Gratefulness and Thanksgiving

Posted on November 27, 2013 
Filed Under Family, Home & Garden, Inspiration, Poetry

The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet

The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet, 1859

A cold rain falls outside my window, but inside it is warm and cozy, and I am thankful. Not just for the warmth that results from months of wood cutting, splitting, and hauling, but for the love that inspired it all, and for the faith, family, and friends that make life sweet. I am grateful.

It’s time to begin cooking, so I’ll be brief. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that each year I share the same poem, “Gratefulnesse” by George Herbert (1593-1633). Each year it reminds me anew to focus on things that matter. The poet, describing himself as “thy beggar,” begins by petitioning God for a grateful heart:

Thou that hast giv’n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a gratefull heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.

Herbert muses about God’s tender, patient reception of our “perpetuall knockings” at His door, and finishes with a touch of humor, reminding God that

“And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankfull heart obtain
Of thee:

Not thankfull, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare dayes:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.”

Herbert’s love for God and understanding of Him as a gentle, patient “Abba, Father” shines through each line. God’s children ask “Gift upon gift,” yet he “didst allow us all our noise: / Nay, thou hast made a sigh and grone / Thy joyes.” Imagine.

You may read the entire poem, plus a bit about the Jean-Francois Millet painting (above) at the Excellence in Literature site.

Here is the link to a 2009 post with an idea for sharing blessings, plus the Cranberry-Orange Relish recipe. This recipe is our family tradition for Thanksgiving, and it’s ideal, because it’s quick and easy and can be made ahead. So if you were looking for one more thing to add to your table, here it is!

And finally, be sure to check out our Thanksgiving Sale!

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
–G.K. Chesterton


3 Responses to “Gratefulness and Thanksgiving”

  1. Christina in KY on November 27th, 2013 7:58 pm

    Thank you, I haven’t seen this poem before. I plan to print it out and frame it for a hostess gift for our Thanksgiving hosts.

  2. Gratefulnesse by George Herbert | Excellence in Literature by Janice Campbell on December 2nd, 2013 8:51 am

    [...] is a great poem for Thanksgiving, as well as all through the [...]

  3. Janice Campbell on December 3rd, 2013 2:07 pm

    What a nice idea! It has been a great blessing to me over the years. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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