As a girl, I loved VeggieTales. If you know of the series you may recall an episode about Madame Blueberry, the lady who was always sad. Even though she lived in a big tree-house (Veggie-Tales lingo for 6-bedroom house), she constantly visited Stuff-Mart in hopes of finding the thing that would make her happy. One day, Madame Blueberry was on her way to Stuff-Mart when she noticed something peculiar. Stopping in her tracks, Madame Blueberry noticed a young girl with her parents with worn and tattered clothes sharing a piece of pie. It did not seem like they had much to be grateful for, so Madame Blueberry felt bad for them. That is, until, she heard the little girl sing this song: 

I thank God for this day

For the sun in the sky

For my mom and my dad

For my piece of apple pie

For our home on the ground

For His love that’s all around

That’s why I say thanks everyday.

Because a thankful heart

is a happy heart

I’m glad for what I have

That’s an easy way to start

For the love that he shares

Cause he listens to my prayers

That’s why I say thanks everyday.

Madame Blueberry is a lot like our journey to adulthood. Not quite happy, not quite there, not quite thankful. Here’s a truth for us all: Becoming an adult exposes that we are childhood embodied. All we have ever known to be true about anything becomes up for debate as we face our un-parented worlds. There’s a secret here: the only way to have joy, to be successful, to get to the place you want to be, is with gratitude. “A thankful heart is a happy heart”. A gospel truth simplified into a four-count beat. Gratitude, you see, is all about being thankful for everything in your life - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The promotion, the politics, and the breakup. The way he cares for you, your bank account, and what happened Saturday night. James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”. We use gratitude to acknowledge that what we have is all we need to become exactly who we are becoming - image bearers of God. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are three ways to practice gratitude over the holidays, and all year long.

  1. Keep a thankfulness journal - At the beginning or end of the day, write five things you are thankful for. Then, create space once a week to reflect on what you’ve written.
  2. Write letters of gratitude - Care for those in your world by writing to a different person every week what you appreciate about them.
  3. Try “Blueberry” at every meal - If prayer at meals feels passionless and obligatory, try sharing three things you’re thankful for in that moment. Call it whatever you wish, but Blueberry is to remind us of Madame Blueberry and the lesson she learned that day.

If becoming an adult exposes that we embody our childhood, let’s take it a little further: becoming a follower of Jesus exposes that we embody the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:16 tells us “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” As an embodied child of God, know that the gospel truths and life lessons that were simplified to rhymes and silly-songs will never become unnecessary.  

That’s why I say thanks every day.

-raygen samone