With the Thanksgiving holidays quickly approaching, our pastor recently preached a sermon about “eucharisteo,” or Greek for “thanksgiving,” and shared Scriptures about the biblical meaning of the term. It was fascinating to learn that “eucharisteo” has 3 tenses rolled into one. In other words, it encompasses thanksgiving in the past, present, and future.

Dr. Baucom also told the congregation about a book he had read recently called 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The author was apparently going through a tough time in life when a friend encouraged her to put pen to paper and write down everything she had to be thankful for. Skeptical that she could come up with much, Ann began to write things down, and before she knew it, her list had hit 1,000. Dr. Baucom reminded us that the Lord is at work in our lives, even when we struggle to see beyond the daily grind, and that we would indeed be shocked at how many blessings we have if we started to write them down. We were all challenged to write a list of 1,000 things to be thankful for by Thanksgiving. Needless to say, many in the congregation looked skeptical (including myself, I freely admit).

A couple of weeks later, all I can say is, “Eucharisteo.” I took some time, amidst my doubt, to write down blessings in the hopes of even getting close to 1,000 things on the list. The first things on the list, obviously, were things like Jesus, my husband, my parents, and my siblings. As I ran out of general things to be thankful for, however, like a warm place to live, a job, and food to eat, my mind started coming up with the most random things. I started writing down things like, “the dentist who takes care of my teeth,” “trees that provide fruit,” “adoptive families,” and “the sun rising this morning.” My once sluggish typing became faster and before I knew it my list had 700 items on it (and is still growing).

Doing the Eurcharisteo challenge really puts things into perspective and is a perfect way to enter into the Thanksgiving season. I’m so glad that Dr. Baucom challenged us to write down 1,000 things to be thankful for, and I would encourage you to try it as well.