Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This is an altered version of a post from a few years ago - I was reading it this morning and decided it was really all I wanted to say this year as well - more to myself than anyone, but hopefully it will bless you as well. Enjoy your holiday, friends!

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A THANKFUL HEART - Originally posted Nov. 23, 2005

I used to work for a company that was owned and about 85% staffed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. JW’s do not celebrate any holidays or birthdays, considering it to be a form of idolatry. We of “other ways” were permitted to take the day off without getting any grief about it, but we weren’t paid for the holidays we took. As an inquisitive casual Christian, I once asked one of my coworkers why they didn’t observe Thanksgiving, being that it was a day of prayer and thankfulness. He told me, “Because WE are thankful EVERY day.”

Frankly, I found that response very annoying in its condescension.

It’s been probably 14 years since I had this brief conversation, but I think back on it every year. As time goes by, regardless of the fact that it generated from the teachings of a doctrine with which I personally do not agree, its simple stand-alone truth has come into a better understood light. With so much to be thankful for, it is indeed a shame that most people are only thankful for what we have in flitting afterthoughts, if at all - and only pause to more deeply reflect and appreciate during holidays set aside for such.

This year has been a challenge for me. Indeed every year brings its bounty of highs and lows – found treasures and losses. Sometimes the lows get to me, and seem to stick with me longer than the highs. I often catch myself getting into modes of being sad, stressed and/or cross. For what reason? What burdens are so heavy that I can’t find joy in the many blessings in my life? I have a wonderful and loving husband who makes me smile every day. We have the most marvelously incredible little boy who teaches us daily new joys of life. We have a sweet and gentle dog that is a model of unconditional love for us. We are all healthy and sound and to top it off were fortunate enough to have been born in the United States, land of Liberty. Though my family is scattered, they are good and strong people who have shown me what it means to lead by example. I have friends that are true treasures. I have a “dream home” on some beautiful country land and my husband and I have jobs that we not only love but allow us to provide for our family while also enjoying some finer things. Yes, I’m constantly scrambling, perpetually fretting, often stressing, and always chasing after someone or something. But this means my life is full of others with which I share love and happiness. And that truly is the biggest blessing.

It’s easy to get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves or allowing our hearts to harden, proclaiming we have no one to thank for our life and accomplishments but ourselves. But as I grow older, watch the world grow and evolve around me, I begin to understand what my coworker was saying at the heart of it. It’s a fulfilling thing to gather with friends and family on marked holidays of Thanks, but true thankfulness carries on and flows freely every day of the year. This Thanksgiving, as we hurry around the state and visit with relatives, cope with screeching herds of kids, and I hug my husband and pick birthday cake out of Incrediboy’s hair, I’ll be opening myself to the Lord to teach me how to have a more gracious and thankful heart on a daily basis – for ALL my blessings - because I am so very blessed, it should be no other way.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

12 comments:

Nelly said...

Happy Thanksgiving Clew! Love ya!

chesneygirl said...

Have a wonderful day tomorrow, my dear friend!!!

Love you!
XO XO

coffeypot said...

Great post! I will say that EVERYDAY I reflect on what I have, where I live, my beautiful daughter and great step-kids and the most perfect grandkids ever made, and on having my Sweet Tea, and I am thankful and amazed at where I am in my life's journey. I could have more money, more "things." A lot of thinks could be different in my life, but it is what it is and that makes me the luckiest man in the world. I don't need any JW spouting their... stuff. I am thankful everyday.

Lori said...

So true. And though many of us are thankful every day, I think it's great to have a special day when that comes into focus just a bit more clearly.

I've missed reading you...life is busy, but good and definitely...BLESSED.

Hugs!

Real World Martha said...

I once was given a vacuum cleaner and was so excited (i lived by myself and needed a good spider sucker) :). It died and now I have this thing I hate. I want a new vacuum with a hose attachment. Maybe someday as my floors could really use it.

Debbie aka The Real World Martha

coffeypot said...

clew, I noticed you went to Beth's cup of coffey site and left a comment. She is my niece, her father, whom she affectionately called OM, was my next oldest brother. And Marni of it’s a pugs life is my very talented and lovely daughter. If you really like anything to do with music and the arts, Beth’s is a place to visit often. If you like cute family, mild catastrophes, and anything to do with pugs, visit Marni’s site. If you like studly (in an old man sort of way,) patriotic, nasty, vulgar and pc-free feeble attempts at humor, then I’m your man – along with all my blog buddies who keep me going. Welcome, anytime!

Slick said...

Awww...

Have a great Thanksgiving, buddy!!

ame said...

:)

love it

happy thanksgiving

(this year ... i'm thankful a little blue bird who migrated south for a couple weeks in the fall revealed to me your real name, which, btw, is one of my most favorite names!!! ;)

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

Amen. And just so you know, I left a message over at Ame's letting her know one...Happy Thanksgiving...and two...I'm mad at her. I'm leaving the same message here. Why? Because it seems that the two of you are going to meet..perhaps this summer and failed to invite me!!!!????? Now what is with that???? ;)

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

P. S. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving my friend ;)

clew said...

Danielle,

We ARE??? I'm always the last to know! I assume that means she's planning a trip to see Martie ... my best friend's Mamma ... It seems I need to check out Ame's blog :D

Happy Thanksgiving! (again! Hee!)

Rebecca said...

Hey Clew!
Life's been crazy/busy - but I hope you had a wonderful holiday!!!

I don't get to blog surf hardly ever anymore - I do 99% of my posting via email now. :( But I do think of you often...

Please tell Naive I said Hi!