Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Small things that spark everyday gratitude

Published November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving is the official day to thank God for our blessings, but why stop there? The best prayers express gratitude for little joys that visit us throughout the year. Here are 11 of mine:

My cat, Fuzzy, chasing his shadow on the wall each morning when the sun pours in. This same fellow meows pathetically outside my bedroom door at 6:30 a.m., even though he has plenty of food. I figure this must be his way of saying, “Big cat, I love you—come out and play!”

The way sunlight awakens colors in the stained-glass windows in the adoration chapel at St. Thomas More Church, reminding me that we need the light of Christ to stir joy in our hearts.

A mid-morning cup of British tea, accompanied by three ginger nut cookies, which evokes memories of the trips my husband and I took to England—where folks traditionally pause from work for a “cuppa” tea or coffee, a routine they call “elevenses.”

The small practical things I’ve learned to do, such as realizing the necessary tool for tightening a door knob is a Phillips-head screwdriver; pan-frying a steak, even if it always comes out well done; boiling pasta for nine minutes, so it’s perfectly al dente.

My morning mug of French roast coffee, which I sip while awaiting the arrival of chipmunks on the porch—and noticing the leaves on the grapevines dancing like yellow birds in the wind.

The backyard frogs, who churn out a nightly chorus until a certain moment in the fall, when the temperature drops to a degree they find uncomfortable, at which point they abscond to some secret spot until spring.

A butterfly I saw, while looking out a window at Christ the King Cathedral, that seemed to be floating on a gust of wind. An hour later, I walked outside and spotted what I’m sure was the exact same fellow perching on the sidewalk. How grateful I was that he allowed me to pick him up with a leaf and stare into his mysterious eyes.

The friendly people I see on Monday and Wednesday evenings when I sing with two different choral groups—the Decatur Civic Chorus and the Avondale Estates First Baptist Church. The realization that music has a healing, calming effect on the spirit.

Late nights when I watch movies on Netflix in my blue comfy chair, and Fuzzy squeezes in next to me and purrs ecstatically as he kneads my purple bathrobe—and every so often, bestows a nibble on my hand, which is a feline version of a kiss.

Visiting family in Florida, and enjoying those moments when I enter the magical world of children, who, on my last appearance, requested that I become a pretend reindeer—and then fed me imaginary carrots.

Awakening in the middle of the night to the spooky sounds of a train hooting and an owl calling, and envisioning, just for a second, that perhaps the train is being steered through the darkness by—who else?—the owl.

G.K. Chesterton said, “Happiness is gratitude doubled by wonder.” My prayer for you, dear readers, is that you’ll keep your eye on the small wonders of each day and your heart filled with gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!

Artwork by Jef Murray. Please contact Lorraine for information about purchasing his paintings at