I hope you weren’t waiting up all night, just so eager for the first {Thanks}giving post to hit the web. Cos that would mean neither of us got any sleep.

I kid!

In case you’re just joining us, some new voices will be echoing through the halls of this space this week, with thoughts about giving Thanks in unexpected ways, at unexpected moments, perhaps for what are rightly considered the unexpected gifts of Life. Cue sassy advert…

I am excited to introduce you to a dear friend of mine named Pam Lewsey, who has danced with me breathing Edinburgh air, waved goodbye to me from a Johannesburg airport, and blessed me with a shortbread tin that now elegantly holds my measuring cups. She is full of life and her emails are like a fabulous short story that you don’t want to end. And while I could go on for a bit, perhaps let’s shift to her more aptly written introduction, and her wonderful guest post.


Pam Lewsey was born in a place most people call ‘Where?’. She has travelled widely but doesn’t have much to show for it, aside from a motley bunch of wide-eyed friends and a collection of teapots. She may or may not become famous one day. God is especially fond of her.

Uppercase Thanksgiving

There are very few unexpected situations more unexpected than Life itself. You know, hello, welcome, it’s cold, turn you upside down and slap you on the backside and all that. Ever since then I’ve been expecting unexpected situations and every day I cannot be really sure what’s going to happen, and whether it’s going to happen or Happen, or whether you’ve got it the wrong way around and it’s actually Happening not happening. It’s tough to know, which is why it’s just better to follow God’s advice and then chill out.

There’s a bunch of stuff in Life which is uppercase. That means it’s important. God. Family. Growth. Laughter. Hope. Prayer. Thanksgiving is one of these important things which we have managed to reduce to the lowercase: ‘thanksgiving’. What I mean is, it’s become a chore instead of something as easy and habitual as breathing in and out. Lowercase thanksgiving is the mumbled and self-conscious grace said quickly before the meal. The Uppercase Thanksgiving is, at the end of the meal, a metaphorical Loud Burp which reverberates through the year to come.

Lowercase thanksgiving is about words. It’s about ‘what do you say?’ to your kid and about clapping politely because that’s what’s expected. Uppercase is running to meet your brother at the airport, about hugs, about standing ovations when they’re deserved. It’s about wishing there were two of you so you could handle all the enjoyment you’re getting out of your team winning their match or getting to see a West End show with folk you love. It’s about being so hurt but being glad you have a heart that can feel hurt. It’s about flavour. And music. And wearing bright colours in winter.

And surprising people when you take an interest in whether they should buy an English or an Ashley cucumber in the vegetable aisle.

It’s about having time when people phone you. And about dorky high-fives. It’s about sleeping hard. And trying out phrases in different languages and joining in the laughter. It’s about honest sweat. And diving for that volleyball. It’s about knowing that none of this needs to matter 100 years from now. And loving the rain and the mist because it speaks to the quiet (and sometimes grieving) places in our souls. It’s about using your God-given voice against injustice whenever you have the opportunity, whether you’re given a mic or whether you’re gently explaining to the guy in the bookshop that he can’t close at 5 minutes to 5 when his sign says open till 5. It’s pulling faces in your mirror and enjoying the company of animals. Rocking in a rocking chair, and talking to your plants. And it’s about the secret place where you get a glimpse of God’s sense of humour. It’s about living with your eyes wide angle and seeing and being one photo opportunity per split second.

(I should be a commercials writer. Throw ‘relaxing in Barnard’s Garden Furniture’ in there and the phones won’t stop ringing!)

I read a story about a woman who was rescued from the 7/7 disaster. I can’t remember her exact words but she said she was now living her life to the full to make it worth her rescuers’ efforts. I thought, am I living a life worth Christ’s efforts on the cross? Eish. And we know he did it ‘for the joy set before Him’. For Joy. Enjoying life is an act of gratitude – an act of worship. If you are not enjoying life you are not being his living trophy of Joy, and how can you express words of gratitude if that is the case?

Don’t use empty, obligatory words. They’re a waste of air. Rather use your energy to ask yourself some honest questions – why am I not enjoying my life? Is it my job? My  relationships? The weather? My body? What can I do about it? Do I like church? Do I like God? What can I do about it? Do I need to check my theology? What are my motivations for the stuff I’m doing? Am I addicted? What’s the rush? What can I learn from Creation about the timing of things? Do I often do two things at once and divide the pleasure of one in half? Are my goals in life reachable? Am I depending on other people and activities for the affirmation only God can give me?

As I face up to these and other things, by God’s grace, and recognise my ‘life like grass’ that fades away, stuff gets into perspective and I just get joyful every day. I like being Glad and ‘thank you’ just tumbles off my tongue before I can stop it. Uppercase Thanksgiving is a grateful lifestyle. It’ll set you apart from the pious platitudes of the lowercase.

I’ve had fun writing this! Thanks for reading.


Thanks so much for sharing your words and your heart with us Pam!! Wowzers! I am left wanting more, and hoping I can learn that Thanksgiving which deserves a capital T! I’ll be coming back to read this again!