Unwrapping the gift of gratitude on Thanksgiving and everyday
In almost every house in America, pots and pans are clanging, brooms are swishing and last-minute preparations are going on for tonight’s Thanksgiving dinner. In between all the hustle and bustle, moms pause to scroll through Facebook and Instagram, taking in all of the shared moments and reflections of gratitude. Despite the stress of the cooking, cleaning, traveling and hosting, there is a special energy in the air, a feeling of light and love that comes from a focus on giving thanks and all the things that are good in our world.
Just a few days ago, I celebrated Thanksgiving lunch with my son at school. We sat with our kids and asked them what they were grateful for. Smiles and laughter erupted as we recorded their cute little musings on heart shaped papers. Topping my son’s list were “batman” and “balloons” to be followed by mama and papa, baby sister, grandparents, aunties, uncles and of course the beloved cousins. Later, we stuck the hearts on helium balloons and set them free. As we stood watching the colorful prayers of the innocent rise into the heavens, I wondered how different life would be if we took some time for gratefulness every day.
This year has been a tough one for so many of us. We have faced monstrous natural disasters and so much turmoil and conflict in our world. In my own family, we have been struck by illness, along with the everyday frustrations and uncertainties about where life is heading. Personally, as a mom, I find myself tumbling in the waves of motherhood, only coming up for air when the need is critical. It’s hard to see the light when it feels like you’re drowning in all the things that seem to be going wrong. Sometimes I get stuck on the negative and ignore the wonderful things happening in the evolution of my life, through all the trials and tribulations. But this morning as I sat in bed writing this post and thinking about all the things I’m grateful for, It felt like a unwrapping a gift that just kept giving. My mind and heart filled with more things than I could write in one blog.
Today, I’m thankful for life and all of it’s rich experiences and emotion, because we all know it’s not guaranteed. I’m thankful for a little girl next to me on my bed, her tiny hand gripping my shirt gently, just to make sure I’m still here. I’m grateful for a little boy peacefully sleeping in his own bed, happy and strong in spite of all he has struggled through. I’m giving thanks for a hardworking husband, who loves his family, and in laws always willing to help. I’m filled with gratitude for a sister who spent all week preparing a feast for us all, with all the love in her heart. I’m grateful that tonight, almost all of my family will all be together in one place to enjoy a meal, a real blessing.
When all the material things fade away, love and family is what remains and matters most. So today take lots of photos. Enjoy grandpa’s bad jokes and Aunty’s drunken comments. Let cousins play and fight, and play again. These are the moments we will treasure and remember forever. This thanksgiving I’m making a pledge to see the light in my life everyday, by taking time to be grateful. This shift in mindset might be just what I need to feel more peace in this very blessed life!
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