Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many are setting their hearts and minds to answer that great question of the day: “What are you thankful for?” We all enjoy sharing our meditated response with family and friends over a beautiful turkey dinner—but this year I have a new question and challenge for us; a challenge to think outside of ourselves. Here it is. What are we thankful for enough so that we will give?
I began pondering this question when I remembered a story about my mother. At a time when we were poor and struggling to meet our basic daily needs, mom went to the store with a list of groceries. The amount of items on the list was worth far more than what we had left financially—and mom knew it—but she went anyway.
As she walked down the aisles and picked out the items on her list, she began to notice that everything we needed was on sale for strangely low prices. And when she checked out at the register, the final sale amounted to the exact cent of what she had left.
So thankful for the gift and provision God had given, at her next paycheck she gave back the exact amount of what she had saved at the store in a special monetary offering to God. This practice became a routine for her, and she was so delighted to be able to give back those small amounts so that God could give to others His same loving and purposeful gifts.
My mom knew that God didn’t need or expect her money back for what He had given. Mom knew that that money wasn’t even hers to begin with! But she showed in such a small matter, how to be thankful enough to give.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 2 Corinthians 9:6-8  But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
 Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
American King James Version×says, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (NASB).
This year, let us focus on the wonderful gifts God has given us, and show our thankfulness by sharing and planning how we desire to give back those great gifts of God’s love and mercy.