Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.
James 1: 17
At RCIA class this week, they also asked us to contemplate, “God, I thank you for…”
I try to keep gratitude for my blessings in mind every day, because it’s such a good antidote to depression and grouchiness. Both dh and I have a tendency toward depression, and I try to remind him of our good fortune whenever I see he’s depressed or he starts grumbling.
We have a home in a lovely area, great children, good friends, and he’s blessed to have a job that supports us. We get to enjoy the outdoors — Jim fishing and I hiking — and we are healthy and should be happy. True, depression isn’t something that one can just “get over”, but on the other hand, I’ve discovered that, now that I’ve started expressing my gratitude to God for all our blessings, I am much less depressed than I used to be.
Just last night, as I was saying the prayers over our Sabbath candles and dinner (in my mind, because dh isn’t religious 😉 it struck me how very happy I’ve been lately. I try to remind myself whenever I see something beautiful, like the woods, flowers, birds, a lake, a sunset (the sunsets are gorgeous here and there was a particularly lovely one last night) to thank God for his goodness. And it really seems to work to increase my gratitude and my happiness.
I thank you Father for my family, my dear husband, my wonderful children, my sisters and my parents, for my good friends, my home and this wonderful country we live in. Thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed on us! Thank you for the beautiful calm of this Sabbath day, for the sunlight and warmth, the notes of the wind chimes in the breeze, the trembling, glistening leaves, and the brown autumn grasses. Thank you for your gift of the Sabbath, and for the companionable quiet I and my family enjoy on Sabbath days.
Thank you for your Son, who gave himself as ransom for us, suffered and died for our sins, and now reigns with You in heaven. Thank you for Mary, his mother, who guided me to salvation in Jesus and to your Church. Thank you for your gift of faith, and for your unceasing, bountiful love for your people. Amen.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.