Can you think of 100 things you’re grateful for?

This week in America, we will celebrate my favorite holiday. (New Year’s Day, Tax Day and Winston Churchill Day also all make the list of favorites but that’s an entirely different blog post.)

Thanksgiving. A day set aside for noticing what it is we feel grateful for. 

When I contemplate gratitude and its relationship to Thanksgiving I think about grace.  (Not our friend Grace, but rather the concept.) We often relegate grace to something we say before a meal. But I’ve come to see it as a feeling worth cultivating. A desire. And on some enviable days, a true companion.

I think of grace when I think of my daughter’s yearly Thanksgiving ritual (that she started at age 11) of making a list of 100 things she is thankful for.

I notice grace when the phone rings and it’s my son on the other end, calling to share about his day.

I see grace when watching friends, family and even strangers deal with loss and hardship, joy and possibility, love and connection, and pain and uncertainty.

I move a bit closer to grace when I remember the Meister Eckhart quote, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”  

And this week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving in America, I’m reminded to spend some time thinking about the improbable moments of grace I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing this year.

My wish for you is the time and space to do the same.

For those with inquiring minds or who need a little inspiration here’s a link to my daughter’s very first list. It was written ½ way through a yearlong journey in 2009, when she was 11 years. old. The link she notes at the end of her list is still worth a visit as well.