Being Thankful

November 14, 2007

I am sure I have mentioned before how much I enjoy fall and especially Thanksgiving. Part of the reason for this is the family tradition that my parents started in our family about 15 years ago. Each year we each individually write a list of ALL the things we can possibly think of that we are thankful for, big or small, important or seemingly insignificant. I haven’t yet put pen to paper this year but several things have been running through my mind over the last few days as I have begun to ponder this. The kids and I discussed in our Bible time during school one day recently that we are to “put off” complaining and grumbling and we are to “put on” thankfulness, gratitude and contentment. We talked about how we should practice doing this and “train” ourselves to be thankful in all circumstances as we are told to do in the Bible, since this does not usually come naturally to us! A Thanksgiving list is one of the best ways to practice this! Together, we have been praying that God will bring to our minds things that we should be thankful for, even if they are not obvious to us.

Last night I attended a meeting for homeschool moms in our church. We get together once a month to share ideas and encourage each other. Last night several women were telling about the tension that results as they try to balance both sides of their families and their expectations during the holidays. Because of my husband having only a “guardian” family from his teenage years to consider as his family, we really don’t have that pressure. Even though I am sure there are some “in-law” blessings that I am missing out on, I am thankful to not have that particular stress at the holidays.

In the kitchen after our time of discussion, I was talking with two ladies about children with special needs and the specific challenges and concerns of these little ones and their parents. I don’t know what the future holds but I am thankful that so far that has not been my lot.

I got in the van to head home and turned on the Christian radio station. I’m not sure what program it was but it was an interview with a couple who had struggled with infertility issues for years and then ended up adopting three children. I know adoption is a wonderful thing but it just reminded me to be thankful that infertility was not something we have had to walk through and that we have the blessing of having natural children.

I got home and got out of the van and headed to the stairs up to our third floor apartment. I saw a woman walking her dog in the grass. She was walking with the aid of a brace of some kind. I realized that she probably would be glad to live on the third floor if it meant she had the legs to get her there. I realized as I came into my home, where my husband and children were waiting for me, that God was answering my prayer…He was showing me lots of things for which I should be thankful.

It is easy to grumble and complain and notice all the things that others have when we don’t. And rest assured, there will always be SOMEBODY with more than us but the opposite is also true…there will always be someone with LESS than us. We need to remember, and encourage each other to remember, that God’s will for us is to be thankful. (I Thess. 5:18)

I read something this week that was a good reminder: Thanksgiving is when we celebrate what we already have.

(And we get to eat pumpkin pie!!!!!)

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3 Responses to “Being Thankful”

  1. Dad said

    Very good thoughts. I am also running things around in my mind about what to put on my list. (I will have to remember to include the pumpkin pie!)

  2. Mom said

    Great Post! I am working on my list! Can’t wait. I do think it is my favorite holiday! Because we all stop long enough to be thankful to God for his abundant mercies on us and in our lives each day of the year!

  3. Heidi said

    Yes! I love Thanksgiving too!! I wish we could all be together each year, even though I know that is impossible 😦

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