it and that, in turn, I would pay for the car behind us. This was the topic of the day for them – sharing and spreading kindness at the coffee shop. It was in that moment that I realized I needed the girls to see me express my gratitude to others more often.

It is easy to forget sometimes that there is much to give thanks for. Over on our social media platforms, we’re going to invite you to share a photo every day with our community of something you are thankful for. I hope you’ll do it (or even just comment with a word or two of what you are thinking about) because I have a feeling that, if we all commit to 30 days of gratitude and share gratitude, we’ll not only encourage each other in this practice but we might find that others join us. We live in a time when it sometimes feels hard to find things to be thankful for, which means we live in a time when it is even more imperative to practice gratitude. Gratitude acknowledges that we need each other, and this month, I hope we’ll connect on social media or even in our communities to show others why practicing gratitude is so important. I’ll be sure to share how our turkeys are doing. Hopefully, by the end of the month, they will have full tails and we will have full hearts. Oh and my first feather is for you: Thank you for being you, for making the world a little better for all of us through your practice of gratitude. I honestly cannot thank you enough for your witness and love in the world.

Download information about the November Gratitude Challenge to share with your parish, and don’t forget to share your photos or tag us on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter!

Tagged in: Gratitude