With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, I thought I would write a little about being thankful.  There are lots of blogs out there with free lesson plans, worksheets, historical information and the like - and for those I am thankful. But this post will be about the state of being thankful, which is a place we should find ourselves all of the time, isn't it?
We say grace for a kind look, or a beautiful poem, or a delightful book, quite as truly as for a good dinner - more so, indeed; for it is true of us also that man doth not live by bread alone. (Mason, Vol. 4, p. 192)
This past Saturday, I attended a meeting of Mason educators in North Carolina through video conferencing via Skype.  So, while I was sitting in snowy Minnesota (I'm serious - it was snowing), they sat comfortably in their balmy autumn weather.  I was thankful for the kind discussion we were able to have about things that matter and that I could see their faces, too.  Talking with Bonnie, Amber, Carroll, Tracy, Beth and others while I sat over a thousand miles away made me thankful for technology, too. (I refuse to think about my giant head up on a screen, though...)

George Herbert (1593-1633) stopped me in my tracks today.  I will post the full poem at the end of this post for you to enjoy.  Here is the last stanza of  "Gratefulnesse" to whet your appetite -

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


A Book of Golden Deeds of All Times and All Lands by Charlotte Yonge
I am using this book with my 4th and 5th grade children  for citizenship.  The chapter "The Cup of Water" captured their imaginations with the Biblical account of David pouring out a precious cup of water onto the ground.  This water was brought to him by his soldiers who risked their lives for it.  David poured it out as an offering to God.  The author then ties in accounts of Alexander of Macedonia and Rudolf of Hapsburg.  We read that chapter a month ago and they continue to think about it as it has come up in conversation more than once.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with friends, family and maybe a stranger or two. Thank you for reading my blog.  I enjoy your company and comments.  Truly.

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:

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And sayes, If he in this be crost,
All Thou hast given him heretofore
                                            Is lost.

But Thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What is would come to at the worst
                                            To save.

Perpetuall knockings at Thy doore,
Tears sullyng Thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift; much would have more,
                                             And comes.

This notwithstanding, Thou went'st on,
And didst allow us all our noise;
Nay, Thou hast made a sigh and grone
                                             Thy joyes.

Not that Thou hast not still above
Much better tunes then grones can make,
But that theses countrey-aires Thy love
                                              Did take.

Wherefore I crie, and crie again,
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.

                                                                   -George Herbert

(For more Thanksgiving books, see The Pumpkin Pie Procession and Gratitude.)


  1. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand - I have often thought we should, although it wouldn't quite be the same for us with the stories of the pilgrims etc.
    Thankyou for the book recommendation - it's not the first time I've heard of Charlotte Yonge. She was recommended as a wholesome Victorian author by the writer of an article in our church magazine a while ago. It seems the books are very hard to come by unfortunately!

  2. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. PSALM 95:2

    This is something I've really made an effort to focus on in the past year or so in my prayer time in the morning. It's funny how you can read Scripture over and over and not really grasp the meaning of it until your pastor makes it so clear. My pastor is so good at that. I'm not saying that I always do but my goal is to always come before him with thanksgiving FIRST and then bring my needs/concerns/requests to him. God does so deserve our thanksgiving!! Thank you for this post, Nancy.

    Deneen W in TN

  3. Grateful for you :) Thank you for the lovely poem - Oh that we would have hearts who pulse His praise! Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with your family.

  4. We were and are so grateful for YOU!
    Thanks for being with us last Saturday.
    Love the poem!
    Will have to study that one.

  5. I have rearranged my schedule to have a Friday schedule that is similar to your co-op TGB schedule.
    Thanks for posting that.
    Fridays are going to be great!

  6. You have a beautifully kind look in your profile picture (I, too, don't wish to think of my head on skype). Thank you for introducing us to beautiful poems and books.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  7. Thank you for sharing that poem - and for visiting my blog!