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“I think that ingratitude is at the root of all sinfulness.” St. Ignatius Loyola.

The air is getting nippy and the groce’ is full of “goodies.”

Thanksgiving is almost here and the “got’er get’er done lists” are getting longer by the minute. With the lengthening lists come rising feelings of anxiety and before you know it, your mind is a swirl and you begin wondering, ”who invited all of these people?!” and suddenly you are not Thankful but ungrateful and somewhat undone.

Take a deep breath….ahhh! Much better.

It is easy to slip into an attitude of ingratitude when one feels overwhelmed and “put upon,” no matter how many blessings you have.

No time like the holidays to become a Martha--“worried and anxious about many things,” “burdened by much serving…” (Luke 10:40, 41). Martha’s trip up in the kitchen was not in her “serving” but that she failed to remember the top three tips below, thereby getting her apron in a twist, her eyes off of Jesus and sadly… onto herself.

Sound familiar?

How do we escape the “Holiday Hurry-Worry, Apron-Twisting Trap?”

Top three tips:

1. Remember Who you are serving:

It may be cranberries you are dishing up to all of those (hopefully smiling faces) but ultimately, you are serving God. All that we do should be done, “unto the Lord.” Try to see and serve Jesus in everyone that you encounter. (Yes, even your in-laws!)

“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24.

2. Remember What you are serving:

You may be filling their tummies with turkey, but if you aren’t filling their hearts with a piping hot serving of love, why bother? People will not remember so much what they ate, how incredibly beautiful your table decor was or even how stiffly starched your linens were pressed nearly as much as how you made them feel. Make love your main course.

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1.

3. Remember Why you are serving:

The ancient Israelites had five different types of sacrifices that were “obligatory.” But the one that was seen as the “supreme oblation--a pure gift to the Lord” was the one that was given not out of duty, but out of love--the “Burnt offering.” (Now you may find it comical that it was called this considering the holidays and the baking and, well, the potential for smoke alarms, but honestly this is what it was called, so keep this in mind when things get “overheated” in the kitchen.) The beauty of this offering is that the entire sacrifice was given to the Lord, every bit, none was reserved for the priests or the offerer. It was given as a “thank You”, in gratitude to God...just because.

We must remember that all we “do” is because we have been greatly “done unto.” Pass along the graces that you have received and you will never give from an empty well.

“Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.

Keep your eyes on God, a smile in your heart and a “thank you” prayer on your lips this holiday season and all that you do will offer a pleasing aroma unto the Lord.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ and manifests through us the savor of the knowledge of him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Dear Lord,

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You for _________. May this be my prayer this Season.

I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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