Thanks To God For Each Day Of My Life
31 Meaningful Things I Do Each Day That Makes My Life Better
I recently received a question from a reader about how I seem to get so much done in a day and stay confident and motivated. Want to know the truth? I don’t always wake up happy, but I learned a long time ago that my day goes much better when I try to start the day on the right foot. So I’ve established my daily things to do list that makes my life better.
For me, that also includes cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes just glancing out the window and watching the sunrise is enough to make me happy to be alive and grateful to capture the beauty of nature. Believe me, if you’re ever feeling low when you wake up just go outside and revel in nature. You’ll be amazed how it can change your mood.
What else do I do that keeps me happy and sane?
Here’s My Personal Wake Up and Make My Life Better List
1. Wake Up Early – I get up early every day without exception (of course, if I’m sick that’s a different story, but I’m hardly ever sick). For me, I love to get up early when the house is quite and start my day. It puts me in a great frame of mind, and I find I am more productive than if I chose to sleep in a bit more.
2. Make My Bed – Making your bed is a great way to start the day off right. You’ve immediately done something positive that will last all day. My room instantly looks neat and tidy.
3. Drink A Glass of Lemon Water – It is easy to get dehydrated at night, so when I get up, I drink a big glass of lemon water so that I can get myself rehydrated. I find if I just jump to coffee, I don’t feel hydrated, and the coffee doesn’t sit well in my tummy.
Download my free Gratitude Journal and start documenting your personal gratitude journey.
4. Make Coffee – Need I say more? I have people in and my house daily caring for my mom, so I get the coffee pot going first thing so I can enjoy a cup and they can too.
5. Step Outside and Take A Deep Breath – I love the smell of the morning air. So almost without fail, I step outside on my deck and take a few deep breaths of the morning air. It gets my heart pumping and my brain awake. If it’s snowing or raining, I stand at the door and do the same thing.
6. Light A Candle – I love candles. I have a stockpile of candles, so I never run out. I have candles for every season too. I’m just finishing up my winter candles, and with the start of spring, I will be burning the florals soon.
7. Say My Prayers – Starting out the day thanking my God for all the blessings He’s bestowed upon my family and me, reinforces the tone of the day. It’s also an opportunity for me to ask him for the things I need in my life and to seek His guidance on problems that are troubling me.
8. Put Music On – Depending on my mood depends on the type of music I listen to. Lately, because my mother is nearing the end of her life, we’ve been listening to a cd from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They are so gifted and talented, and their music is spiritually uplifting. I could just as easily put on disco on Pandora too.
9. Sit With My Mother and Hold Her Hand – I to be able to sit with my mom before the girls show up and just hold her hand. She doesn’t usually respond to me or even look at me, but I do believe she knows someone who loves her is there with her.
10. Make My To Do List – I have a notebook that I write everything down. In the morning, while sipping on my coffee, I write down all the things in my head that I need to do or that I thought of since the day before. It’s great to get it my head and onto paper where I can see it and reflect and expand on it.
11. Schedule My Time – I plan what needs to happen in blocks of time. I also give myself some extra time just in case a project or post takes longer than anticipated.
12. Delete and Delegate – I have more on my plate both professionally and personally than most and so my day is always a juggling act of what I can get done and what’s getting passed off to someone else to do. The caretakers help with household tasks, and I have folks that support me in my businesses.
13. Go To My Mail and Clean Out My Inbox – I to end the business of my day with going through the countless emails I get and either responding, deleting, delegating or filing them away. This is a critical task that I do consistently, so I don’t miss important deadlines, information or emails from readers.
14. Respond To Readers – I get a lot, and I do mean a lot of emails from readers asking for advice or sharing a concern.
I started my blog so I could provide useful information to people who needed help getting debt, keeping their homes orderly or find themselves in a similar situation as myself as a full-time caretaker.
