What Does Thanksgiving Mean?

What Does Thanksgiving mean to you?

Hear the word “Thanksgiving” and what comes to mind?

  • Food and lots of it;
  • Football and lots of it;
  • Napping after the food and football;
  • Family gatherings, and realizing perhaps why you don’t get together more often;
  • For farming families it means the harvest;
  • For moms and grandmas it’s baking and cooking sometimes for days;
  • And the day after we now call “Black Friday” even though some retailers begin on Thanksgiving evening.

These are some of the most common responses to the meaning of Thanksgiving. But in our country we have so much to be thankful for that these responses seem inadequate, in my opinion.

My gratitude list for thanksgiving

Gratitude should be part of our every day, and yet we live very different lives one from the other so pick your best way to show your gratitude. On this day, this Thanksgiving eve I am grateful for:

  • My family–a loving husband, our three children and their families;
  • Our church family;
  • Our home sheltering us from the cold wind, rain, and maybe snow;
  • Nature and its beauty all seasons of the year;
  • Music, which lends harmony and peace to our days;
  • Books, which teach us and bring pleasure to our lives;
  • Love, peace, hope, and faith–cornerstones of our spiritual lives;
  • And for God’s enormous gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

Taking time for gratitude allows the joy to fill your world in greater abundance.

To you and your family wishes for a ~

Reflections on Gratitude

Gratitude is talked and written about a great deal as we approach Thanksgiving. I listen and take part but wonder if gratitude isn’t meant as an everyday occurrence. Isn’t there always something in a day you are grateful crossed your way?

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced
and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.
~~ William Faulkener

When I wake in the morning, it is simple to open my eyes and thank God for:

  • Good health, both mine and my husband’s, as well as our ability to care for our home and ourselves.
  • Another day to write, create, communicate, think, see, hear, breathe, and live and love.
  • Our thriving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
  • Our marriage and life together.
  • Our home and our ability to continue to live here.
Marcus Aurelius on gratitude
Marcus Aurelius on gratitude

Our days are spent in our individual work areas seeing each other only at lunchtime when I’m reminded of:

  • Bob’s patient and forgiving nature.
  • Many storms, big and small, survived surrounding jobs, finances, children.
  • Mutual understanding and encouragement of the other’s creative gifts and talents.
  • Satisfaction found in our morning devotional time.

And lastly, when I think of our many freedoms, I give thanks for:

  • Freedom to practice our religion of choice where, when, and with whom we choose to worship.
  • Freedom of speech allowing us to verbally express or write our thoughts and opinions freely and without fear.
  • Freedom to vote.
  • Freedom to seek medical care where and from the physician I choose.
  • Freedom to gather in public places to enjoy friends, family, neighbors, and more without fear.
Gratitude quote - anonymous
Gratitude quote – anonymous

My friends, we are truly blessed in many ways. If you doubt that is the case, then look for a moment at the lives of those who are not living as we do:

  • The hungry and homeless.
  • Children and the elderly suffering from terminal illnesses without the benefit of good care and insurance.
  • Friends and acquaintances who complain aloud to others about their spouses or significant others.
  • Those going through separations and divorces, especially families with children.
  • Victims, both male and female, of domestic abuse and violence, and children who are victims of abuse.
  • Those struggling with mental illness who either harm themselves, their families, or innocent others.

 

  • Those living under a government where religion is dictated.
  • Those living where they are not allowed to think or speak freely.
  • Those living where there is no democratic form of government and no freedom to vote.
  • Those living where to gather in public may mean arrest or death.
  • Those living in all parts of the world under some oppressive force over which they will never be able to climb out of poverty, homelessness, hunger, poor health, lack of education, and more.

 

  • Those who immigrated to our country illegally and then brought children into the world who are American citizens, and all of whom are the object of much anger, debate, and confusion in our government and within our population.
  • Refugees, whether from Syria or elsewhere, fleeing war-torn lands governed by a dictatorship where no one cares about who is hurting, dying, and leaving their homeland. Looking to other countries to take them, hopefully with help to return them to a peaceful homeland, they stand at the door and literally knock hoping not to be turned away. All while fear and doubt exist on both sides of the door.
Gratitude quote by Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude quote by Eckhart Tolle

Have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you feel so inclined, please leave a comment about how you’ll be spending Thanksgiving, what you feel thankful for, or why you struggle with the concept of gratitude. We speak openly and freely here, so please share your honest thoughts.

Remembrance and Gratitude

Each Memorial Day there are families across our country with memories of lost loved ones, loved ones who fought and survived, loved ones fighting, and loved ones in training to fight when needed. But what about the rest of us–what do we remember? To pick up the groceries for the cookout? To invite the family over for s’more’s? To watch fireworks displays? Attend a parade? Attend memorial remembrances for the fallen and to honor the service men and women who spent time away from family to fight for our freedoms?

In our home, we remember that, between our combined families, there have been family members serving in the Navy during WWI, in the Army and Navy during WWII, in the Army in Korea and Vietnam, in the Marines in Iraq, and now one serving in the Army National Guard.

I remember the classmates from my high school graduating class of 1964 who died in Vietnam. Too young to die, I think of what they might have become had they not given their lives for all the rest of us.

Beyond these servicemen, we are also grateful and remember all those others whose paths we likely did not cross.

Take a moment today to silently show your gratitude for our military.

Setting Flags at Willamette National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2015
Setting Flags at Willamette National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2015

Brief Absence Over Thanksgiving Holidays

For a short time, the blog will seem exceptionally quiet. That is because She Who Writes here is having some minor surgery on November 21st and likely will not be back to full speed until after Thanksgiving Day.
Unfortunately, my plans to prepare posts ahead failed me. Lack of energy and well-being forestalled those plans much like the snow in NY has done to people’s lives in general.

As I close, I give thanks each day for the writing community online and for each of you with whom I have made a lasting connection. What would life be without each other supporting and encouraging!

Until later,

Sherrey signature B on W_2

 

 

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