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Thanksgiving has come and gone. Are your thankfulness and gratitude also gone because the holiday is over? This year many homes had smaller groups of families gathered together, and the dinners may have looked and felt different. Was your Thanksgiving interrupted with some unplanned details? How did you handle them?

I recently asked someone what they were thankful for this year, and without hesitation, their response was, “2020 is almost over.” We both laughed, but I get it. This year has been stressful on many levels.

In 2020 I found myself saying, “I didn’t see that coming!” I bet you’ve said that too. This year has been a year of uncertainty and full of unpleasant surprises. Yet, I find myself still having a heart of gratitude. Why? Let me explain.

Very early in the morning my husband and I walk about 5 miles. It’s so early that we see the moon and stars. Then about an hour into our walk, we see the sun rising in the east. It’s a brilliant sight! We stop to hear the birds sing and see the rabbits bouncing around as they play. They seem to be carefree and not have a single worry.

When I go camping in the middle of no-where, I see billions of stars at night. I’ve always been impressed with the rain and crack of thunder which seemed to roll from one end of the canyon to the other in a majestic manner. I have come to be grateful for each detail of my life.

In years past, I wasted so much of my days worrying about the unknown and being full of anxiety only to find out that I’d been focused on the things I couldn’t control. These exact things were turning me into a bitter, unloving person. I realized that I could be a better person if I only had a heart of gratitude.

Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and joy than a heart of gratitude.

Today, ingratitude and thanklessness are far too common. An ungrateful heart is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything.

I have a reminder sticky note on my computer that reads “Keep a heart of gratitude.” I challenge you to find and purposefully keep a heart of gratitude even if things don’t go as planned.


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