I take my role as a blog owner seriously, and as such, feel I must respond to people who took the time to reach out to me. If I can provide them any encouragement or point them to a resource that might solve a problem, it uplifts me greatly.
15. Call My Daughter – Nothing makes my day more than getting to spend a few minutes on the phone talking with my daughter. Sometimes we facetime, so I can see my precious grandson Lucas, but mostly we chat on the phone. I wouldn’t want to start the day any other way!
16. Write – I love to write in the morning when my mind is clear and fresh. It’s my most creative time of the day, so I make sure I get some good writing time in each day. I hardly ever take a day off. Some days I write for hours and other days I might only get in an hour total.
17. Take a Shower – It’s easy working from home to let yourself go and slack off on even the most basic of self-care. So I make it a point to take a nice long and invigorating shower each morning.
18. Dress for the Day – When I first started working from home, it was easy to want to stay in PJ’s all day. But that doesn’t help your outlook, productivity or energy level. Now, I make sure I’m dressed in something comfortable but also cute. I might slip on a piece of jewelry, a beautiful headband, or a warm sweater that I love.
19. Surround Myself With Beautiful Flowers – I have fresh flowers in the house year round. It’s a must for me.
20. Hug My Cats – My cats need love and affection too, so I make it a point to go to each one and hug them and speak to them lovingly. They lift my spirits too!
21. Do Laundry – I to keep on top of the laundry and believe in the one load a day rule. I don’t want to be drowning in the laundry on the weekend.
22. Make Another Pot of Coffee – I to make sure the girls have as much coffee as they want or need. Caretaking my mother can be exhausting, and I want them to feel at home to come downstairs, sit and sip a cup of coffee anytime they need a break.
23. Go For A Walk – Around the middle of the day I to step away from the computer and get moving. I to go for a walk or do a spinning video. Anything that gets my heart pumping and me sweating. It’s a great stress reliever too!
24. Eat Healthily – I try my best to eat healthy foods. I don’t always succeed, but when I make a conscious effort in this area of my life, I do well. I have to learn not to let the stressors of the day affect what I put in my mouth. I’m getting better all the time.
25. Drink Plenty of Water – If I don’t drink enough water, I don’t feel right. I try to drink water all day long. I don’t drink milk or juice, and I never consume soda, so getting the proper amount of water would seem easy, right?
26. Do Something For Someone Else – I think it’s so important not to get so caught up in your life that you forget there are others out there who are struggling.
I try to find someone to help each day, whether it be a reader with a problem, a friend who needs a shoulder, my daughter who needs me to watch Lucas or just a stranger I meet along the way.
It’s important to be of service to others any way we can.
27. Call My Friend Who’s In Rehab – My best friend Janet had a stroke last year. She’s had her ups and downs, and I have been her shoulder to cry on many times, but I realize how important it is to maintain our daily contact so that life can seem it used to. It helps her, and it helps me to be able to talk every day. It’s a blessing for us both.
28. Tidy Up The House Before Bed – When I come downstairs to start my day, I want the house to be tidy and ready for the beginning of a new day.The only way to accomplish this is to tidy up the house before I go to bed at night.
I clean up the kitchen, run the Swiffer vacuum, pick up and put away what’s been left out before I shut the lights off downstairs and head to bed.
29. Read – Night time is my reading time. I love to read and only wish I could keep my eyes open longer to get more reading time in each day. I to focus on books that will improve my life or get me to think about an issue in a different way. I’m not one for reading romance novels.
30. Daily Reflection or Meditation – Before bed, I reflect on the day, evaluate where I could have been a better person and vow to make the next day the best day it can be.
31. Go To Bed Early – Finally, I go to bed early and get a good nights sleep (which is often difficult since menopause). That way I’m well rested and ready for another day!
What do you do to make your life better each day?
Thank You God Messages and Quotes For Everything
Giving thanks to God or showing your gratitude as an obedient religious person proved that you have faith and strong belief in God. There are lots of things and God’s blessings for what you should thank him from the bottom of your heart and almost for everything.
