It isn't difficult to find things to be thankful for. Even in difficult times, we can usually say the expected:  we're thankful for God, for Jesus, for the Holy Spirit, the Bible, etc. And they are the big four. If we dig just a little deeper, we add to the list:  we're thankful for our children, for our husbands, for our parents.

But for the fun of it, let's dig way, way down and find little things to be thankful for.

Maybe they won't be so little after all. Such as a baby's laugh.

  • sunshine making a lace pattern on the hardwood floor as it pours through the window
  • toilet paper
  • teeth
  • toddlers asking "why?"
  • the smell of home-made bread
  • windchimes on my deck
  • the off switch on my computer

I've started the list. What would you add to it? Think of something you've left out of your "thank you" prayers, something small that is a blessing, but often overlooked.

James tells us "every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." I want to stop to note those perfect gifts, but I often forget to pay attention, forget to be thankful for the everyday gifts that bless me over and over. I want to be the person that pauses while feeding the chickens to notice the beautiful brown color of the egg.

Being thankful for the little things keeps us appreciative of all things.

I've struggled with James's admonition to "consider it pure joy when we face trials of various kinds..." I can endure, I can suffer silently, but be joyful? Pure joy? I'm not there yet, but one key is approaching life with gratitude for the big and little gifts. A "poor me" attitude is hard to maintain alongside expressing appreciation for rainbows. Can we get through the long, dark nights of winter more cheerfully by looking for the Father-given gifts sprinkled throughout our days?

Gracious Father, as we draw near to the Thanksgiving holiday, teach us to be grateful every day, not just for Your love, but how You express that love to us in the simple things of life. You've asked us to be joyful in trials, patient in affliction, to rejoice regardless of our situation. We want to thank you over and again for all You are and all You give us. We come to You because of Jesus.