Have you taken the time to stop during this busy season to think about all that you have to be thankful for? It’s easy for me to get caught up in the planning, shopping, and traveling leading up to Thanksgiving and not really give it a thought until the time before the meal when we go around and say what we are thankful for. Then, it’s a scramble to think of something profound to say!!
I remember one year before Randy died, I had actually thought about it because there was a family of squirrels that lived in a knothole of an oak tree that I drove under every day down our road. Many times several of them would be out on the limb or sticking their heads out that knothole as if they were sending me off on my day. I came to look forward to their sweet goodbyes as I headed off to the school where I worked as a librarian. I shared that sweet family of squirrels as one thing I was thankful for that year because I truly was.
One year when my son was a young teenager, we had an issue with his orthodontist’s office. It was a family operation, and the orthodontist’s wife was the office manager. I had to do what was right for my son in this situation, and at what was to be our last visit, I went to her in tears to explain my decision. The week before Thanksgiving that year, I got a card from her. She said that every year, she sends out three cards to people she is thankful to know. I was one of her people because of how I handled this very difficult situation. Wow!! This practice is something I’ve wanted to add as a Thanksgiving tradition, but I think I’ve only done it once!!
My biggest experience with gratitude came in the months after Randy passed away. I’m not sure where it came from, but I knew that I had to be OK with my life. I knew that one way to do that was to be thankful for the things that I did have, not the huge things that I didn’t have in my life anymore because of his death. As the new school year started in the fall of 2012, I felt overwhelming gratitude for my life every time I walked through the front doors of my school. Anyone who works in education will tell you that there are some extremely sad stories in kids’ lives every single year. How could I not be thankful for my life when I saw middle school students every day who were living in much more difficult situations than I have ever known in my life.
I’ve heard of so many women lately who have recently lost their husbands. It is heartbreaking to me to know the pain that they are facing this holiday. It is hard to be grateful when your world has been torn apart. But, in my Facebook memories, a post showed up recently. From Thanksgiving of 2012. In that post, I shared what I was thankful for on that day. Although I was heartbroken, I still had so much to offer thanks to God for.
Here is a great article on GRATITUDE.
My biggest take away is this quote from the article:
“Fox said it’s a mistake to think of gratitude as a cure for pain — something that can be applied when things get bad to lessen the blow. Instead, he said, it’s a regular practice that shores up our reserves and changes how we perceive the bad times.”
I admit, there were some days when I didn’t feel grateful for anything in my life. I remember several times when I was thinking of what I had to be grateful for, and all I could think of was that I was grateful that I wasn’t a widow in a Third World Country. That reality did make me feel somewhat better.
How about you. What are you grateful for this year? I urge you to take time to think about it before you have to share right before your Thanksgiving meal!!!
Many people have been sharing this video on Facebook.
Happy Thanksgiving!! It surely seems to have gotten lost in the flurry of all that is Christmas this year. Let’s let tomorrow be all about giving thanks!!