Have you ever written a thank you note to God? I haven’t.
After all the gifts He’s given me, I ought to know better.
Mama taught me to write thank you notes whenever I received a gift. (After all, that’s what Southern mamas are supposed to do). She put floral stationery and stamps in my desk because she expected me to write.
And write, I did.
I wrote thank you notes for birthday gifts and Christmas gifts.
I wrote the lady who sent me a journal when I was baptized.
I wrote a few of my favorite teachers (wish I’d done that more).
And I even once wrote a thank you note to our preacher.
But nowadays, thank you note writing seems to be a lost art, even for writers, like me. Most of the time, I thank people kind of casually, via email or text. Sometimes, I forget to say thank you at all.
Mama raised me to do better than that.
Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to write some thank you notes. The Lord has blessed me with a variety of gifts this year, so I’ll start by writing to Him. Here goes.
You’ve done quite a lot for me this year. Much more than I know. While your blessings are as deep as the ocean, I can only see what’s on the surface.
But still, I’m totally overwhelmed.
So Father God, I’m writing you this thank you note to thank you for small, quirky gifts and for really big gifts, in no particular order:
Thank you for football. I know this is an odd thing to be grateful for, but I am grateful because the sport brings so many people together. I never realized football was a blessing until last year, when there were paper cutouts in the stands and the quads were empty. Thanks for the thrill of a great scoring run. For beautiful tackles that leave my husband misty-eyed. For the happy sound of a marching band. For tailgating with friends. And especially for the SEC. Your gifts are good.
Thank you for my mother-in-law. You probably don’t get a lot of thank you notes for mother-in-laws, but mine is truly a gift. She’s loving and helpful and always willing to put up with me. So is my new granddaughter, who is now 5 months old and the most beautiful child you ever made. When she lays her little head on my chest and we snuggle, tears often surface. Not her tears, mine.
Thank you for coffee. Yes, I’ve never thanked you for coffee before because I didn’t like it much until this year. Call me late to the party. Or a late bloomer. Or stubborn. But somehow, I recently discovered what a gift a hot cup can be first thing in the morning. (Who knew?) This proves how easy it is to overlook life’s simple blessings. I don’t want to do that, so I’m writing this thank you note to help me recognize your blessings.
You might consider planting blue hydrangeas in your heavenly garden (if you haven’t already). I spent a lot of time at the lake writing this summer. Flocks of geese swam by every day, leaving golden ripples in their wake. One day a herd of deer—including a buck in velvet—came through the yard. I videoed it, rejoicing in your handiwork. My neighbor Angie was not rejoicing (they eat her hosta), but still your creation is marvelous.
Thank you for popcorn. Yes, it’s a carb, but what a great idea. Nothing tastes better at the theater than a popcorn and a Coke. Speaking of theaters, thanks for reopening them this year. And thanks for giving me friends to go to the movies with. I’m grateful for old friends and new friends and even the friends I haven’t met yet. Each friend you send is a precious gift.
Thank you for early mornings, when the sun casts a million of shades of orange over the darkness.
If you had made me a painter (which you didn’t, but that’s ok), I would paint sunrises. Thanks for the cool mornings I’ve spent on the screen porch recently, wrapped up in a blanket, sitting in the swing, journaling away. Thanks for early moments when my thinking is clear. For those special times when you come to meet me, just as I am.
Thank you for my husband. He’s my best friend. Thanks for making him thoughtful and kind (and even handsome). He’s a good-as-gold kind of person. Me? Well, I’m trying. Trying to be the woman you want me to be, and the wife you want me to be. Help me love my husband well because he deserves my best love. And so do you.
Thank you for my readers. Wow. People actually read what I write. What a blessing! Sometimes, readers send me prayer requests. And here’s the funny thing—they think I’m doing them a favor. (Ha. You know better. But let’s keep it just between us.) The notes from my readers are gifts. And so are their funny pictures and comments and their ongoing presence in my life.
Thank you for your word. For the verses I’ve never noticed before, that hit me upside the heart when I need them most. Thanks for passages that can change any day. For the life-giving Scriptures that guide me through stressful, tearful times. I really love the Psalms. I’m grateful they’re not weird, like some poems we read in school. They’re beautiful and yet, pretty straightforward. Short (except for Ps. 119), yet rich with meaning. Your words are a gift to my soul.
Thanks for your patience when I did dumb stuff this year. For standing by me when I failed. For forgiving me when I was just plain selfish, or overran my mouth, or failed to enjoy the gift of life. Thanks for helping me battle writer’s block and fears that I don’t have what it takes. Thanks for reminding me not to dwell on the negative—especially as Covid raged on. Thanks for never giving up on me. What would I do without you?
Thank you for your good Spirit. You go with me all day long. At night you whisper in my ear. Sometimes, you surprise me with new thoughts. Sometimes you make me laugh out loud. And then there are times I can’t really explain: when I feel your Spirit well up inside and joy overflows. Maybe you do that just to let me know you are there. Thanks for never leaving me alone.
Thank you for your love. I used to think I had to earn it. And even though I worked really hard, I never felt like I was good enough because I wasn’t. And then one day, you showed me that your love can’t be achieved; it just needs to be received. You love me simply because you choose to love me. It’s who you are. And your love for me is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you.
Well I could go on and on, but I trust you get the picture. And the grateful heart behind it.
I offer thanksgiving for your many beautiful gifts. For family. Friends. My granddaughter (she gets a double mention). Thanks for the abundant spiritual blessings that are mine in Christ.
I give thanks for you, and to you, and through you.
Love your daughter,
P.S. Have a Heavenly Thanksgiving!
*Why not write your own thank you note to God this week? Or write a thank you note to God with your kids/grandkids? It might make your holiday more meaningful. This booklet with writing prompts can help you.
Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the “Thank You Note to God Booklet,” and I’ll send it to you.