for the past month on facebook, i have been reading friends declarations of what they are thankful for each day. from family to friends to jobs to houses to no interest loans to buy new kitchen appliances with character building blemishes, the thanks giving has been steady throughout the month. in the beginning i did think about jumping on the bandwagon and post each and every day in the month of november what i was thankful for. (i do suspect that by this time during the month, that there are a few who are struggling to post one more thing they are thankful for.)
but, i decided not to jump on that bandwagon and to do my best to maintain the positive, yet snarky, facebook updates that i love sharing with the world. i did, however, really start to think about what i am thankful for and why there is only one day, and only one month, we are challenged to express it to the world.
one of the most eternally awkward moments at the thanksgiving table is going around and everyone sharing about what they are thankful for, all the while the food gets cold. (you know, the food that your grandmother and mother slaved in the hot kitchen all day.) nobody really wants to be the first one, because you really want to hear what everyone else has to say so that you can come up with something really creative. also, being the first out the gate means that everyone can pile on all the stuff that they are thankful for, yet you completely forgot to mention while in the midst of your deer-in-the-head-lights-have-to-tell-everyone-what-your-thankful-for-and-can’t-remember-a-darn-thing moment. yep, we have all had those… and i am assuming that we can all say that those moments really suck!
thank you, Lord, my family have never done it. when i was a kid and we sat down to eat, we were all business. passing the turkey, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce (yes, the kind with the ridges from the can… is there any other?), stuffing and the all important white bread shaped into a somewhat fancy dinner roll. it was all there and we were happily piling our plated full of the stuff. it was all there, ready to go from serving dish to plate to our stomaches. bottom line is we were not a touchy-feely family, and didn’t share things like what we are thankful for with each other.
i wonder why we only take one day, one month to really give thanks for everything we have. i for one was taught to always say “thank you” in response to someone, but i do know that this particular lesson has escaped some parenting strategies. i honestly believe that hearing “thank you” will never go out of style.
so, what am i thankful for? I am thankful for many, many things, but the biggest thing is where God has brought me in my journey thus far. i have cried many tears of sorrow, sadness, loneliness, pain, and grief… I’m thankful for each and every tear. i have many friends, past and present, who care for me deeper than i deserve, and i am thankful for each and every one of them. i have many of material needs met and a little more, and i am thankful for all of it. i laughed many, many times (a lot of it is at myself) and i am thankful for each and every instance and fit of laughter that i have had. i am a citizen of a country where i have a choice in who i worship, i get to gather with fellow believers and worship my God is a safe place and space… and i am thankful for those freedoms.
most of all, i am thankful for my God… who saw fit to create me in his image. who has given me gifts, skills, abilities, and passions that can and will change the world. who loves me beyond measure and made the most significant sacrifice, of which i will never know the full cost of Christ being on the cross, for me. who liberally applies grace towards me, even when i least deserve it. who, above all else, simply and significantly loves me… just as He created me to be.