Expressing Thankfulness on Thanksgiving Day:

When I was young, holidays were all about me...or so I thought.  It was about what gifts people would give ME, because I was the center of my universe.  As I've grown and matured through the years, I've come to appreciate the deep value of holidays as a time for reflection.  While I am (and we are) thankful daily, I think expressing our thanks as a group has tremendous value.

So after we finished eating lunch and sat around the table talking, I unfolded my son's art easel and explained to the family and loved ones what I hoped they would do with me.  Starting from the youngest and moving up to the oldest, I asked each person to express one thing for which s/he is thankful.  I started writing the answers on the easel, but my oldest son liked the idea of drawing pictures he drew peoples' answers.  He was right, it was much better.

We laughed and we cried as we shared with each other what was on our hearts: one person was healed of cancer, others experienced restored marriages or relationships.  We expressed thankfulness for love that was lost and found, jobs that provide income.  And we expressed thankfulness for the grace, faithfulness, and salvation God our Savior has lavished upon us. 

As each person shared, we didn't simply leave it at that.  Instead, we talked about their reflection and if that same thanks affected our own lives.  I thought it was a tremendously remarkable experience to hear and share.  As I listened, I was truly blessed.

God, thank you for all those things (...and more) you heard us talking about today.

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