Gratitude Flourishes Amid Grace   2 comments

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday. The government gives us a day off. For many Americans, it is simply a day of watching football and overeating. That was pretty much how Brad and I were raised in the non-Christian homes (his,  cafeteria Catholic and mine, unchurched) that shaped our childhoods.

Our coming to see Thanksgiving as a Christian celebration has progressed over the three decades we’ve been together. It all started with being invited to a Thanksgiving gathering by my brother’s inlaws. His mother-in-law tried to interject some meaning into the holiday by asking what people were grateful for. Cleo’s best efforts were quickly drowned out by the football game, but Brad and I remembered it when we started celebrating Thanksgiving in our own home.

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Christmas is such an insane season and it is really not a terribly grateful one. Has anyone seen the commercial where they have renamed Thanksgiving to Thanks-Getting? We just shook our heads while watching that.

By taking a pause right before the start of the silly season, I don’t buy into the BS. I think about all the things in my life that matter and realize that almost none of them come from Santa. Yeah, I appreciate the gifts I get, but I’d really rather spend time with my family and play fetch with the dog in the snow.

I could designate another day of the year for doing that. In fact, I try to do it periodically throughout the year on a more or less quarterly basis that roughly coincides with my church’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper, but Thanksgiving is usually when I suck the rest of my family into the practice.

There are so many blessings in our lives that walk around dressed up like ordinary life. I’ve been highlighting some of mine lately, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on MY blessings today. Suffice it to say that, to me, much of ordinary life is a miracle. In fact, that I can even call it ordinary is a miracle.

I’m just going to ask you to take a pause and list some of your own ordinary miracles. If you’ve got a Christmas stocking, roll it up in a scroll and slide it in there and see what you think of the message you wrote to yourself in saner times.

Trust me! Christmas will be a whole lot better because you have identified what is precious and praise-worthy on Thanksgiving.

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2 responses to “Gratitude Flourishes Amid Grace

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  1. Wonderful! I didn’t think of it that way, but much of life IS an ordinary miracle! I’m grateful for my four year old niece. I pick her up every day from school, and sometimes it’s really a chore. But the joy she brings me is priceless.

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    • I know what you mean. I had the day off work this morning so I easily could have slept til noon, except our Labrador Retriever believes in peeing outdoors. She also believes that I am the one who is supposed to wake up every morning to accomplish this task (after all, I am the first one up every morning as my husband can set his own schedule). So, she made me get up and go outside, so I got to see a pretty sunrise at about 9 am (Alaska being in winter right now). It was warm enough to stand out there for a few minutes in my slippers and robe and just enjoy it, nowhere to go, the neighborhood quiet. The world held its breath for just a moment and I got to witness it … all because a dog who can’t enjoy sunrise colors needed to empty her bladder. Then I got to witness the sunset about about 4:00 pm because my husband needed my help clearing snow from the deck. Ordinary miracles.

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