Thinking About Thanking

In a couple of days most of our family will gather for Thanksgiving conversation, chaos, and casseroles. Part of that experience will include groans associated with the Detroit Lions and abdominal discomfort. It will also include moments of sharing what we’re thankful for. Our oldest grandson will say something absurd that will cause his mom to groan even more, like being thankful for the three hours of a certain video game that his parents are going to let him play. That would be a dream, not what will be the reality!

Our granddaughters will say something about being thankful for family and friends and turkey…and pie. The adults will mention similar things and there will be a collective sign as we consider how blessed we are.

Thanksgiving offers us the opportunity to think about the different reasons we have thankful hearts. The list begins to be formulated, with each item resulting in a rippling effect of other things that come to our mind.

Relationships and relatives.

Homes and home cooking.

Freedom and free spirits.

The list keeps growing and it conjures up memories of Aunt Cynthia’s raisin pie, front porch conversations with MaMaw and PaPaw, childhood friends Terry Kopchak, Mike Bowman, Dave Hughes, and Mike “Fairboy” Fairchild.

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect and allow the depth of our thankfulness to rise within us. As we walk down the path of our ponderings we see how even the valleys and defeats can edge us toward gratitude. Without that disappointment after a job interview we wouldn’t have ended up in a better place and better position. Without that sudden loss of a friend we may never have reconnected with five other friends we had lost track of.

Gratitude is more than a moment or even an attitude. It is periodic debriefing of what has been and what we are in the midst of. It clears away any thoughts of being entitled to something and takes us to having gratefulness for everything.

And so my list is long and diverse from a dear friend being brought back from a close glimpse of death… to a family that is always available for hugs…to unplanned on encounters and conversations with people that cause my insides to chuckle.

Even in the Detroit Lions dismal football season there is a note of thankfulness. They are destined to receive the #1 pick in the next NFL Draft. Silver linings every where!

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