Tag Archives: thanksgiving

The blessing of giving back

Thanksgiving dinners all over the country of the United States are giving America a pretty nice aroma right about now. I have always loved cooking for others, especially for this holiday.  To be honest, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy much of today since I’m away from my family, but Aaron and me set a simple plan into motion that made it possible to be away from family and still feel that joy that comes on this holiday – by feeding our neighbors.

We started cooking around 10 a.m. – green bean casserole, yams, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, honey glazed ham, buttery yeast rolls, and cranberry sauce.  By noon, we prepared covered dishes for four people who we knew would appreciate the surprise knock at the door, and we set out on foot to hand deliver the meals.  It wasn’t much….just a little reminder of home to others like us who are away from their families on a day like today.  This day can be very hard for some – especially with the economy the way it is.

It felt so good to be able to do that, that I think I want to make it a yearly tradition.  Maybe next year, I’ll try my hands out on a turkey.


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Giving thanks


As I sift through my Facebook wall and read the many status updates from dear friends, family, and colleagues, I see the “30 Days of Gratitude”. People are sharing what they are thankful for – one every day, for the entire month of November. This is a wonderful idea. What I’m seeing as I read the updates is that this time of reflection gives everyone a chance to truly appreciate the blessings around them.  I’m not talking about the pay raise, the new car, or the vacation your family got to take together last summer. I’m talking about the basics – health, people who love you, and the undeniable presence of Grace.

To the young, the idea of health as a blessing may be fleeting – unless you’re one of the children who are given the challenge of living with a chronic illness. In my stage of life, which I feel to be the early autumn of a full life cycle, I appreciate each day, waking up and breathing in a full, strong lung-full of air, and being able to stand up and walk.  Sometimes my legs are wobbly.  This girl needs new knees. I credit heredity and a bit of hard living for the loss of cartilage and the pain that I live with now. I call them “barometric knees” because they do predict the weather. I’m also thankful for my strong, beating heart. I had a cardiac procedure done in May of this year – something no one saw coming – and as the cardiologist cleared out my aorta, using a device I can only compare to a pipe cleaner, I got good news about my heart – it’s in perfect shape! I was given a new lease on life, and I savor every moment.

One thing I notice about the people who love you is, once they enter your life, they never leave you. Not even death can separate you from the ones who truly love you. I’m thankful for my family – we are bag of mixed nuts, filled with passion, strong (most of us built like oxen), and as loyal to those who we love as any hunting dog. My parents, although divorced, still come together as One for me when any crisis arises. I’m thankful that at my age, they are both still with me – especially since when they were both my age, my mother had lost both of her parents, and my father had lost his father. My father lost his mother just two years ago. I can’t put into words what a blessing she was, and still is, to everyone who knew her.

When it comes to being thankful for Grace, I don’t care what deity you worship, or if you worship none at all. Grace needs no name in order to be recognized or appreciated. It is the unseen that keeps us alive, the voice you can hear when your silent, the feeling you get that causes you to turn, slow down or speed up just in time to avoid an accident….it is the power behind every miracle.

Take time to reflect on the blessings in your life. It doesn’t just have to be now. President J. F. Kennedy couldn’t have said it better.

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