Thank You Notes

Growing up at my house, the rule was: “You couldn’t play with a new toy, or cash a gift check without writing a thank you note first.” You have to admit, it’s a pretty ingenuous system. It’s a great motivator for getting that note in the mail.

Yeah. You’d think that. But that wasn’t always what happened. The toy or check would often languish in the corner for days, waiting to be claimed by the birthday girl who just never seemed to find the time to write.

  • Not that she’s ungrateful.
  • Not that she doesn’t want to.
  • It’s just that…well…you know. The neighbor kids are calling, and that can isn’t going to kick itself.

I don’t think anyone objects to the idea of expressing thanks. It’s actually a very natural response. But the truth of it is, desiring to do it usually isn’t enough. We need to be reminded.

This week, we have been given the biggest reminder of all in the celebration of Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. Every year, we are prompted to remember our blessings, both physical and spiritual, as we gather in churches and around tables, celebrating the good things we’ve enjoyed in the past year.

I’m not sure how great I’ve been in praying my thanks to the Lord this year, and I sure don’t want to be stumped when it’s my turn to answer “What are you thankful for this year?” So here are just a few thank you notes, sealed up in an envelope of prayer and sent express mail to the Lord. I fervently hope that all of them are duplicates.

Thank you Lord for every unlabored breath I took this year.Β 

There is little that reminds me more of life, stillness and living in the moment than breathing. Inhaling, I thank you for the gift of my life. Exhaling, I thank you for helping me to release my anxiety, and place me in the silence that allows me to hear you speak.

Thank you Lord for the ‘super moon’.

Father, you know how much I appreciate the nature around me, but I don’t always tell you. That super-moon you arranged for us this past week was absolutely spectacular. It captured the imagination of everyone who saw it, amazing all with it’s closeness and beauty. It reminded me of your nearness to all mankind, and your enveloping love that enfolds us all like a warm fleece blanket on a cold night.

Thank you Lord for my family.

From my husband, to my siblings, to my children to my grandchildren, you made sure that I am surrounded by reasons to see your face every single day. You have outrageously gifted me with loving, funny, silly and comforting lives that help me recognize you, living and expressing yourself in all of us.


To you: May God bless you and yours with his grace and the joy of Thanksgiving Day. I thank you for faithfully visiting here, commenting and encouraging me this past year. I am truly blessed.


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62 thoughts on “Thank You Notes

    • Hi Pam! I guess you’re right about that. In this age of texting and emails, an actual written note would be a surprise. I still think they are a good idea though, much more personal than a text.

      Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes! May you and your husband have a great holiday,

  1. Amen, Amen, sweet friend! So many little things each day to fill our hearts with gratitude rather than taking them for granted. May this week be not only enriched by wonderful memories, but full of opportunities for new ones that your children and grandchildren will remember long years from now. Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Pam! I love your prayer, especially the part about it being a week long journey or thanks. I wish the same for you, and for your family and grandchildren. Aren’t we the most blessed! Love those little hugs and kisses, don’t you?

      Have a peaceful night,

    • Aww, thank you Linda. I think they’re pretty special myself πŸ™‚

      I really enjoy eclipses, super-moons and meteor showers. My siblings do too, so appreciating them must have started with our parents. They never fail to awe.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Dearest Ceil, I echo all of your prayers of Thanksgiving! I am also thankful for the many blogging friends, like you, who encourage me to look beyond this minute, this day! I am blessed by many, but often forget to tell them. Thank you dear sister for your faithfulness!
    May your week be blessed beyond measure.
    Love Noreen

    • Hi Noreen! I don’t always thank the bloggers who support me either, so it was nice to express that on this post. Even though I’ve never met most bloggers, I do feel like I know them…like you!

      I hope this week is filled with special memories and reasons to praise God for his graces. Enjoy it all πŸ™‚

  3. It’s so nice that in the USA you have a tradition of Thanksgiving dating back years. Sadly, we don’t have that in the UK; and we’re the poorer for it. It would be so nice if once a year all we Brits celebrated the many things we should be thankful for.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ceil, to you and your family.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! It is a great tradition in the country, and respected by government, schools etc.. It becomes a great reason for family reunions and gatherings of friends to come together and be thankful for each other, and all the gifts we enjoy.

      I know you are personally thankful for your blessings on a daily basis my friend. Although it would be nice to have the support of others in your country, it doesn’t stop you. Your faith is a HUGE reason for me to be thankful that I know you.
      Blessings to you always,

  4. Oh your family is beautiful, Ceil! Thanks for sharing this very special shot, for reminding us to be faithful in praising God for all He’s lavished on us, from the tiniest grace to the biggest miracle.

    Thanksgiving blessings to you all …

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for your lovely comment and Thanksgiving wishes. I know we both are so thankful for the people in our lives, especially family. Although we’ve had loss this year, we still have so much to be thankful for…I know I am thankful for knowing you through our blogs.

