3 Things I'm Grateful for this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today I want to share a few things that I am grateful for and a few things I do to be intentional with gratitude. I recorded a podcast episode about Intentional Gratitude last year. You can listen to it here.

I would love to hear what you are grateful for this year and what you do to be intentional with your gratitude. Comment below this post and let me know!

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Here are 3 things I’m grateful for this year:

1.) I’m Grateful for God Saving me from a Useless Life –  I Peter 1:18 says, “Knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life…” This verse makes me tear up. God saved me from living a useless life.

There are people who live and die and never get a glimpse of the life God had planned for them. That makes my heart break.

[shareable cite=”I Peter 1:18″ text=”Tweet this”]’Knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life…'[/shareable]

I’m so grateful that when I was 17 years old, God came into my life and changed everything. I know that I would be living a useless life without Him. I thank God that I can wake up everyday living on purpose and pursue the plan He has for me. There is nothing better. If you feel like you’re living a useless life, I encourage you to surrender it to the one who can make it useful! He will follow through on that promise! 

2.) I’m Grateful for Everything God has Done  – A year and a half ago, I was depressed and having a pity party. Laura encouraged me to spend time with God. I felt led to read the book of Philippians. When I did, this Philippians 4:6 stuck out to me. It says, ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” I felt led to start journaling everything that God had done in my life up to that point. I started writing:

  • God saved me
  • He got me to Judy Steidel’s Bible Study
  • He brought Laura into my life
  • He brought me to Victory Family Church
  • He had Pastor Larry Bettencourt and Mike Steidel invest in me
  • He freed me from the bondage of drugs, tobacco,and alcohol
  • He put gifts inside of me that I never knew I had and He opened doors for me to use them

After writing a half page of things I was grateful for, I started tearing up. I have SO much to thank Him for. Why was I having a pity party and letting myself be depressed? I learned that gratitude is one of the best ways to get out of depression!

If you journal, I encourage you to start each day journaling about things you’re grateful for. It will change the way you live!

3.) I’m Grateful for Intentional Gratitude and the Encouragement of Others –  One of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes is from , who said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much good to anyone.” I believe that encouragement can change everything in a person’s life. One day, I’ll write a post on the most encouraging things people have ever said to me and how their encouragement impacted my life. You never know what one word of encouragement to someone can do to change their life!  

[shareable cite=”Gladys Bronwyn Stern”]Silent gratitude isn’t much good to anyone.[/shareable]

A few years back, I implemented a few practices in my life to express gratitude intentionally. Here they are:

  • Intentional Encouragement around the Dinner Table – At Thanksgiving dinner, birthday dinners, etc. select one person at the table and have everyone around the table tell them what they appreciate about them and encourage them. Once everyone encourages one person, move on to the next. You’ll find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences you have all year.
  • Year-End Letters – Each year, I write a letter to the top 3 most influential people in my life. I tell them that they were one of the top 3 and I tell them specifically how they’ve impacted my life. If I can, I hand deliver the letters and tell them why I’m grateful for them as well.
  • Thank You Notes – I always try to write encouraging notes to people throughout the year.
  • Intentional Encouragement – Every day at 11 a.m. I get a text on my phone that says, “Intentionally add value to 3-5 people.” It’s a reminder to call someone, text someone, write a note, etc.

ES Martin once said, “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” 

You have more to be grateful for than you think you do. I hope that you’ll start being intentional with your gratitude. Take time each and every day to reflect on things and people who you are grateful for. If you do, you’ll find yourself living a much richer life. Have a great Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Let them know how much you appreciate them.

[shareable cite=”ES Martin” text=”Tweet this”]’Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.’ [/shareable]


  • What if you started being intentional with your gratitude?
  • What can you do today to start being intentional with your gratitude?


  • I challenge you to start an intentional gratitude conversation with your friends and family
  • I challenge you to encourage someone some way every day
  • I challenge you to write a thank you note to someone who has impacted your life
  • I challenge you to write letters to the most influential people in your life and let them know the impact you made on them.

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