My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, not because it reminds us of the pilgrims landing in Plymouth and after much loss of life came together in harmony with the Native American Indians shared a feast and gave thanks to God, but because I need to be grateful everyday.
Twenty-five years ago during the summer I met somebody near and dear to my heart at the time she was Kathy and I was Cathy (now we both go by Kathleen and Catherine). I left my home in suburbia and went to a state run facility that was less than ideal. I was talking to Kathy from a pay phone
and she said, I want you to do something. I was listening. Every morning, I want you to write down 5 things you are grateful for, "FIVE THINGS!!!" (If you know me personally then you also know that everyone on my floor, the floor above and below probably heard me). This was so foreign to me, I could feel my ears turning red and I probably said something like I probably can not even come up with 3. Kath said let's do the first one here on the phone, just tell me 5 things you are grateful for. I don't know what I said, I am pretty sure I made it through the list and I am sure that being sober and my cigarettes were on that first list. Why? Why did I need to write this list every day? The answer "Grateful drunks stay sober." Well, that was the point I wanted to stay sober. I think the phone call happened in September of 1985.
It was hard at first. A real struggle to come up with 5 things every day, but I was willing and soon I was writing 10 then 15 and eventually up to 20 things that I was grateful for each day. I kept up this discipline for about 2 years. I've gone through bouts of writing a gratitude lists and on occasion I still do.
When our children were small on Thanksgiving we would ask them what they would grateful for and Dan or I would write it down. Once they were able to write, we would write our own lists and then read them out loud to one another. It is so important in this life to be grateful. It has been said, "When you invite gratitude to your pity party the party disappears."
Here are some things that I am grateful for today:
That my girls get to spend some time together this week.
My son is a young man who knows how to work hard.
For my husband who has the gift of mercy (good thing for me I can be a real pill at times)
For our vehicle (we are sharing one presently)
Our newest abode in Shrewsbury and the view of the sunrise from here.
For the God who is there
For the Bible which is the Word of God
For Jesus, His grace, mercy, lovingkindness and LOVE
Being able to read and write
Being able and willing to come along side other people
There is so much more than that to be grateful for today. My heart is glad, my house is warm and life is not easy but thank God it is never boring.
I am well please to have been given the gift of knowing about the importance of gratitude and I need to get back to it. Sometimes it is really hard when life becomes hard to remember that there is always something I can find to be grateful for like the breath in my lungs.
Take a good look at your own life and acknowledge those things that cause you to pause and say, Thank you God.
When you sit down for your feast next Thursday take a few moments to express some gratitude.