A friend of mine used to say at 12-step meetings, if you wrote down your problems on a piece of paper and everyone in the group threw their slip of paper out onto the table, you’d want to get your own slip back rather than take someone’s else’s. So true! This, of course, is the season for being grateful and my thank you prayers were going something like this on this fine morning: “God, even though some family members gets on my nerves, thank you that I have family to celebrate with this Thanksgiving; even though it’s still hard driving 40 minutes back and forth and working 9 to 5 each day, thank you for a job that helps put food on the table; even though my dream of being a best-selling novelist isn’t paying off quite yet, thank you for giving me that dream and purpose; even though my kids aren’t all going to church or even believing in You right now, thank you for keeping them healthy, safe and in Your care; and even though I have arthritis in my knees and hips, thank you for my overall good health, for legs that walk, arms that hug, eyes that see, ears that hear.” I think even “even though” prayers are pleasing to God – and that despite our problems (which, if we look out around us, and especially at the people in the world at large, really aren’t that bad) we should thank God often and always for all of our blessings. And this consistent gratitude keeps us happy. We can even be thankful for blessings yet to be, which keeps our hopes alive. Here is a beautiful “thank you” prayer from David (Psalm 128): “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart…I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness…When I called, you answered me; you made me bold…Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me…The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever– do not abandon the works of your hands.” Happy Thanksgiving!