Sure I love Thanksgiving! Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods, along with warm comfort treats like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and turkey. Of course, that's simply the meal. More so, I love the gathering of people throughout our home, often orphans and widows, like the check out lady at the grocery store and her daughter one year, or the far from family single women in our neighborhood, or new people in town who know no one. I'm not the sentimental who only wants to gather my close family around, though I love and cherish them. But, spend one Thanksgiving in a Children's Hospital among selfless caregivers and tireless staff, friends and family, and the day of Thanksgiving becomes something else entirely. The meaning not lost on me.
As much as I love seeing what people are thankful for on Facebook, it's important to me to model to my family that giving thanks is a day in and day out act of beauty, worship, and dying to ourselves. It doesn't only last for 30 days, one month out of the year, but in this life, in this family, we will be intentional about thankfulness, in both the giving and receiving of it.
To be given something for which you are unable to ever repay, this is the true definition of a gift. The words, "Thank You" may never seem enough, but this is the beauty in giving and receiving. It's a world changing event which takes place in the admission of gratefulness, every single day.
My friends and I encouraged one another to start these thankfulness posts back in October...because Thanksgiving is one day out of the year, 30 Days of Thanks is apparently a new thingy, but saying "Thank You!" is an every single day of the year privilege, a practice, an act of face to face time with the Giver of all good gifts.
Yesterday this was the thankfulness expressed at our breakfast table, on this particular day, in no particular order:
- My relationship with God
- My wife and kids
- My extended family
- My job at Compassion
- "You guys"
- "Our family"
- The Ocean
- My school
- And, elephants!
- Quiet time with God
- "You guys"
- Healthy bodies
- Heated blankets
- Hot tea to warm me
I'm happy people are being intentional about being thankful during the month of November. My prayer is that after 21 days, it will become, not a habit, but a lifestyle. Please don't hear I think I am perfect at being thankful. I am not. I reject gifts and compliments and helping hands, am too prideful to ask for help, and try to do stuff on my own more often than I should. I'm learning through this...learning that the giving and receiving of thanks is a lesson of honoring another more highly than ourselves.
Not an easy Thanksgiving bite to swallow...
Some friends are writing about thankfulness on their blogs: