Thanksgiving is one of our family’s favorite times of the year. For years we have gathered for a weekend in the family cabin which is literally over the river and through the woods. It has been a great time of feasting, games, time around the campfire, laughter, and celebration of family. This year will be different because of the pandemic.
In our case our usual weekend long family gathering will be replaced by gathering for a few hours around a campfire, playing football in our son’s backyard and having a socially distanced dinner in his heated garage.
But it is more important than ever to be thankful! The key for us is to be grateful for what we have, not despair about what we don’t have or can’t do. We have found that at the heart of being grateful is the habit of praying together. Our experience is borne out by the experts. Research shows that couples who pray for each other are more grateful and more willing to forgive their spouse. Focusing on being grateful is one way to relieve stress, and studies have shown that prayer increases gratitude. Being more grateful in life is associated with better mental health and better mental health is associated with better relationships.
For us this has been especially important during the pandemic because we have spent much more time together than ever before. I think our quirks and idiosyncrasies have been magnified by the corona virus – even though we wear masks and socially distance😊.
Now more than ever, praying together is one of the keys to having a deeper, richer, more intimate friendship with the two most important people in our life – God and my spouse.