Every two years since just before we were married, we've been able to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's sister and her family in Chicago. This year, for the first time, we are not able to go. There are just too many conflicting schedules to juggle.
The first time we went down, someone in the family asked me to give the blessing. (I suspect this may have been because I'm a pastor.)
In order to take a little of the heat off of myself, I decided to ask everyone to name something they were thankful for in the past year, and then design a prayer around our real "thanksgivings."
This year, here are some of mine:
-I'm thankful for my family. I'm especially thankful that my dad can be with us at Thanksgiving. My mom is taking him home from the nursing home for dinner.
-I'm thankful that my husband didn't break his wrist when he fell on the ice on Sunday.
-I'm thankful for all the talented people in my family: especially my nephew the musician, my stepsons who both are talented musicians, my sister the artist, my niece who draws manga and plays the violin
-I'm thankful for people in my congregation who get what it means to be part of the body of Christ, who pray for one another, weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, and dream big dreams
-I'm thankful for the hope we have in the gospel, especially when I have to preach a funeral sermon
-I'm thankful for singing, and for the songs that we sing
-I'm thankful for chicken chili, popcorn, old movies, artichoke pizza, blueberries
-I'm thankful for babies who babble during the worship service
-I'm thankful for my beautiful, sweet, lovely dog Scout
-I'm thankful that I saw someone from my office wear the scarf I made for her last year.
-I'm thankful for grace.
-I'm thankful for these smells: cardamom, cinnamon, peppermint, garlic, ginger, balsam fir.
-I'm thankful the broken sewer pipe finally got fixed.
What are you thankful for?