      May God’s extravagant Thanksgiving blessings be yours,

    • Hi Debby! Happy Thanksgiving to you too my friend, and to your husband and family too. What a year, right? So many blessings, surprises and experiences…thank you for sharing your life with so many of us.

      Blessings to you, and prayers for a wonderful week πŸ™‚

  5. I love your photos and the super moon is stunning. I need to ask myself if I am grateful for my everyday and not when I remember. God deserves so much better.

    I used to begin my day by thanking God for the gift of a new day. Somewhere along the way I have gotten back out of the habit. Your reminder tonight is what I need to kickstart my days with thanks on my lips.

    PS Your family is beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Mary! What a great tradition, I love that. I often wake up with thoughts of chore lists and wishing I could sleep longer…not very inspiring is it. I want to kickstart my day like you do, thank you for sharing your morning devotion.

      I appreciate your lovely comment about my daughter and her family, and I know you have wonderful sons. We have a lot to be thankful for! I hope you have a wonderful week, and Thanksgiving celebration.

      Thank you for visiting tonight πŸ™‚

  6. “Father, you know how much I appreciate the nature around me, but I don’t always tell you. That super-moon you arranged for us this past week was absolutely spectacular.”

    Oh! Ceil, I thought so too. Just amazing! Our world is a beautiful painting. We have so much to be thankful for.

    (You know, I never realized until now how much you look like Jimmy Fallon…)

    • Hi Sandi! Well, I did grow my hair out a bit…so maybe now I don’t look quite so much like Mr. Fallon. (LOL! You are so funny, I love it!)

      I really enjoy the celestial events, like eclipses, super-moons and shooting stars. I’m not sure exactly why, but they just fill me with such awe. How can anyone see such things and not believe in God?

      Have a wonderful week!

  7. “There is little that reminds me more of life, stillness and living in the moment than breathing. Inhaling, I thank you for the gift of my life. Exhaling, I thank you for helping me to release my anxiety, and place me in the silence that allows me to hear you speak”
    Thank you for this beautiful post on thankfulness, Ceil, and for your heartfelt thoughts. God is in our every breath, our every motion, our very being. Thank you for reminding us of the most important things for which we should be thankful
    Love and blessings!.

    • Hi Martha! I really appreciate your kind words about the blog post, thank you! And yes, God is in everything, even our breathing. I wish I remembered that more. Maybe that’s why I like the special celestial events so much. It really grabs my attention.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you’re enjoying the weather and your family πŸ™‚

    • Hi Jackie! Thank you for your lovely words. I hope that you and yours will have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

      May God bless us both on the holiday, and through the year as well.
      Thank you for coming by and commenting πŸ™‚

    • Hi Lynn! I wish the same for you my friend. I know that you are deeply thankful for the blessings you have in your life, thank you for sharing your insights and faith on your blog.

      Blessings to you and yours for a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

  8. I make it a point to still hand write thank you notes to people. Sadly, it is a lost art. I go to grad parties, give them a monetary gift and get no acknowledgment of it. (I don’t do it for that). Over the past 3-4 years I may have received 2 or 3. Every gift is acknowledged by me in a personal note. Good reminder Ceil. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for blessing my life.

    • Hi Bill! I hope you are doing better and better these days.

      I used to be sad at not getting a thank you note, but now, it’s like the norm. I don’t know how that happened. I taught my children the importance of writing them, and saw how much they meant. After my dad died, I found a thank you note he kept from my son, written when he was about 14 years old. They says a lot about how much those notes are appreciated.

      Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes! I hope you’re not hurting too much, and will enjoy family, friends and congregation this special week. And what a gift it is to know each other through our blogs.


  9. Nice reminder of thankfulness, Ceil. Your list is great and your family is beautiful. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was raised to write thank you notes also and raised my kids that way. They carry it out to this day and raise theirs to do the same. It’s so important.

    • Hi Mary! I raised my children to write them too, and I still think they’re important. Someone went out of their way for me, the least I can do is formally thank them for their thoughtfulness.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post and the photo of my daughter and her family. We’ll see them in a few days. I wish you a wonderful holiday too, I hope you’ll see your daughter and grandchildren too πŸ™‚

  10. I love your thank you notes, Ceil. It is easy to have the intention of saying thank you but not to actually do it, especially to God. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but I think we should- it is good to stop and think of how much we have to be thankful for. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  11. I love the photos, Ceil. Such a lovely family. And that ocean one makes me want to sit there, too, and think about God and thank Him for everything. And that moon puts me in awe of God’s beauty and greatness. Thank you for reminding us to thank God for every unlabored breath we take. It also made me reflect on how God deserves my thanks even for labored breaths (since I have a lung disease). Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your precious family! Hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! I did think about those with breathing problems when I wrote the ‘breath’ prayer. I’m so sorry about your labored breaths…and I’m just so inspired by the faith that leads you to praise the Lord in your circumstances. You are such a faithful, loving follower of Christ. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony on thanksgiving.