Yes, you should praise to God not only when you’re going through sufferings or sad moments but always. Here’s some best Thank You Message To God for all the blessings and quotes that will help you to say thank you god for everything.
We sincerely expect that from these thanking phrases for God you’ll find good thoughts to be more thankful to God and encouragement for living a glorious life with the blessings of God.
Thank You Message To God
Thank you for giving me strength to overcome adversity, to do what’s right for the benefit of the greater good, to rise above negativity.
Thank you God for every second on this earth, of which I will never receive back. Please teach me to steward this life that You have given to me.
God, thanks for giving me wisdom and bliss, I know that without you I couldn’t do anything. Thank you God for all the good that has happened in my life.
Father, thank You that You are always smiling, arms wide open welcoming this sinner back into Your embrace. Thank You for the joy it brings to share about You.
Thank you for giving me free will to love and be loved, to make my own decisions, to learn from my mistakes, to laugh when I am happy, to cry when I am sad.
Thank You for the strength by prayer to turn from self-pity over jealousy. Thank You for the wisdom to rest to continue serving You.
Thank You for still calling my name, for still loving me the same. My sins, you forgave. On that cross, my price You paid. Please help me understand the Gospel.I will never stop thanking you’ve made me a reliable and committed person. Only to you I will be faithful forever. Thanks for everything, God, especially for my happiness and that of those around me.
Thank God for giving me life and for allowing me to share with family and friends good times that will be in the memory forever. Always light my way.
Thank You for the time I could spend with my friend and serve him, please teach me to love and serve others as You have served me first.
Thank You God Video Message
Thank You Wordings To Praise God
Thank You God for giving a sinner me a new life, and an assurance that someday I will be with you in paradise, not by my merit, but Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross for my sins.
Thank you for the energy that feeds my soul, the sun that warms our bodies and the air that fills our lungs…
Lord, mostly I am thankful for the relationship that I have with You. Lord, You initiated this relationship, by what Your Son endeavored to accomplish, paying the price for my sin, redeeming and reconciling me.
Thank you God for giving me another day, another chance to become a better individual, another chance to give and experience love.
It’s impossible to stop believing in you if you’ve saved me from a moment of depression, an you came into my life when I most needed it, thanks to you I’m a different person full of love and goals. Thank you God.
Thank you for giving me hope for an end to world suffering, pain, and war, for a beginning of a world filled with light and everlasting love.
Thank you is little for all the happiness you give me along with my loved ones. Thank God for letting me live so long with them and for all the good things I have in this life.I’m thankful, Lord, that I do not have to live under condemnation anymore, that You have truly set me free, that I am a new creation that I need not live under the law anymore. Thankful Lord that You have given me joy unspeakable. Thankful Lord that You are longsuffering, allowing me to mature in You!
Thank you God for giving me health, for the food you provide, for the awareness you have awaken in me…
Thank you God for another year of life! Still many dreams, desires… and You are always faithful! What will this year bring, I don’t know! But You know, please lead me to trust in you.
How not love you and thank you if it was you, God, who gave me a chance to find happiness again. Blessed be your spirit.
Thank You, Jesus for the blessings showered upon us. Thank You for all the happiness, health, and wealth. Thank You for this day.
Thank you for my family, my friends, my pets, my colleagues, and for every other living creature I meet along my journey.
Thank You God For All Blessings
Dear God thank you very much for the opportunities you’ve given me to be happy with a wonderful woman, thank you for being born here on earth and helping me achieve success.
I am thankful, Lord, for everything that You allow to cross my path. Thankful for the decisions that You allow me to make and the lessons that come from these decisions.
Lord, words do not express my thankfulness. For Your mighty power is at work in me, transforming me, renewing my mind. To You Lord belong thanks eternal.I’ll never stop thanking you for making me a better person. I promise to be loyal in every aspect. Thank you dear God for the happiness I now have in my life and for the people who are with me.
