364 Days to Overwhelming Gratitude

My favorite holiday is so close I can almost smell it–creamy mashed potatoes with oodles of butter, my mom’s fresh potato rolls with oodles of butter, my daughter’s homemade stuffing with oodles of butter. Except this year, I can’t eat butter. Our baby has an allergy–we can’t figure out the culprit, but for now Mama is on an elimination diet which means Thanksgiving dinner is going to look more like turkey and green beans–no butter.

And that’s okay. I’m still super excited for Thanksgiving.

Why? Because it’s not about the food. It’s not even about the pie if you can believe I’m saying that. It’s about the thanks.

364 Days to Overwhelming Gratitude

Which brings us to Thanksgiving pet peeve number one:

Random Citizen: “I’m thankful for this and that and that and this.”

Great, but who gets your thanks, Random Citizen? The air? The fates? The universe? They don’t want your thanks and they certainly don’t deserve it. God does.

You knew there’d be a Thanksgiving pet peeve number two:

Even though I am running 26 Days of Thanksgiving in Photos on my Facebook page, I don’t like those “gimmicks.”

Why not? They’re great! You’re such a humbug. That’s why you named your son Ebenezer.

Chill–good grief. I don’t like them because they end. We focus on Thanksgiving for a day, perhaps a month, and then it bluntly ends like this sentence. Done. Bam. No more.

It’s time to reconcile both of those pet peeves.

Pastor Andrew Schroer who shepherds a friendly bilingual Christian church out in a li’l ol’ western town in Texas wrote a devotional journal called 364 Days of Thanksgiving. In it, Andy encourages us to:

  1. 364 Days of ThanksgivingBe thankful every day.
  2. Address our thanks to God.

I love it when something single-handedly (or single-pagedly) decimates my pet peeves, don’t you? Of course you do. It gets better.

364 Days of Thanksgiving is also a journal, providing space for you to write down one thing to be thankful for each day–even I can handle that. The trick is it has to be something different, so you can’t do this:

  • Day 1–cookies
  • Day 2–cookies
  • Day 3–cookies
  • Day 4–cookies
  • Day 5–cookies
  • Day 6–cookies

I’m not sure if you can do this:

  • Day 1–chocolate chip cookies without nuts
  • Day 2–chocolate chip cookies with nuts
  • Day 3–cookies after church
  • Day 4–Great Grandma’s molasses cookies
  • Day 5–getting the last cookie in the jar before Steve does
  • Day 6–secretly enjoying the cookie I hid in my sock drawer after everyone else went to bed

Probably not.

What about day 365? Dickens said we Americans had it backward (he actually said backwards with an S, being British) when we gripe all year and thank one day. He says we should thank 364 days and gripe one day. Andy one-ups good ol’ Dickens: on day 365 you sit down with the last cookie from your sock drawer and read over the entire journal showing how God (not the universe) has blessed you.

Do you see what’s happening here? By focusing on gratitude for an entire year, you become more grateful and more aware of your blessings. Instead of griping over the lack of oodles of butter, you rejoice over the potatoes. Gratitude becomes a habit, and you become a grateful dry potato eater instead of a disgruntled butter lover. It’s a beautiful transformation!

Andrew Schroer and his Beautiful Bride
Andy with his stunning bride, Clariza

While I might possibly still have your attention, know this: 364 Days of Thanksgiving is not filled with blank pages awaiting your thanks. Andy fills it with encouragement and the great stories (parables, really) that his parishioners expect to hear when he steps up to the pulpit.

Now, if you’re following along on our Twelve Weeks of a Simple Christmas missions, you could finish a huge chunk of your Christmas list with just this book. No lie…because I don’t lie…except that one time which is none of your business but which really makes me grateful for Jesus and forgiveness.

Buy 364 Days of Thanksgiving for your Kindle or in hold-it-in-your-hand-and-smell-the-pages format at Amazon (affiliate link) or as an ebook or hardcover book here. You can also find a related Bible study for groups and a sermon series for pastor’s here in both CD and downloadable formats.

You won’t be sorry; in fact, 364 days from now you’ll be overwhelmingly grateful.


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