Giving thanks in the mess ...

… here comes Thanksgiving!

I don’t know what you and yours are doing for the holiday, but me and mine are gathering in one big, loud, festive, dysfunctional fest! We do it every year.

And every year I find myself disappointed in some aspect of our gathering … usually in myself.

I don’t respond like I want to. I get upset by little comments. I have an agenda I try to push. People hurt me. I hurt others. Old patterns show up that I thought I’d outgrown decades ago …

Can you relate in any way?

So, this year I have a plan.

Every time things go south, either within me or without, I am going to find something to be grateful for in the midst of that mess -- Right in that ugly or hurtful moment.

Even if the only thing I find I can be grateful for is God’s mercy to me, then that will be enough.

I believe it will change the moment; perhaps for no one else but me.

St. John of Avila said it best:

One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.

No one eats my wild rice pilaf? Gratitude … (I can eat more!)

My Thanksgiving outfit feels frumpy and old? Gratitude … (At least I have clothes!)

Someone says something that stings a bit? Gratitude … (Mostly they love me!)

I amaze myself with my own ability to sin? Gratitude … (Grace, grace and more grace)

You get the picture …

I feel a tinge more grateful already!