If you haven’t already check out the Mandarin Orange Giveaway!. And no, we aren’t having Pennywise Platter Thursday tomorrow. It will resume again next week. Enjoy the Holiday!
Today I share a little more personally. I hope you don’t mind. I have pumpkin pie to make, a turkey to brine, cranberry sauce to cook, and green beans to snap. But I wanted to reflect a little on thankfulness for a moment. With all the bustle of food preparation, decorating and family time, it is easy to lose sight of all that I have to be thankful of. But before we get into that, here’s a quick short list of Thanksgiving recipes for reference.
Quick List of Thanksgiving Recipes
- Grandpa’s Green Beans and Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Cranberry Salad (with a Dairy Free Version)
How to Roast a Pumpkin for Pie
Garlicky Green Beans
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Maple Sugared Nuts
The booth next to ours at the Wise Traditions conference was an essential oil booth. I got to chatting with the two ladies there and had a great time with them. They had an test that you could pay five dollars to use that was supposed to tell what was out of balance in your system. It had to do with electric pulses I believe. I decided that even though I had no idea how accurate it was, it would be interesting to try. When they pulled up my results, I noticed that one of the essential oil blends they recommended for me was “Gratitude”. I think I blushed! This machine was accusing me of not being thankful enough!
While I doubted the ability of this machine to know whether or not I was grateful, it did make me examine myself. Was it true? Did I need a little more gratitude in my life? That question nagged me for a few days before I decided that yes, I should concentrate on being more thankful for what I have. It’s not that I am completely devoid of it, but I realized that I had allowed myself to concentrate too much on things I am not grateful for.
This last year hasn’t been one of the easiest ones for my little family. We’ve gone through worse (what can compare to the pain of losing a child?), but this year has not been easy in many respects. Drama and trauma are two words that comes to mind. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say we feel like this last year has been a bit of a storm, full of emotions and many, many changes for us personally. It can be easy to concentrate on other’s actions, on the “what if’s” and the loss we feel.
And yet, we have so much to be thankful for.
We know the pain of losing a child, but we also know the joy of having a child. Elena Belle has been a huge gift in our lives. Joel and I have a wonderful, though imperfect, relationship that has brought so much stability and peace in a very unstable world. We have sweet relationships with many of our extended family and friends. We have a place to live and food to eat. And best of all, we have personal peace with our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.
Those are the big things.
But there are so many small things that I am thankful for too. Like books to read (I have a hard time breathing without books to read), beautiful scenery in our area, a nice cat to cuddle with, new online friends, mandarins oranges to eat, and the list goes on.
Perhaps this is a silly example, but it means a lot to me. Recently I was feeling gloomy about my fading and holey wardrobe. I knew we didn’t have much money to spend on new clothes and that I was still very blessed compared to many, but I felt quite faded and messy with my old clothes. Through a series of wonderful events, I, the thrift shop flunk, was able to find like new GAP and Limited jeans for a very cheap price (between 3-5 dollars a pair), a pair of jeans for my husband, an outfit for my daughter, some blocks for a Christmas gift for Elena, and a cute dress and shirt. I now own more new to me jeans than I’ve had since I was 12!
Because we spent so little on the above, I was able to buy a shirt on sale that my husband really liked on me and a dress for an upcoming wedding (which we also got 40 percent off on!) at the mall. After a long time of not spending very much on clothes, I feel swamped with new clothes. I am so grateful.
I guess what I am trying to say is this. There are always things that annoy, depress, or worry us and if we concentrate on those things, we will be annoyed, depressed and worried people. But there are also things to be thankful for, things to be happy about. If we concentrate more on those things we will all the more happier for it.
So tomorrow while we feast on good food, I am glad to have so many things to be thankful for. Life certainly isn’t always easy, but there is still so much joy to find in it.
What about you? How is your thankfulness meter reading? What do you have to be thankful for?