• Rick Laib

5 Songs For Grateful People

I typically use this space to talk about things political. But now seems to be the time to talk about something less controversial.

Let’s talk about religion.

I am only kidding! That is to say, I kid in suggesting that religion is a less controversial topic—nevertheless, let us chat about it. I can only imagine what the historians will write about the year that was known as 2020. There was hurt, heartbreak, and twist after negative twist. Of course we see this every year but not on such a shared scale.

But with such a hard year (which is not completely over, I might add) we cannot pass up acknowledging that we have so much to be thankful for. You may have had a hard year, and I do not mean to diminish or dismiss this season. But we cannot deny this year…this season…today…we still have so much to be thankful for.

The balance of 2020 is going to unfold very quickly, and there is going to be some competition if you particularly use this present season to be mindful of what you have to be grateful for. I will not give you a pithy quote or rhyme on gratitude, but maybe this time a lyric or chorus will do.

Melodies are wonderful tools to keep ideas central, and now is the time to be intentional about an attitude of gratitude. So here are 5 of my favorite songs on gratitude. Listen to them and keep them mentally filed away. Listen to the words and mentally pull the choruses out from time to time. None of the songs hinge on times being good or being bad; what we want to do is embrace a general attitude of gratefulness, regardless of the times you are in. You will be amazed how your view changes.

5. Every Good Thing, The Afters

Chorus: Every good thing, every heartbeat, every day we get to breathe / You’re the reason for anything that lasts, every second chance, every laugh / Life is so sweet.

I just love that the line is not, “Some good things” or “Most good things.” No, that would not appropriately give credit where credit is due. “Every” good thing.

4. Thankful Heart, Petra

Chorus: I have a thankful heart / Which you have given me / And it can only come from you.

Embrace the intentionality: are you having a tough year? Is this the toughest year ever for you? So be it. Regardless, you are someone with a thankful heart. You do not need to imagine or pretend it…you have a thankful heart. It’s been given to you.

3. Little Boy On His Knees, Cheri Keaggy

Favorite line: You can thank him for anything you want to.

Let us stop there. Parents, please note the wisdom in this song; the song is about a mother praying her son becomes a boy who prays. In teaching her child to pray she simply suggests that, “You can thank Him for anything you want to.” There are no limitations to what you can be thankful for! Do you struggle with prayer? Do you struggle with how to pray? Try simply thanking God for…anything you want to.

2. Give Thanks, Don Moen

Favorite verse: Give thanks with a grateful heart / Give thanks to the Holy One / Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

This song simply suggests three things: the manner with which we should be thankful, to whom we ought to give thanks, and for what we should be thankful for.

1. All I Can Do (Thank You), Mikes Chair

Chorus: All I can do is thank you for this life I never deserved / Want to thank you for the grace I know I don’t have to earn / You love me, you love me, your mercy in proof / All I can do, is say thank you.

Re-read that. Read it again. Read it one more time. There is not much more I can emphasize as you and I have been so abundantly blessed. We have so much to be grateful for. You need not search for the words to be grateful. Just say, “Thank you.”

Have a great Thanksgiving season!

Rick Laib was the 2020 Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District in Illinois. He can be reached at He is generally, genuinely, a thankful person.

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