Last week the elementary and adolescent community came together to celebrate our big Thanksgiving feast. It was so beautiful to see the coming together. But there was a new component that I hadn't seen last year.
Following Father Ben's homily about a gratitude journal, I have been encouraging the adolescents to share what they are grateful for to the Lord during morning prayer. We discussed how if we focus on what we have been given, we are much more apt to be grateful for what is present in front of us. I saw small changes in the classroom that week - a slow, steady love, a deliberate choice to be kind, and anticipation of other's needs before their own.
I announced to the adolescents that they had been asked to serve the thanksgiving meal on Tuesday. Some grumbled, some were bummed they wouldn't get to eat until the end. However, I encouraged them that the last will be first and that its a good time to grow their servant hearts. What I saw that day was that their hearts grew three sizes that day! :)
Each time they dishes turkey, ladled mashed potatoes, or served pumpkin bread, I saw a smile of love, a joke cracked, and a leadership of love in each of these teenagers. It was incredible - they were so very themselves, developing their character by practicing virtuous service.
As I was taking photos and noting their attitudes, they didn't know that as they were serving the other students, they were making it onto my gratitude journal that night. How blessed am I, How blessed are we. God is good, all the time.
I pray you had a blessed Thanksgiving.