Give thanks | Things I'm thankful for

My mother's table--where we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving.

Today I will wake up, rush around and prepare a few side dishes, help my daughters pick out something to wear. I'll probably help them curl their hair. I'll try to get my sons to clean up their room (the current system of just closing the door isn't working). Then I'll travel a few miles to my mother's house, where she will be in her familiar spot--right in front of the stove. My sister will be there. My brothers will be there. All of my nieces and nephews and their bright, shining faces.

They'll be lots of laughter, lots of food, lots of ribbing one another, lots of picture taking and general thankfulness on this day filled to the brim with thankfulness.

It makes me think about what am I truly thankful for. I'm thankful for all the things. The things that everyone is thankful for--health, spouse, children, family, career. Who wouldn't be thankful for those things?

But then there are those moments when I experience a deep sense of thankfulness. It usually happens when I contemplate someone who is less fortunate than myself. I wonder, how did I get so blessed? I didn't do a thing to deserve it.

Things I am thankful for:

I'm thankful I get to lay down in a warm, comfortable bed at night and feel safe and loved by the person I'm sleeping beside.

I'm thankful that however challenging it is to raise six children--and it is indeed challenging--our needs are miraculously provided for each month.

I'm thankful I get to bathe in warm, clean water every day and that I also get to enjoy the bright morning sunshine through my bathroom window.

I'm thankful for my creativity and that I see the world differently.

I'm thankful that my children are all under my roof and that they currently live free from tyranny, disease, famine and war.

The last one stemmed from a recent evening at Disneyland. We were sitting in Fantasyland, watching this amazing fireworks show from behind Sleeping Beauty's castle. As I watched the explosions and the accompanying boom in the sky light up their faces, I couldn't help but think of the children who are forced to live in war. The explosions they see at night do not inspire wonder and excitement. And yet, there my children stood, oohing and aahhing at the magical display in the sky. I explained this to them--the irony of it. They nodded their heads in agreement.

Life is strange that way, isn't it?

I'm going to spend this day just basking in family. My hope is you'll have a moment to spend with the people you love most and that you will give thanks. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I really love this, Denise. Especially your ephiphany at the Disney fireworks show. Fireworks as make-believe war, as entertainment, is strange indeed. You may see the world differently but you see it through compassionate eyes. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Betsy!


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