Thanksgiving Day… a time of reflection and appreciation… for memories shared from years past as we recall what touched our hearts deeply… as we remember our loved ones who are no longer here among us… for extended family gatherings with delicious food and lots of it… for endless football games (sorry, not my favorite)… for hunting, especially if there’s some snow for tracking… all with grateful hearts.
There’s so much to be thankful for… like starting each new day with a heart that simply appreciates the little things of life. It’s so easy to fuss and fret about those little things that annoy me/us, but it’s the grateful heart that brings the best out in each of us. And simply thinking about being thankful got me pondering deeper.
How grateful I am for the love of family and friends—for smiles, cards, and encouraging words! With love, we lift each other up, strengthen, bring comfort in difficult times, and see the good in each other, reminders of hope and renewal to cheer us on.
As I began to write this reflection a month ago, it was another cool and dreary, cloudy and drippy, fall day. The kind of day that tends to depress me just a little as I know warm summer days have passed and the cold snowy winter is coming. But then I realized that we were blessed with a good summer and sufficient rains, overcoming the droughts of recent years. Though they might seem an irritant to enjoying sunny days, the rain and snow are so needed to renew and replenish the earth and our water supply, and so I am thankful.
A grateful heart shares love and joy. From our own thankfulness, we reach out to help others. I have often admired those who give their time to serve holiday dinners at local missions. Yet I have not volunteered as I also feel it’s important to spend holiday time with my husband who cannot go out and about, and so I try to make his day special. Family time and making precious memories are also blessings from God to treasure with a heart of thanks.
I also like the idea of a thankfulness jar, but never implemented one in my home. Throughout the year, family members can write notes about what they’re especially thankful for and put the slips in the jar. On Thanksgiving Day, or perhaps several days in a row, slips are removed and read aloud, reminding everyone in the family of all the ways we appreciated and blessed each other.
A thankful heart is at the root of the joy and happiness we often search for. With a thankful heart, we praise the Lord for His many blessings each and every day, even for every breath we take. With a grateful heart, we express love for each other in a myriad of ways, and are open to seeing the hidden beauty among us and around us. With a thankful heart, we are more apt to focus on the good that can come from trials we face. And with a grateful heart, we see those things which we tend to overlook, or take for granted, as the genuine blessings that they are.
For with a thankful heart, we will readily say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever…” (Psalm 107:1)
Happy Thanks Giving Day! Below is a poem I wrote.
Linda A. Roorda
For the dawning of each new day
For the sun which shines its brilliant rays
For the birds who share their sweetest songs…
We thank you, Lord, for blessings rich.
For desperate pleas You hear with love
For all the ways you meet our needs
For the answers to our many prayers…
For all the friends who grace our lives
For the ones who left our arms too soon
For tears and peace that fill our hearts…
For those who fight for freedom’s sake
For those who protect our streets from crime
For those who gave all that we might live…
For each new season in the cycle of time
For spring’s rebirth and summer’s bright sun
For autumn’s harvest and winter’s rest…
For the joy of life in a newborn’s cry
For hope-filled days as our youth pursue dreams
For resilient smiles that greet a harsh world…
For our great bounty midst a world in need
For each new breath in a day not promised
For all the ways we love each other…
We thank you, Lord, for blessings rich.