I wanted to write this to encourage grateful hearts, especially acknowledging as we ponder the meaning of this holiday, those people and things we most often overlook in our busy lives.
As I write in my journal propped up against two soft pillows in my bed, my husband brings a cup of coffee, placing it on my bedside table. I’m wearing my flannel rose printed pajama’s from last year, happy for the morning fall chill finally arriving on the tailwind of November’s 90 degree San Diego heat. Memories of Long Island autumn fall like golden leaves on my lap where my loyal, aging cat sits. He is my home office companion, my morning welcome, a constant source of unconditional love, always grateful for the same morsels of organic food and fresh water I offer each day, for stretching and rolling in streams of sunlight. His warm body soothes like a hot water bottle upon my chest, his purring joining with my breath is a comfort song. We are content, and I am grateful.
I think we all forget to be thankful for the gift of life for, for breathing! With this I’m thankful for my good health, and the stunning realization I often feeling like a 24-year old when I’m far older — may this last a while longer! Perhaps I’ve been graced with some hearty genetics — my Italian grandma once told me at 95 years old she felt she was 24 until she looked in the mirror.
I note my gratefulness for the presence of my teenage son slumbering in his room across the hall stretched under his white down comforter, his dark curly waves falling on his forehead. I’m thankful for his choice in delaying college, for his sensibility, for rediscovering the beat of his own drum after four long years of public high school that swallowed at least half of his out-of-the-box, best self. Last night I turned down the movie I’d been watching, listening to him sing a heartfelt song while strumming his guitar, feeling solace he was rediscovering his soul.
I think of my sisters and brothers across the country, and my brother in Los Angeles. How I’m proud of us, surviving and thriving a war-torn family life splintered years ago from tragedy. God split the Red Sea for us. Yes, the glory belongs to God, but what troopers the five of us have been, climbing the uncharted higher roads to a better life, offering our children something better, living a life with a glass half full, sometimes brimming over.
I’m grateful for the friends I love, some near, some far. Although they can’t be with us on Thanksgiving Day, I imagine them around my long dining table giving thanks, sharing in a grand feast of roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple walnut stuffing, and pumpkin pie, a pot of roasted coffee brewing.
During this Thanksgiving season, I’m filled with deep gratitude for the soulful love I share with my husband. As much as we try to carve out special time together, too often I take him for granted. Yesterday when I burst out a heartfelt “I love you,” I realized I hadn’t told him so in a long time. Surely, he deserves a seat at the head of the table, gratitude for his hard work for our family, and glasses lifted high.
Most of all, I thank God, “my stronghold, my God the rock of my refuge”, the one in whom “we live and move and have our being”, our God of comfort, of mercy, of grace, and of love.
I’m so grateful for this beautiful community here, too, and for all you who seek God’s grace and will as the center of your lives. We are blessed.
Happiest Thanksgiving! May you enjoy a special holiday, giving thanks for the people and things you most cherish.
Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:15-16
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