One friend wrote, "I am so thankful for healthy kids. We all get sick and have colds, but my mama's heart just sank thinking of all of those who walk away from Doctor's appointments with a sinking feeling and fear. May I never take this gift for granted.."
Seemingly little things, but for someone else life changing to have a child who is healthy and free of illness.
I consider friends who have lost more than I could imagine losing. Babies, children, husbands, parents. People who you don't always treat with the kindness that you should, but who love you regardless. People who you would be devastated to lose.
I've known friends who have built marriages and families only to see them crash down around them and are left alone feeling disconnected and depressed.
People who have lost homes to foreclosure, or fire.
People who live paycheck to paycheck because they don't make enough to cover even basic needs.
This only scratches the surface.
There is so much to be thankful for.
This Thanksgiving we are focusing on the things we are thankful for here at home a little bit each day. I sent my boys on a mission and they gladly went hunting for leaves and shortly thereafter enthusiastically brought several in to me. A little later my husband and the boys again trooped out to the wood pile in the back yard and retrieved a portion of the tree that we cut down a few months back. We positioned it in an available pot and put it up in the spot where our Christmas tree usually resides. I had taken the leaves that Warrick and Rowan had found and made templates, tracing out leaf after leaf on an assortment of colored construction paper. Later that night we all sat and cut out the leaf shapes.
Every day we have been writing something we are thankful for. Today, while I was at an appointment and my mom was watching the kids they wrote three things they are thankful for apiece! I likely will have to make more leaves as we are sure to run out. I am so thrilled about the fact that we're liable to run out of space to write what we're blessed with, though!
The little things that the kids write down on their leaves make me smile - everything from friends, to food, to colors! Simple things that seem so obvious to a child and yet as an adult I forget daily about how much I love the color of the sky on an Autumn day, or how much I enjoy hearing my husband's voice on the other end of the telephone, how all the crow's feet that my friends and I are getting make me happy knowing that they got there because of laughter and happiness, the way a warm cup of coffee feels on my fingertips on a chilly morning, the raucous laughter of my children as they run laps around the house, a long conversation at the end of the day with a good friend, the chubbiness of my baby and her delicious smile as she wakes up from a good night's rest.
I love the fact that so many people are focusing on what they are grateful for leading up to Thanksgiving. Even when there are struggles, and frustration, keeping your mind on the things that make you happy really does make a difference. It's hard to lose joy when you start looking and you can see it all around you.
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24