      Blessings to you, and peace from God our Father,

  12. Hi Ceil, Thank you for this wonderful reminder to give thanks. I should be more mindful than I am of Paul’s examples in his letters to the churches he established about being thankful. Furthermore, we’re to be thankful IN all things not FOR all things.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!



    • Hi Kim! Thank you for the reminder of Paul’s teaching. I should be living in my gifts, not just be thankful for them. Wonderful point!

      May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving day. I give thanks for knowing you through our blogs.

    • Hi Lisa! Thank you, I think their beautiful too! And to think that was a year ago already… I hope I get a new photo this year.

      Thank you for your Thanksgiving wish, and I wish the same for you. May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving with many reasons to celebrate and praise him!

  13. Yes Cecil
    I am truly blessed for the same reasons as you but also for your e-mails of “Surrounded by the Spirit” which are so meaningful to me.
    Thank you and Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones..

    • Oh Jean, you always have a way of making me feel so good. Thank you for your comment, and your faithful presence here. I truly appreciate your support!

      I think I’ll be seeing you on Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you notes are such a gracious gesture of kindness…I try to remember how much it means to me to receive one, in hopes that I won’t forget to thank others. Thank you for sharing your thanksgivings with us here, Ceil. God bless you and your family with a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

    • Hi Cheryl! That’s such a good point, I didn’t think about that. To extend ourselves and write a note really is an act of kindness. Another reason to do it for sure.

      I know you will enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration, there’s so much to celebrate. May God bless you abundantly and give you even more reasons to smile πŸ™‚

  15. great post and very similar to the one I wrote today for tomorrows post. – Our hearts and minds are on being thankful – very appropriate for this week and all time! love the family photos too.

    • Hi Jean! This isn’t the first time we’ve had the same theme my friend. I think we do have similar ideas and thoughts at times, God is so good to us!

      I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, remembering all the good gifts God has given you and yours πŸ™‚

  16. You write so poignantly, and bring out your thought in a unique way as to cause one to always stop and reflect on your words. I agree with you about thank you notes, and have taught my children the same! And that super moon picture – oh my goodness! It is gorgeous! We had heavy cloud cover here, and so I did not get to see it πŸ™ But how grateful I am that you got to see and enjoy it, and share your lovely picture here! Many hugs to you today πŸ™‚

    • Hi MM! I have to confess that the super moon photo is a stock one, I didn’t take it. But it is beautiful! I was able to catch a glimpse of the moon out my airplane window, when I was returning from a girls weekend with my sisters. It was enormous!

      I am so thankful for your blog friendship, you always find a way to encourage me. Thank you! I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration, knowing that we both have so much to be grateful for. I hope you’ll see some family too?

    • Hi Scott! What a lovely thank you note on my feast day! And you’re right, your family is pretty adorable.

      Right now, we are listening to a blaring radio and the sound of power hammers and circular saws. Fingers crossed that we’ll be all set when come tomorrow!…

      Have a great day, and we’re looking forward to your arrival!

  17. This is lovely, Ceil. Your family – what a wonderful blessing! Your grandchildren are adorable. πŸ™‚ You are indeed blessed.

    I love that idea, that the thank you note comes first. My mom cultivated the thank you note habit in my sisters and me. I’m thankful that she did.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Karen! I think the parents really have to believe in the practice, or thank you notes would never get done. I’m glad both of our moms encouraged the habit.

      Thank you for your kind words about the family. Of course, I think they’re pretty special! They come in tomorrow night, so the fun starts then πŸ™‚
      Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours,

    • Hi Anita! Thank you so much for visiting, seeing your name pop up made me smile. Are you having your family in for Thanksgiving? I hope you have a wonderful day in your home with that fantastic fireplace of yours.

      I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday πŸ™‚

  18. What a beautiful expression of thanks, Ceil! And thanks be to God for you and your inspiring, thought-provoking, and many times humorous blog! Always enjoy reading it. Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Hi Diane! Thank you so much for your kind words, and thank you for being such a beautiful friend who always encourages me. I’m so glad you’re here πŸ™‚ You do so much for me, and for so many others too.

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving celebration with your family, and may God continue to bless you with his powerful grace. I hope you can relax a bit tomorrow too. I’ll be on ‘kid patrol’ as my daughter and husband go in search of bargains!

  19. Hi Ceil,
    I could say ‘Amen’ to everything you have thanked the Lord for, including giving you a lovely family. We are all so blessed in the Lord, especially realized when we look around the world and see what sadness is in so many countries.
    God bless you and your family Ceil

    • Hi Brenda! We are very blessed indeed. I think you’re so right about what we have in comparison to others.

      Thank you for your prayer for our family Brenda, and I ask for blessings on yours too,

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