Dear God, thank you for my life on this earth, however challenging or not.
My life wouldn’t be enough to thank you for all the happy moments you’ve given me with my family. Thanks for giving me so much to live with them and for how wonderful my life is.
Thank God for showing me the way of wisdom and happiness, I feel that without you I could get anywhere. I thank you for all the positive things happened in this life.
Lord I come before You, desiring to provide thanks. Father, I have so much to be thankful for, things unseen and seen, that You have done in my life.
Dear God, if you hadn’t sent your son Jesus Christ to earth, this world would be much worse and without hope of being saved. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son.
Yet God You are and always will be there with me, even when it seems I am forever in the wilderness, running further and further from You, You, my God are there guiding me back to Your loving arms.
God, thank you for giving me life and happiness, for guiding me in the right path of peace and salvation.
Thank you God for all your blessings to me and my family, for the strength you give me each day and for all the people around me who make life more meaningful.
Thank You God Quotes
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’? – Dr. William Arthur Ward
Thank you, God, for the dignity and beauty of self. The precious innate self. The only thing that can’t be taken from us. The only thing we really own. – Marjorie Holmes
I have never had anyone love me the way you love me. I have never loved anyone the way I love you. Thank you God for showing us the way to each other. – Nishan PanwarI thank you God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. – E.E. Cummings
I thank God I’m myself and for the life I’m given to live and for friends and lovers and beloveds, and I thank God for knowing that all those people have already paid for me. – Maya Angelou
I’m blessed and I thank God for every day for everything that happens for me. – Lil Wayne
Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day, which must be done, whether you it or not. – James Russell Lowell
I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be. – Joyce Meyer
I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute. – Maya Angelou
Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again. – Beatrix Potter
I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. – Walt Whitman
Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. Thank you for the rain. And for the chance to wake up in three hours and go fishing: I thank you for that now, because I won’t feel so thankful then. – Garrison KeillorMake it a habit to thank God everyday and may your prayers can bring benefits or rewards to your life. We are feeling pleased to be a part of your thankfulness to God and share these messages and quotes with you. We wish that you will find these thank you message to God helpful and able to show your hearty thanks to God for everything.
12 Thanksgiving Prayers for Family, Children & Dinner Times
a printable prayer suitable for personal devotion or for a program or church newsletter:- Here are four great Thanksgiving prayers for before eating:-
O Lord, How full is this world of your unending creativity.
How astounding is creation in all its variety. How breathtaking is new life, growth and transformation. How wonderful is your provision for us your children! This day, we celebrate your great goodness with thankful hearts and joyful lives.Amen.
(a mealtime prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
Thanksgiving Prayer For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
(suitable for a dinner or family time) O Lord, Thank you for all the good gifts you have given us. Thank you for the fine delicate balance of the natural world. Thank you for the amazing variety of fruit seeds and grains. Thank you for the beauty of autumn when the greens turn yellow, gold and crimson. Lord, help us to enjoy this beautiful season, And the wonderful food you have given us.Amen.
read more grace prayers to say before meal times with your family.
Children and Family Prayers
Three prayers for family & children times together:- Thanksgiving Prayer for Children
(a prayer for young children to say) Lord, thank you for the flowers and thank you for the trees Thank you for my special friends and all the fun they bring Thank you for the food I eat and thank you for my drink But most of all I thank you for the way you love me
(a childrens prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
•read more prayers for children to say here
Thanksgiving Prayer for Children (a prayer for parents) Thank you for our children. Bless them with your love and peace, Protect them with your truth and strength, Engage them with your hope and vision. Thank you for our children.Amen.
