Recently I read a saying that has stuck with me: “What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today?” I like that saying so much that I plan to use it in a future greeting card and add it to my online shop at Lynda Linke Productions. I think a lot about thankfulness, in fact, every morning as I’m walking my dog, Liberty, I thank God for all the blessings in my life – ever since reading that saying I make sure to include everything I wouldn’t want to wake up without tomorrow! I spent a lot of years wanting, wanting, wanting and not fully appreciating what I already had but when I began to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” I gradually became more content.
One of the things I thank God for every morning are the people I love and who love me. Heaven knows, I’m not always easy to love! Today I went to my friend Rena’s house – it’s my birthday next week and she wanted to make me a special lunch. She outdid herself with not only delicious food but, also, a lovely table setting fashioned in her own unique style. She invited another friend because she thought we would like each other, which we did, and the three of us enjoyed good conversation and laughs. Rena is a cat lover (she has four!) but she invited Liberty to go with me to her house a few weeks ago and declared that she is a “nice doggie”. She behaved herself and was invited to come back with me today. This is just one example of Rena’s generous spirit – she knows how much I like to have Liberty with me so she invites her out of friendship and kindness to me. Thankfully, Liberty was a good girl again and only had one small mishap when she fell in the pool – apparently the cover looked like something to be walked on!
Thanksgiving is coming up next week – I love the idea of a national day of thankfulness. I just hope people remember it isn’t only about stuffing your face, drinking too much and watching football. Days of thanksgiving have been associated with the harvest since ancient times but the origins of our holiday stem from the story of a feast of thanksgiving shared by a small group of Pilgrims and their Wampanoag neighbors in 1621. There were very few details about this feast but the story was passed down through the generations and struck a chord in our hearts – as a people we embraced the idea of thankfulness. In 1777 the Continental Congress proclaimed the first national day of thanksgiving and in 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November that year as a day of thanksgiving but it didn’t become an official fixed annual holiday until 1941 when Congress proclaimed Thanksgiving to be observed on the fourth Thursday of November. Originally, it was a somber day of prayer but, gradually it became known as a day of feasting and festivities shared with family and friends.
My own Thanksgiving celebration has gone from the big family gatherings of my childhood to my small immediate family to just me and my Mom. Since my Dad passed away we like to get away for the week and enjoy a quiet dinner together. Several years ago, when my Dad was still with us, I started the tradition of each of us saying what we were thankful for and Mom and I have continued that. However you will be spending Thanksgiving, no matter how large or small your gathering, don’t forget to take a minute to be thankful for all your blessings. That small humbling act will make you feel really good. Then go eat!
PS/Don’t forget to kiss the cook (s) 🙂
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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