Columnist: Thankful, two days later
Not being thankful enough is one of many flaws in my personality. Oh, I am thankful for a lot of things, I just sometimes forget that I am!!
Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around, I always ponder all the things I should be grateful for. There are so many items on that list that I get frustrated trying to think of them all. Once I get my head around them, I really am thankful on that Thursday in November. But, my challenge is to remember to be thankful for them all again two days later, and two days after that.
Being grateful is very hard when daily life gets in the way. We get busy, we worry, we work, we play, we dream, we worship, but do we remember to say “thank you” enough? I know I don’t!
So, I have decided to write a list so that I can cut it out of the paper and put it on my fridge door. Actually, if the list were to include all the items I am really thankful for then my whole refrigerator would be covered in newspaper! Yikes! So here is my abbreviated list:
• When I can’t find my keys, my phone or my glasses, I need to be thankful that there is a husband who usually can.
• When I am in bumper to bumper traffic here in Atlanta, I need to calm down and be thankful I have a car.
• When I can’t find the right dress to wear to a party, I need to be thankful that I have a choice and an invitation.
• When my heater doesn’t work and the gutters need cleaning, I need to be thankful that I have shelter.
• When I am exhausted and want to prop my feet up, I need to be thankful that my soles are not in combat boots fighting for everyone else to be able to prop up their feet.
• When I am tired of cooking and everyone else is watching football, I need to be thankful that I have someone to share a meal with and food to cook.
• When I get angry at those politicians, I need to stop and realize that I have the right to vote them “in or out.”
• When I get aches and pains, I need to be thankful that my body is still with me.
• When I get sad and life goes downhill for a bit, I need to be thankful for the friend that helps me go “back uphill.”
• When I worry about my children, I need to be thankful that I still have children to worry about.
• When grief seeps into my soul for a lost loved one, I need to be thankful that God blessed me with love.
• When I get frustrated that I am not thankful enough, I need to be reminded that there is a God who forgives.
My brother, John, sat down at the table on Thanksgiving day when he was about 13 and I was 7, and he was asked to say the blessing. My mother had prepared the usual feast but this year we had our extended family that included grandparents and other relatives.
You could tell my brother was not happy about saying the prayer. He gave my mother a “look” and then scanned the table. Turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, green beans, salad, biscuits, corn and mashed potatoes.
We collectively bowed our heads as John carefully said his blessing,
“Dear Lord, we thank you so much for these mashed potatoes. Amen.” Then my mother exclaimed before all looked up, “And Lord, thank you for my child, at least, being Honest! “
Everyone died laughing as my brother immediately piled his plate with only mashed potatoes.
You see my brother liked nothing he saw on that table except for the thing he was grateful for. He was also thankful for the chocolate pie, but he didn’t see it on the table. Maybe if he had a list he would have remembered the pie!
All those family members are now gone, including my brother. But to this day, when I tell that story it still brings laughter. So, I will add to my list:
“I thank you God for family, those present and those now with you, and for all the laughter they brought and bring to my life.”
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving complete with a big spoonful of mashed potatoes, plates of laughter and be grateful in all things. Perhaps make your own list to be thankful again two days later, and two days after that.
Look at the fridge if you forget.