(a parents prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
Thanksgiving prayer for the family Lord God, I give you all the members of our family. You know them all so well and love them all. I ask that you would cover us with a rainbow of hope. Hope that draws us together to work out our differences. Hope that helps us to celebrate together and care for one another. Hope that rides a banner in our lives and watches over us wherever we go. Hope that overcomes adversity and gathers strength to overcome. Hope that guides us and gives us vision for our future alone and together. Hope filled with love. Hope that fuels faith. Hope that breathes peace. May our family live in you Underneath your promises.Amen.
(a prayer of thanks from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
source: Book of Common Prayer, 1979 version, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA.
O Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part II. Act I, scene i)
Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks. Thank you for all the graces and blessings. You have betowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage. Our food and shelter, our health, the loves we have for one another, our family and friends. Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year. This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Brother. Amen.
(Traditional Catholic Prayer)
A contemporary version of this famous hymn:-
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied; come to God's own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home. All the world is God's own field, fruit as praise to God we yield; wheat and tares together sown are to joy or sorrow grown; first the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear; Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be. For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home; from the field shall in that day all offenses purge away, giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast; but the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore. Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring thy final harvest home; gather thou thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin, there, forever purified, in thy presence to abide; come, with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.
Lyrics by Henry Alford (1810-1871)
Music by George J. Elvey (1816-1893)
A Simple Prayer of Thanks
Thank you. I dwell upon the goodness in my life. Thank you. I cherish in my heart Your gift to me. Thank you. I notice the blessings of life, breath, loving and sharing. I am so very grateful. Thank you, Lord.
(a simple prayer of thanks from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
10 of the Best Ways to Thank God – Counting My Blessings
You and I know God wants us to thank and praise Him but I sometimes wonder if I’m thanking Him the ways He wants.
I start my prayers with thank you and praise Him for who He is and what He does but are words enough.
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Psalm 50:14
Honestly, words don’t feel much of a sacrifice. I can say “thank you” so easily and then just as easily go back to living in ways that don’t seem very thankful.
What does thankful living look ? Thankfulness that is sacrificial? Thankfulness that is God’s will and pleases Him.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:20
How are you with the “all circumstances” part? Not so good? Yeah, me too.
I wonder (you know I do that a lot) . . . maybe there are ways to thank God that go beyond simply speaking words. Ways to live with gratitude even when I don’t feel thankful for my circumstances.
If you add together the verses with the word “obey” and those reminding us to “listen” it’s close to a thousand. Faith leads to obedience as we thank God for the amazing gift of life in Jesus.
Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. Colossians 3:17
Remember worship is…
Taking your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. (Romans 12:1)
We were made to worship – to thank and praise God, the One who loves us and gives us all we need for today and for always.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28
Thank Him with music
Make music. Sing praise. Music gives our thanks and praise emotion. So, make that “joyful noise” at home, in the car, at church . . . anywhere. Turn up the tunes and give thanks.
And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to Him. 1 Chronicles 23:30
Pray to Him
You pray and begin your prayers with words of thanks and praise. But let’s go beyond “thank you for all You do for me.” Let’s be specific. Naming God’s past provision and help not only thanks Him it can help prevent worry and fear.
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. Philippians 4:6
Love and Care for Others
This is stewardship. Using what God has given us to bless others. God’s love is unfailing. His care is personal. You and I have all we need to love and care for the people around us.
Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10–11
Surrender Everything to Him
It’s hard to offer everything, isn’t it? It needs an eternal perspective and I so easily get caught up in what’s right in front of my face. Trusting God and surrendering everything to Him . . . that’s thanksgiving with faith.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Romans 12:1
Tell People about Who He Is and What He Does
Tell your story. You’re a changed life, tell people about it. Tell them about forgiveness and freedom from fear . . . about love, hope, and joy. Thank God by telling others about His awesome blessings.
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. Psalm 9:1
Trust His Will
Trust is reliance and confident expectation. Thank God for past blessings by trusting Him with your future. Follow where He leads. He has a plan and that plan includes you. Trust His love and follow where He leads.
