Monday, November 21, 2016

Thankful to "Thank" My Way Through Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving week when we amp up the hearts of gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. This morning I woke up and......oh, let's begin there. I woke up. I got out of bed. Oh, I'm so thankful for my bed and a good night's sleep. I got out of bed. Oh, I got out of bed all on my own. I went to the restroom. Oh, I could go to the restroom all on my own, and my "plumbing" worked.

Whew! I think you can see what I mean. Hearts of gratitude START with being thankful for each detail of our lives. Of course "the usual" -- thankful for God, family, friends, home, car, clothes...... but seriously -- go beyond those. Let's START this week with this little exercise. Get a stop watch and set it for one minute. Now, you have one minute to name as many things as you can that you are thankful for. On your mark, get set, GO!

I did the exercise, and gave myself one minute, and as I started the stop watch, I heard the dog's paw prints running through the house. I said, "I can hear." I heard the dishwasher running. I said, "dishwashers". My eyes went to the piano that Payton plays and I said, "piano". I was seeing -- I said, "my eyes". I was sitting in a comfy chair -- "furniture". I'm cozy and warm in my daughter's "home". I saw my computer -- I wrote down "computer and internet". I glanced over at the refrigerator that holds food -- I wrote down "refrigerator and food".

In reality, literally everything from the breath we breathe to the bills we pay is a celebration of thankgiving. The bills we pay? Seriously? Oh yes, because those bills represent something to be thankful for -- a car payment (we have a car); a house payment (we have a home); an electrical bill (we have a warm home). Everywhere we look, we see things to be grateful for. And, when we live in an attitude of gratitude, rather than being bugged that the computer is too slow, we say, "I'm so thankful for my computer". Instead of complaining about our "old" car, we say, "I'm so thankful for a car." Instead of saying "I have nothing to wear, we say, "I'm so thankful for my clothes." Instead of complaining about our boss or a co-worker, we say "I'm so grateful for my job."

A grateful heart sees each day as a gift. Thankful people focus less on what they lack and more on the privileges and blessings they have.

The grateful heart is like a magnet that collects reasons for gratitude -- for the paper clip to hold those pages together; for the milk in our cereal; for the song that soothes us; for the clock we hear ticking; for the light that turns on; for the safe drive home; for the clean water from our tap, for the time we had with our loved ones. Thank you, Lord!

May we choose gratitude as a habit that we choose daily as a way of life. May we adjust our lens and see our lives and our world through the eyes of a grateful heart. May we be overwhelmed with the beauty and abundance of it all. When we live with that kind of gratitude, we will experience Thanksgiving Day.....everyday!