A Time to Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again…

The groceries are purchased, the meal plan is set. And this time tomorrow, all the work will be done, as will the elaborate meal.

 

 

Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. Even though this year may feel like everything has gone awry, we can take this opportunity to put things into perspective and count our many blessings.

Needs

I am grateful that my family, wherever they are, has been afforded all basic needs: food, water, shelter, clothes, air, etc.

Even for those of my family and friends impacted by the hurricanes this year, they are still not wanting for the basics.

And though my contribution to helping others less fortunate is small relative to the challenges they face, if we all do our part, we can make a difference. It’s this time of year that I especially remember that there are those who want for what I take for granted.

Wants

Anyone with small children who watch TV this time of year knows that there’s a new “it” toy every commercial break.

Whether for children or for adults, we don’t need any new toys in our house. We’ve been systematically trying to clear some of the clutter of things we’ve outgrown.

Even in my own shopping, whether it’s clothes shopping or beauty buys or gadgets, I find it amazing that I can get that elusive item that fits my expectations and my budget.

At the start of the holiday season, it always breaks my heart to see parents struggling to make a good holiday for their kids due to financial constraints.

And, yes, I know and agree that a memorable holiday doesn’t have anything to do with the monetary value of the gifts under the tree.

Luxuries

There are so many things we pay money for that we don’t need, services we take for granted that someone will do for us, or items that we get that are nicer just because. Do I take for granted carrying a designer logo on shoulder or wrist, fancy gadgets or vanity spending? I need to do better about recognizing how very blessed I am.

This year we’ve been blessed to take some awesome trips, and the memories we made will last a lifetime. That’s the best luxury of them all, and I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to do that as a family.

So this Thanksgiving I’m going to consciously improve my gratitude practice and appreciate just how good I really have it.

I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Previous years: 2016  2015  2013

Counting Blessings on Thanksgiving

Well, it’s that time again. Thanksgiving continues to be my very favorite American holiday, a time when we can put aside our differences and count our blessings.

Thanksgiving is a time to recount our blessings

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Over this past year, my husband and I have frequently discussed how 2016 has been full of life experience. You know when one says that, much of that experience was simply not wanted or welcomed, but it forced us to deal with it anyway. So we feel like we’ve grown up a lot this year.

And despite having had a challenging year, God is great and I have so very much to be thankful for. Here is but a small sampling, in no particular order:

  1. My family: we’ve had a rough year and more of health drama, but right now, even though we are not all sharing the holidays together, everyone is with loved ones. We are all in stable health, and I am very grateful for that. Also, for my awesome husband, who makes every event in our lives, whether adventure or tragedy, easier to bear because we do it together. For my amazing, precocious daughter, whose imaginative mouse stories inspire my own creativity and who reminds me so much of myself and how blessed I am to experience childhood through her eyes. For my precious little man, whose wet kisses and baby fangs (seriously, just got his second tooth two weekends ago, in the same position as his first tooth) and comedic wordlessness let me enjoy the baby phase a little bit longer since it’s for the last time.
  2. My friends: I may not reach out as often as I think of you, but I would not have made it through the year without your support. You bring joy and fresh perspective to my life, and I’m a better human being for it.
  3. My job: sometimes it’s easy to let the small frustrations of work trouble us. But this job, and my husband’s, present us with so many options and more than adequately satisfy our family’s needs and wants. The people I work with are truly compassionate and caring, which makes going to work every day pleasant, and the mentally satisfying work I do so worthwhile. So far from not fearing where our next meal is coming from or how to pay for upcoming bills, our continued employment also gives us peace of mind and makes dealing with other grownup challenges (see #1) so much easier.
  4. My creative outlets: beyond writing, though that of course tops the list. I’ve learned to draw well enough that you’ll not hear me say “I can’t draw” again. I get to craft (a post about Munchkin’s latest fairy wings and costume is coming soon) and learn Spanish (DuoLingo for the win) to keep those synapses firing. I’ve learned more about blogging and developed a monthly newsletter. I’ve reached out to beta readers for one contest entry and for the first in a trilogy of novellas (Sea Deception). I anticipate doing a fair bit of publishing in 2017 because of the progress made in 2016.
  5. Time together: This Thanksgiving, I’m so looking forward to carrying on the traditions of my own childhood, watching the parade with my children, cooking up a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal (which is a family tradition of itself), and decorating for the holidays. We might even brave the crowds over the weekend.
  6. Health: Not to continue to harp on this one, but it’s a biggie. Both physically and emotionally, I’m in a much better place this year than last year. Time heals, but so does a combination of Zumba, Pilates, and yoga. Let’s not forget that I’m also thankful, if a little irreverent, that my winter clothes, which didn’t fit properly last year at 4 months postpartum, finally do fit now. I’ve still got room to go on my health goals, but I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made and for the strong, flexible, beautiful temple God gave me to house my soul.

Thanksgiving falls about a week before my birthday, and it’s no small thing to live another full year and celebrate the many blessings of a life well-lived.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful readers! I’m very grateful for your support.

Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

2013, 2014, 2015