Simple Thanks

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

For several years now, I’ve listed in my devotional journal each morning five things for which I’m thankful. They’re usually things that happened the previous day, like having lunch with a friend or getting a check in the mail. My husband Les appears regularly. Since my morning view is our backyard, it might include the birds or squirrels or flowers. And food, lots of food, it seems—Panera cinnamon crunch bagels, of course; Costco pumpkin pie; cheese, glorious cheese.

I have to admit that sometimes I have trouble coming up with five things. It sounds horrible, I know. How can I have trouble finding five things in my very blessed life that I am thankful for?

It’s more that I don’t want to be listing the same things or people over and over again. I want to be more creative than that.

Really, am I boring God if I list “heat” or “air conditioning” (depending on the season) for the third time this week? Shouldn’t I be able to come up with something else, something different? And should I be extolling the reason why that thing makes me thankful?

Plus I’m a writer, shouldn’t what I write be more poetic?

A couple of years ago I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. She’s a beautifully lyrical writer with an unusual style, and the book was all about making a gratitude list of the gifts God has given. Why couldn’t my list contain an ounce of the profound beauty of Voskamp’s? Why so prosaic?

I was stressing about it as Thanksgiving approached. Should I just give the habit up? I mean, it’s almost embarrassing. A ten year old could write my lists. Better maybe.

And then I realized that I may care, but God doesn’t. I don’t need eloquence; I simply need a grateful heart.

He is fine with my simple list of “sunshine, warm clothing, sleep, a safe car, crepes.”

Photography courtesy of Heike Martin

In fact, he loves it.

And even if tomorrow’s list includes Panera Bread yet again, well, I really am thankful it exists. Thanks be to God.


4 thoughts on “Simple Thanks”

  1. Amen, ladies. I am reading a Tim Keller devotional called “The Songs of Jesus” . It goes through the book of Psalms and “currentizes” ( I know that’s not a word but my I-pad didn’t discipline me here), the gratefulness and Thanksgiving David has for God. The committee in my head works overtime and tells me that even tho I have read the Psalms many times, I was not able to describe the timeless meanings behind these songs.


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