Thankful, Grateful and Blessed

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving already? I can’t!  This year has flown by and it will be over before you know it.  I’ve always loved Thanksgiving, and the holiday season in general, but outside of the dinner and football, the Thanksgiving holiday itself is an afterthought for most people.  Not many people decorate for it, and I don’t know that I’ve seen a Thanksgiving decoration in the stores in years.

Growing up, my mom always set out these little old Pilgrims and Native American statuettes, apilgrim cornucopia, and some colorful fall leaves.  That was about it.  I tried that for a while, but by the time I took down the Halloween decorations, November was half over and it wasn’t worth the time or trouble…so instead I moved right onto Christmas!

Thanksgiving has always been a day filled with amazing food, long hours of cooking and baking in the kitchen with my mom and grandma, followed by chit-chat around the kitchen table and enjoying a slice of homemade chocolate, pumpkin, or lemon pie while my family laughed and played games.  Of course, it was hard to hear each other talk over the dull roar of snores coming from the men reclining in the living room and the football game blaring in the distance, but it was a fun day nonetheless and for the most part, good memories were created.

I volunteered last night a local temporary housing shelter and visited with several families who, for the first time in a long time, have a warm place to sleep, their own shower, their own food in a refrigerator, and a place to wash their clothes.  Such things I take for granted every day, as many of us do.  So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for that shelter and that those families within its walls.

Our holiday will be quiet this year with a small, simple dinner.  No fuss, no stress, no long hours on my feet, and no hype.  I’m looking forward to enjoying the company of my kids, watching a few Christmas movies, and will probably pull out the Christmas decorations before we cut the dessert.  I will also share with my kids about my time at that shelter and remind them how blessed we truly are, and then encourage them to not only give back when they get older, but to be thankful for what we have right now.  Life can change in the blink of an eye and at any point, any one of us could need that shelter. It’s best we never forget that.

I am grateful for this life I live, and thankful for my four beautiful children of course, their loving dad, my health, a warm home and clothes on my back, loving parents, amazing family and friends, the opportunity to learThanksgiving-2014n new things, the ability to write and publish my first book, the gift of reading books and be able to listen to music. I am thankful that my Grandma gets to move out of the nursing home next week and into my parent’s home where she can feel the love of her family every day.   I am thankful for God and how he loves us through everything – even the ugliest of circumstances.  I’m thankful that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that even though I don’t know what the future holds for me, I DO know who holds the future.  That alone is worth being thankful…despite everything else.  🙂

God bless, and I hope your Thanksgiving Day is filled with joy and good memories.

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