Technically, the season of Thanksgiving has already come and gone up North. For any American readers currently in the throes of turkey dinners, football games and pumpkin pie, we Canadians dare to be different and celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Cuz’ we’re rebels like that (in the best possible way).
But the season of gratitude – well that’s something that should be perpetuated the whole year. Cliche, I know, and easier said than done, but I’ve thought about this principle more in the last few months after reading One Thousand Gifts – a challenge to recognize each and every experience as a gift from the Lord. If the first sin was a result of ingratitude, then the first joy must have been gratitude. Our model, then, is Christ Himself who in the remaining (agonizing) hours before His death, chose to give thanks (Luke 22:19).
It’s easy to give thanks for the (seemingly) large things in life – the spouse, the child, the family, the home, the country. Those all, of course, warrant praise and thanksgiving. We forget about those large things, take them for granted; so too with the “smaller” blessings, seemingly menial in some grand scheme, that are so easily brushed aside in the monotony and chaos of laundry and ballet practice and root canals? Harder still, to give thanks in the harsh, ugly times – when tendrils of cancer and divorce and death seem to squeeze out every last ounce of joy and thanksgiving.
I think the only way one can prepare for these latter moments – the hardest in which to find thanks in our hearts – is to strive for thanksgiving continually. I’ll get off my soap box now and stand ashamed in the corner. See, aside from being a pessimist (Exhibit A: blog title) which is bad enough, I also
tend to be am a hard-core complainer. Ask my friends or worse yet, ask my long-suffering husband. Contentment is not one of my strong suits.
But in this “season” of thanksgiving, I thought I’d jot down some of my joy moments lately:
1. Cozy socks and crisp air – warmth and refreshing and glorious open Maritime skies all melded into one
2. New books – the freedom and opportunity to read and the blessing of literacy
3. Husband-laughs – his humor that permeates my every day…and how he’ll do anything for just one chuckle
4. Seeing home in the distance – the relief of comfort and security just ahead
5. Toddler hands – manipulating tiny books (praise for opposable thumbs), covered in food (she is nourished), clutching mine (she needs security, I need to love)
6. Unexpected (snail OR e-mail) correspondence – connection with friends and family
7. The sound of silence – peace in my country and baby must be sleeping
8. Art work – beauty for the eyes and the talent bestowed to men
9. Date nights – connection with my best friend and how we always end up talking about sweet Abby, because she is such joy
10. Homemade sushi – eclectic flavours (I can taste!) and teamwork (it’s labour intensive)
11. Warm laundry – we have clothes that need cleaning and machines and water and detergent
12. Beating a deadline – time to do extra
13. Polka dots and rain boots – the little things that make me smile…and puddles for jumping (extra points for me, because my rain boots have polka dots)
14. My wedding band – for what it represents…and how I still get giddy just looking at it over three years later
15. Warm tea – the sipping and sitting and comfort (and my beloved mug)
16. Phone chats with Mom – how she listens to everything…and remember all those “small” details
17. A full schedule – work and friends and health to do it all
18. Discovering shadows – the simple pleasures of life and the wonder of a child learning and developing in front of your eyes. Miraculous.
19. Crunchy leaves – the shift of seasons, a time of recharge for the world; dark nights and cozy evenings ahead; Abby loves the noise
20. This breath – because without it, I could not give thanks for anything.
What are you thankful for today? Big or small?