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7
Joy is contentment and satisfaction. Finding joy in God says that He is enough, that you and I are content and satisfied in Him.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:4,6
Make Everything You Do and Say an Offering of Thankfulness
God loves you. His goodness and mercy cover you. Pay attention. Count your blessings. Live with gratitude. Make your life an offering of thanks in response to all God has done for you.
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:11–14
Oh, how I wish I didn’t get so caught up in myself. Maybe you wish that too.
I want my life to show that my is heart full of thanks.
I want to join David and say…
I trust God’s love forever and ever. God, I will thank You forever for what You have done. With those who worship you, I will trust You because You are good. Psalm 52:8–9
And with God’s help I will.
Will you pray with me?
Father, Thank you for your countless blessings. Because of Jesus, Your grace and mercy cover me every day. Your love surrounds me. May my life be an offering of thanks for who You are and all You do. I love you, Lord. I trust You. Help me obey and follow wherever You lead. In Jesus name. O pray. Amen.
Leave your prayer requests…
and stop to pray one or two of the requests listed.
I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.
And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…
Thanks Be to God
My dear brothers and sisters. I am very grateful for the privilege accorded me to address you on the eve of the important Thanksgiving recognition we give to this Thursday’s holiday.
I am confident that I am the most blessed of you all, as I have been privileged to be a member of the administrative staff of BYU for the past thirty years. It has brought important and special responsibilities to me and my family. In carrying them through, we have been blessed in many ways.
To be closely associated with President Ernest L. Wilkinson, President Dallin Oaks, and now President Jeffrey R. Holland has enriched our lives.
I have watched these great men work to build this university to a pinnacle of size, quality, and strength that makes possible your presence on this campus this very day. I salute them and express a deep gratitude for their excellent achievements.
Gratitude a Way of Life
I wish to share with you an awareness that thanksgiving should be in our hearts and expressed in our actions every day of the year, not just on 25 November 1982.
Stanley Dixon penned these most thoughtful words that were set to beautiful music that we are hearing this hour:
Thanks be to God for roses rare,
For skies of blue and sunshine fair.
For every gift I raise a prayer,
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God for lovely night,
For mystic fields with stars bedight,
For hours of dream and deep delight,
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God for love divine,
The hopes that ’round my heart entwine,
For all the joy that now is mine,
Thanks be to God.
[Stanley Dixon (New York: Associated Music Publishers)]
President N. Eldon Tanner has said, “Thanksgiving Day gives each and every one of us an invitation and a wonderful opportunity to pause and count our many blessings and to give thanks to God and praise him from whom all blessings flow” (“Thanksgiving 1968,” Church News, 23 November 1968, p. 9).President Marion G. Romney, in his address in the past general conference, made us deeply aware of the principle of gratitude and thanksgiving, and I quote:
The virtues of gratitude have been widely extolled and the sinfulness of ingratitude has been just as widely condemned.
It has been said that “an ungrateful man is a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from” (Timothy Dexter, The New Dictionary of Thoughts [Garden City, NY: Standard Book, 1961], p. 308).
Jesus revealed his feeling about ingratitude when only one of ten lepers whom he had healed turned back and gave thanks. [“Gratitude and Thanksgiving,” Ensign, November 1982, p. 49]
We can read this account in Luke 17:11–18.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said: “True worship includes thanksgiving to God—the acknowledging and confessing with joy and gladness of the benefits and mercies which he bestows upon his children” (MD, p. 788).
I submit that the thanksgiving we should acknowledge should be an everyday occurrence directed to him who created us all.
It seems appropriate to share with you the statement the First Presidency gave to the Church this past Saturday in the Church News:
As the season of Thanksgiving approaches, it brings with it the reminder that this cherished holiday had its birth in religious faith and still finds its best expression in prayers of gratitude and repentance.
For this Thanksgiving and the joyful Christmas season to follow, our counsel to all men and women everywhere is, remember the scripture injunction, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7.
