Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahhh . . . Thanksgiving! That wonderful time of food, family, and football (although, I only care about the first two). I was blessed to be able to see my whole family this past week, and I sure as heck ate a lot of food! It was a stark contrast to the day last week where all I ate was a bowl of Honeycomb cereal and a few pieces of chocolate. I finally ate some protein! It was fantastic!

Disclaimer: I’m not condoning my diet of Honeycomb and chocolate as acceptable eating. I hope you know and eat better than that! I’m just a poor graduate student, and I take what I can get when I can get it . . .

So yes. I loved eating. And I loved visiting with my family members! They are some of the absolute best people in the world, and they help make Thanksgiving one of my favorite times of the year. Although, even if this year had seen a smaller celebration than what it did, Thanksgiving would still be among my favorites. Why? Recognizing your blessings – however large or small you might see them to be – and giving thanks for them brings a feeling into your life that doesn’t come from anything else. It is a feeling of contentment, peace, warmth, and joy. I went to church with my sister and her family today, and one of the speakers talked about how her granddaughter had been struggling with finding a positive attitude, so she decided to keep a journal to record at least three daily things for which she was grateful. The things started out small and sparse, yet, as time went on, she found herself noticing more and more things for which she was grateful, and she saw herself becoming happier. Soon, it was easy to find things to be grateful for!

This is something I have tried to implement in my own life. For the past five or so years, I have kept a log of different little miracles I see in each day. Sometimes, all I can think to write is that there had been a nice sunset that evening, and it helped to soften all the difficulty of the day. Other days, I can list over a dozen little miracles. However, each item I list means something to me and has helped make my life better, and recognizing that meaning makes it a treasure. It can honestly make a horrible day bearable, even pleasant in retrospect. That’s why I’m so glad we have a whole holiday dedicated to giving thanks! It helps us refocus on what really matters in life.

Therefore, I find it only proper to end with a moment from the day for which I was especially grateful. I went to a church meeting this evening with my brother. It was a wonderful meeting that helped to kick off the Christmas season, and I loved every minute of it. However, what stuck out the most to me was one sweet lady who sat at the head of the chapel in the choir. She was dressed head to toe in red and green holiday garb, and she didn’t stop smiling the entire meeting! There was a glow and a joy radiating from her, and just watching her helped make me happy. I often struggle to feel the “Christmas spirit” as we move into the holiday season, and watching that happy little lady up on the stand helped me feel uplifted. I am going to try extra hard this year to feel that spirit. I want to be able to help others feel the way she helped me to feel.

Thanks for reading! I hope this season brings you all the joy you deserve (and you deserve it all)!