“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder… When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” G.K. Chesterton
The trees here have sputtered out fall colors the last two months but this week they are at their peak, leaving this tree groupie gasping with awe. It’s been hard not driving off the road with forests of yellows, rust oranges and the brightest reds I’ve ever seen.
With God’s heavenly paintbrushes so busy around us (and within us), the leaves are a vibrant reminder to give thanks.
This week American families and friends will gather on Thursday to offer thanks (and eat lots of yummy food.) Sometimes it’s easy to be thankful for bright things in our lives that stand out (like red leaves pictured above.) We can also be thankful for constants in our lives, like fir trees that stay green through the bleakest winter months.
But, maybe things are difficult right now and we feel like crushed leaves on the pavement of life, especially if untoward snowy setbacks have ambushed our plans.
It may take a bit of doing to be grateful.
Whatever our circumstances, Thanksgiving is a time to pause and be grateful.
But why be thankful just one day of the year? An attitude of gratitude goes a long way when life is hard. Perhaps because it’s difficult, we can appreciate the good things in our lives even more.
(We might be crushed and grounded, but how ‘bout that pavement? Isn’t it firm?)
My (in-pain-24/7) bedfast quadriplegic papa woke up every morning giving thanks. Papa couldn’t move anything (even to wipe his nose) but he always said, “My blessings outweigh my challenges.” Every morning he would count his blessings one by one, then ask God for help and strength to face his challenges.
Taking a lesson from my papa’s life, why not pause for a minute or two each morning to give thanks – not just for beautiful leaves and trees, but for God’s love that sustains us with vibrant grace from Above. As fall leaves remind us, there’s joy to be found even in our pain and challenges (those leaves are dying.)
“It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” Tim Keller
A blessed Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating the holiday this week, and blessings of gratitude to everyone else around the world.
grace, peace & attitudes of gratitude
Virginia : )
p.s. Virginia will be (mostly) offline this week…