Ingratitude is one of the woeful failings of our society. The failure to acknowledge the sovereignty and the beneficence of God, the refusal to bend our will to His, are at the very root of the major problems in our society.
Prayer, family prayer in the homes of people in all lands, is one of the simple medicines that would check the dread disease that robs men and women of honesty, character and integrity.
In generations past, individual and family prayers, in the homes of people throughout the world were as much a part of the day’s activity as was eating.
As the practice of prayer has diminished, moral decay has increased.
The inclination to be holy, to be thankful, is increased as family members kneel together and thank the Lord for life and peace and all that they may become under His guidance.
In remembering together before the Lord the poor, the needy, the oppressed, there is developed, unconsciously but realistically, a love for others above self, a respect for others, a desire to serve the needs of others.
One cannot ask God to help a neighbor in distress without being motivated to do something toward helping that neighbor.
What miracles would be evident if, beginning now, beginning this Thanksgiving season, we all would lay aside our own selfishness and lose ourselves in the service of others.Our prayers of Thanksgiving, this season and daily all through the year, will bring comfort to our hearts, knit us together in love, and open to us the treasures of wisdom, knowledge, gratitude and forgiveness.
[“Express thanks in prayers and service, say Church leaders,” Church News, 20 November 1982, p. 3]
Expression of Gratitude Important
In positive reflection I turn to doctrinal references which place special responsibilities on us all to express our gratitude to our Creator. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.
” This important commandment, found in section 59, verse 7, of the Doctrine and Covenants, is as binding upon us as any other law of God.
We are commanded to do “all things with prayer and thanksgiving,” and “Ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with” (D&C 46:7, 32).
Now, Thanksgiving Day 1982 is soon upon us. What will we do with it? This year will it merely be a day of feasting, watching TV, or seeking pleasure?
When the day was first instituted, it was regarded as a religious observance completely in line with the commandments I just stated. The Pilgrims, it will be remembered, were grateful for their very lives; and whom did they thank? Almighty God.
They knew the source of their blessings. They knew they had been preserved by a divine hand.
Most of you in this assembly have been blessed with pioneer ancestors who would testify that they were preserved to arrive in these valleys because of divine intervention in their behalf.
So now, what about ourselves? Are we willing to recognize that our daily blessings are provided by other efforts than our own? The arrogance of much of mankind today merely states, “I’ve done it myself.”I submit that our blessings flow from many, many others and through divine approbation. As an example, one of the most important things on earth, essential to our welfare, is plain, ordinary water.
Did we make it? Did we pipe it into our homes? Did we make the pipe? Did we sterilize it so that it would be bacteria free? And, who provided the streams from which water comes? Who caused the rains to fall, the earth to be fertile? Who first gave us seeds to plant? Who placed cows and sheep and birds and trees on the earth?
Are we not dependent upon him and his creations? No one can measure the gratitude we owe to the Almighty as the Great Provider. No one can measure the appreciation we owe to our fellowmen, those who plant and harvest, and those who provide services on every hand.
In this complex world there is a network of interdependency among us all. So many others are involved in providing for us the things which we ourselves could not provide, it is folly to ignore them.
We ride in cars and planes, but did we make them? We use oil and gasoline, but from where did they come? We eat bread and drink milk for our health, but did we produce them?
When Paul wrote to Timothy about the latter days, he gave as one of the signs of the times the fact that people would become “unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:2).
This is an interesting combination of words—that one with ungrateful attitudes can be unholy, their roots being in the same evil source. Ingratitude, of course, is unholy from every standpoint. It is evil in itself.
Let’s turn to appreciation, gratitude, and thanks.
So, on this special Thanksgiving 1982, what will be your list of “gratitudes”?
