Nov. 20, 2012 — I just love this time of year in Lassen County, when the vibrant autumn colors contrast against the mountains and blue sky, or as in recent weeks, peek through the snow. Thanksgiving also happens to be my favorite holiday, no rushing around buying gifts, just spending a day with family around the dinner table taking time to think about that for which we are thankful.
When the calendar turned over to November, I started noticing Facebook friends participating in the month of thankfulnes where they share something they are thankful for everyday. Each day they post something for friends to see. First there were the gratitude posts for family and friends, but I really enjoy the out-of-the-ordinary ones and the notes of thankfulness about things in everyday life. One friend posted their thankfulness for a dog kennel because now, her dog won't get into trouble anymore. Another person living in the Midwest was grateful to have a garage to park her car in, especially as winter approaches.
I like the way these friends are sharing thanks for things from day-to-day life because, really, there are things to be thankful for each day, we just have to stop and notice them. I know I often take many things for granted. I'm reminded of a book I read last year, Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts, A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." It spent time on the New York Times Best-Seller list and received great reviews about its beautiful prose and thoughtfulness.
Even though it’s Christian in nature, I think many would be inspired with Voskamp's challenge of finding blessings in everyday life and living fully right where you are.
Voskamp chronicles her own journey, from memories of her little sister's death along with stories as a farmer's wife, writer and mother of six woven in. She began writing down "gifts" she noticed each day — 1,000 of them by the end of the book and still going.
She wrote, "How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama and daily duties?" I could relate with that one question alone, because there are times I move from one thing to the next on autopilot and life's daily responsibilities drown out everything else. Inspired, I started my own list and I'll admit, it hasn't even hit 100. This is partly because I'm not diligent in writing things down, or pay close attention all the time. But, when I consciously make an effort, I find the details that get lost in day-to-day tasks, many that make life richer. I notice the things I take for granted, but should be thankful for anyway.
Maybe instead of just one month of thankfulness, we can implement one year of thankfulness.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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