As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches I find myself caught up in the neverending chaos of life. I seem busier than I can remember in recent years. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or if life has just become more stressful than it used to be. I do seem to recall a time when I actually enjoyed the endless activity life brings. Always having somewhere to be, something to do, someone to hang out with. As a teenager and young adult I was never short of friends or invitations or commitments to extracurricular things. Now I would give anything to sometimes just be able to be still for 10 minutes and catch my breath. I think that’s why I enjoy writing as much as I do – it allows me a brief opportunity to think about what’s going on and reflect on it in a personal way.
Like today, I passed by a simple sign that said “Be thankful for all of your blessings.” And while I feel that I often understand what my blessings are, I know I take them all for granted most of the time.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “blessing” in several ways, one of which is “something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity.” As I’ve given this phrase, really, this word some thought today and allowed myself a moment to be still and reflect, I find that my life is abundantly filled with blessings. Many of which go unappreciated the majority of the time. So today, for Thanksgiving and as a grand Spot of Thankfulness, I’d like to mention a few blessings in my life for which I am thankful:
- A God who forgives. I go through life making mistake after mistake, turning left when I should turn right along my life journey. But my Father always understands, He always forgives, and He always loves me. Without Him nothing in my life would be possible and for this I am simply humbled and grateful.
- A strong, faithful, lovely mother. My mother is the most beautiful person I have ever known. Her inner strength, her faithfulness in our Lord, and her grace through all of life’s hardships continue to inspire me daily. She cares so deeply about each and every person she knows and meets. This pure generosity and compassion that fills her heart so completely amazes me. I am grateful to have been given such a gift in my life. I have not only the most wonderful mother that God could have given me, but she is truely my most dearest friend. I cherish the time I share with her. I love you Mom! Happy Thanksgiving!
- A memory of my father. I loved my father and still do. I was his little girl. And though I no longer share my holidays or birthdays, achievements or failures with him in this world, I know he is with in me spirit each and every day. Through all his parental clumsiness, he won all the adoration and affection my heart could hold. I miss him more than I could ever share in words, but I am so very thankful for the 26 years I was blessed to have him in my life. I look forward to being with him once again someday, and until then, his memory will forever be carried in my heart, my mind, and my soul.
- A courageous grandmother. My grandmother is one of the most genuine people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. What you see is what you get and I admire that so much. Her character has never been a truely affectionate one, but there has never been a doubt in my mind that she loves me. She has been the rock of her family, the support to keep them together. She has seen a lot and lost a lot in her lifetime but her courage and strength have never failed. She is a precious treasure and I am so thankful to have her in my life.
- A loving boyfriend. Though we’ve had our share of rough patches, hurt feelings, and stubborn arguments, I don’t know of many other people who would have, and continues to, stand by me the way he has. For all of our faults, there are equally as many strong qualities in each of us that allow us to be better individuals as a couple together than we would ever be alone. Most times we bring out the best in each other and to me, this is what a relationship is all about. Though we are still trying to figure out the whole compromise idea, among other things, I believe that having shared so many challenges over the years has built a sound foundation for our future. I am grateful to have had him by my side through most of life’s happiness and difficulties in recent years.
- Thoughtful friends. I have the best group of friends I could have ever hoped for. They are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow, but I love them all so much for continuing to open my eyes to new and different things. I appreciate their continuous friendships through all of life’s ups and downs. I know that each of these individuals would be there to help with whatever I may ask of them. And they all fill my days with much joy and laughter. They have and continue to enrich and fulfill my life.
- A healthy mind and body. I have been blessed with health. As I think about the less fortunate who are suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses, who are unable to provide for themselves or care for themselves, I cannot help but feel grateful for my ability to live life without the need for medical care or assistance. The simple fact that I can get out of bed each day and lead a normal and productive life is something I know I too often take for granted.
- A job. With current economic conditions the way that they are, I have known many friends and family who have been laid off from work or have had the additional pressure of thinking they were next to go. Though I sometimes feel the frustration of the daily grind, I am extremely thankful to be employed, and better yet, at a job that I love. One that challenges me and encourages me to continue to expand my mind. I am so fortunate.
- A handful of furry friends. As cutesy and corny as this may sound, I am blessed to have several fuzzy creatures in my life. Currently I’m referring to the four cats that live with my mother but who I still consider to be partly mine and then the two kittens that have taken residence at my home. They are: Buttons (18), Abby (10), Sammy & Red (8), and Bogey & Audrey (7 months). These little guys have added so much to mine and my mother’s lives. Always there to cheer you up, sit in your lap, and of course, demand their food… but how boring life would be without them. They provide so much companionship, entertainment, and love, and the best part is – they don’t even realize it.
As I think about this Thanksgiving Day and how bountiful my table is with blessings, I realize that the ones I’ve mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg – my list is endless. These few things are only the ones that have been on my heart to share. I am so fortunate to have so many blessings in my life and they do indeed bring happiness and prosperity to my life.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Thanksgiving, a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson