We all know the clichés of Thanksgiving: "Thank you, God, for my family and friends, my great country, my health, this delicious turkey, yadda, yadda...."
No doubt we are thankful for these things, unless of course your family has taken the fun out of dysfunctional or the turkey is dry. Then, you're thankful for the moisture cranberry sauce adds to the turkey or for the fact that your family is complaining about dry turkey in another state.
Let's shake things up this Thanksgiving by looking under the surface of our gratitude and examining those under-appreciated things that make life pleasant--or perhaps even possible--moment to moment. Let's look closely at our lives and figure out what we're neglecting that really deserves our gratitude.
For example, I'm grateful for the little white cardboard box that Jack used to bury his dead betta early this week. I'd purchased the box for pennies years ago with vague crafty plans for it but never got around to using it. Jack absolutely didn't want to flush his fish down the toilet, the box was just the right size and easily buried. Jack's visiting the grave each day after he comes home from school. Putting the fish in the box gave some closure to Jack as he learns how to mourn. That cheap little box has value I'm so grateful for.
I'm also grateful for the many customer service people I've encountered lately. No one has been rude or short with me in a very long time, and now that I think about it, I've noticed more smiles lately. The pharmacy tech I saw Tuesday gave me a smile that positively blew me away. I've been blithely taking their good service and attitude for granted. Shame on me! I've got to smile more myself and show more of a positive attitude, to pay the blessing forward.
This morning on the ride to school, we were stuck behind a bus so the car filled with diesel exhaust. Nick said, "Whatever that is we're breathing in, it can't be good for us." Probably not, but it made me think how much we take breathing fresh air for granted. If you live in Beijing, however, you probably don't take fresh air for granted at all...you likely want to bottle that gaseous ambrosia and sniff it hourly in a formal worship service.
Which brings up a good point. One person's taken-for-granted blessing is another's precious desire. Don't worry if your sideways look at Thanksgiving yields up results that might seem silly to someone else. Look for things that bless you in unexpected ways or strange places, and then let gratitude fill you up. Your gratitude might even move you to act in some unusual ways, but so be it. Go with the flow.
That's why I'm going to buy a bunch of sanitary napkins to donate to our local food pantry.
Are you up for this Thanksgiving challenge? Will you spend these days leading up to Thanksgiving searching your life for those things you're taking for granted?
Actively looking for things to be grateful for...let's give it a try!