High River United Church of High River, Alberta


One Thousand Things to Be Thankful For!

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I dare you! I dare you to name 1,000 things you are thankful for this weekend. Make it a family and/or friends activity. Go for it. Often we say, “Oh, I have so much to be thankful for.” And we might name 2 or 5 or 10 things. But really we do have SO MUCH to be thankful for.   Gratitude is a counter-cultural practice in our society. I am so tired of hearing hate-filled messages directed at politicians and leaders of all sorts. I am so tired of hearing criticism of almost everything in our society. And, sadly, I find myself joining in the criticism practice of our society at times.


From the 1st letter to the Thessalonians, we receive this wisdom about living as disciples of Jesus: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:16


What wisdom! Rejoice always – find delight all around you! Pray without ceasing – let every word, every breath be a connection between you and God. Give thanks in all circumstances! Now, this is the one that can seem challenging. I can think of lots of situations in my life and in the world that it could seem impossible to find something for which to give thanks. But that’s the point. Jesus didn’t set out for us an easy Way. Jesus challenged us to live above and beyond what seems natural or easy. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Give thanks in all circumstances!


Living the Way of Jesus – once we’ve chosen that, then we are called to embrace rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in every circumstance! And truthfully, almost every one of us has SO MUCH to be thankful for – so much that we don’t even think of on a daily basis.


So here I go, one thousand things I’m thankful for:


1. Jesus!


2. My husband


3. My two sons


4. My mother and sister and extended family


Easy so far!


5. The warmth of the sun


6. Peonies and sweetpeas and irises


7. Pumpkins from my garden


8. Rhubarb and strawberry crisp made from our garden


9. A chair to sit in


No, I’m not being frivolous. What would we do without some of these things?


10. The amazing technology of a computer


11. The music of Itzhak Perlman on the violin


12. The Trinity painting by Andrei Rublev


13. Pumpkin pie


14. The smell of lasagna cooking in the church kitchen


15. The piano tuner who knows how to make the pianos sound perfect


16. The music of Mozart and Bach


17. Electric light


18. Candle light


19. The ability to read


20. The author, Donna Leon


21. The author, Louise Penny


22. Books about dragons and dollmages!


23. The mystic, Teresa of Avila, in whose footsteps I got to walk this year


24. The wondrous olive oil of Spain


25. Grocery stories in High River – I remember when we didn’t have any for awhile


26. Medicine to help my sore mouth


27. Chocolate and cocoa beans


28. The smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns


29. All those who pick the tea leaves for the tea I so enjoy


30. The mountains that sit on the western horizon.


31. People who offer their time to run for government.


32. Highlights in such wonderful, bright colours


33. The ability to write and type and put my thoughts on paper


34. The joy I have knitting and working with the yarn


35. The colour red


36. The wonderful warm feeling of coming into the house after being out in 40 below


37. A garage for our two vehicles


38. The wonder of capturing images through photography


39. The gift of song writers


40. The ancient wisdom passed on through the Bible


Okay, I’m slowing down, but it is because I’m overwhelmed with all of the things for which I could give thanks, and YES, I’m starting to judge, is that worth giving thanks for, but YES, it is!


41. All those who volunteer at the church to make us a place of help, home and hope for so many people.


42. Melanie, Connie, Daryn, Gary & Kathy, Roy – all of our dedicated staff


43. The pharmacist at Shopper’s Drugs who gave David and I our flu shots


44. The opportunity I had to go to university and do three degrees, and learn, learn, learn.


45. The patterns and fabrics and designs I get to work with when sewing clothes or making quilts.


46. St. Nicholas and his generous spirit.


47. Kleenexes – tissues – that make blowing my nose so much easier.


48. Sticky notes – what a great invention.


49. My colleagues in the national church. Alydia, Sartu, Adam, Nora, Richard, who all support the work I do here in High River.


50. My friends scattered across the country and around the world: Sietske, Martine, Kathryn, Catherine, Ivan, Marie, Judith, Andrea……


Okay, I commit to keep going and seek to get to 1,000.


And I dare you to do the same!


Join me: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

October 10, 2019                         ©Susan Lukey 2019





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