Three Reasons for Gratitude
I desire to share just three of my own. Hundreds of blessings are found in each of these three for which I daily thank my Father in Heaven:
1. My citizenship in this great United States of America.
2. My membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3. My wife and family.
Now, just a brief reference to each:
1. I love my country. It has been good to me. I have been pleased to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve for thirty-four years. While I was a guest in the home of Admiral Emmet L. Tidd, in Washington, D.C., not too long ago, he shared this experience. He had just returned to Washington, D.C.
, following an extended trip to several major powers in the world to assess their strengths for the Chief of Naval Operations.
He observed on his return that our country, with all its political, social, and economic problems, is still so far ahead of whichever country might be second, he would have no second thoughts about his love for America and his faith in this great country and where he would want to reside. I feel the same way.Some outsider has said, “Your country may not be a rose garden, but it also is not a patch of weeds.” I am blessed every day because of being a citizen in this land. Having just returned from the Mideast on university business, I can’t figure out why I was so blessed as to be assigned to be raised up and to live in this special land rather than where I have just visited, or in some other part of the world.
I am grateful for a student body expression twice each day that permits students to stand in reverence and thought each morning as the Star Spangled Banner is played, and the flag is raised, and then again lowered the same way in the late afternoon. Visitors to our campus stand in awe as this is done. Some say it is old-fashioned. If so, I will take the old-fashioned way.
Where do you stand on the appreciation of this land of liberty? President David O. McKay once stated: “We are grateful for this land of America, ‘choice above all other lands.
’ The freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees to every man the right to worship . . .
in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, made possible the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (“Thanksgiving 1968,” Church News, 23 November 1968, p. 9). I am thankful for this event.
2. I value and treasure my membership in the Church: I was privileged to be born in New Zealand while my parents were serving together on their first mission. How blessed I’ve been to have parents so wonderful that they have given me a royal heritage of membership in the Church.
They themselves have been living examples for us to follow. They are here today. I wish them to know how much I love and appreciate them. How fortunate for me to fill a mission and thereby fortify my testimony of the Church and all it means in our lives.
I will be eternally grateful for the training and leadership opportunities I have experienced through my Church assignments. What a blessing to you and to me to recognize our church’s commitment to education. We are the recipients of the privilege of this great campus.
Let’s not fall short of measuring up to expectations of our respected Church and university leaders.Yes, we are blessed through our membership in the Church. If we are faithful, these blessings have eternal application. Let’s not forget that. Is your Church membership worthy of a special thanksgiving expression?
3. I love my wife, Nonie, and my family very much. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful eternal companion, together completing forty-two years last week.
Busy with Church and school life these forty-two years, she jokes about having to marry me to get rid of me; but we have a relationship I would wish for all of you young marriage prospects. It isn’t easy living with a fellow me, but we are planning on many, many more years together.
Nonie is as beautiful inside as you see her on the outside. So, with three wonderful children, eleven grandchildren, and a few adopted ones, life is very sweet and worthwhile.
How does one best express thanks for all of this? I must thank a very compassionate Father in Heaven. Do you have a special reason this holiday season to feel as I do about my family?
Now, I recognize that my Thanksgiving expressions for country, church, and family blessings must be directed to my Father in Heaven. You have heard three of my gratitudes. What will be the gratitudes you may express to your Father in Heaven this Thanksgiving season?
Some years ago I read a simple Thanksgiving prayer:
O, heavenly Father:
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service
That Thy gifts may be used for others.
[Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby,” Deseret News, 25 November 1976, p. 4C]
Said in another way by Wilfred A. Peterson:
The art of thanksgiving is thanks living. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: “In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life or other life.”
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.[“The Art of Thanksgiving,” The Art of Living (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961), pp. 44–45]
My prayer for each of us is that during this Thanksgiving season we can all count our blessings in a way that truthfully says, “Thanks be to God,” in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Fred A. Schwendiman was the Support Services vice-president of BYU when this devotional address was given on 23 November 1982.
© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
See the complete list of abbreviations HERE