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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving More than Turkeys and Shopping...What?

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I am not hip and current on things in the world of Facebook. And don't even talk about Twitter or Pinterest. Over the course of this month I've been noticing all these Facebook posts that go something like this...

Day 26: I'm thankful for the fact that it hasn't snowed yet. Since my sister and her family are traveling the roadways today to get to my parents house.

These were nice posts. I enjoyed reading them and EVERYONE, including my sister mentioned above was doing them. But I had no idea why. I finally figured it out at a community Thanksgiving service I attended this past Sunday. Apparently, the month of November was 30 days of giving thanks month.

Now I realize this means two things. One, I'm dreadfully behind on my thankfulness list. Two, I probably could have figured out what was going on if I'd asked someone. But I'm too hip to ask questions like that. If I asked my sister I would get an eye roll and pitying smile as she explained to her decrepit older sister what this was all about. My husband would either chuckle and tell me, or he would be as clueless as me. Fifty-fifty odds on that one. Anyway, once I was clued in to what was happening I started to think about this whole thankfulness thing. It was a good thing to ponder.

Now I could list all of the things I'm thankful for right here and now. You would probably get a little nauseous reading this and stop following this blog if I did that. But I decided I'm not going to do that. First, because I'm not sure it would serve the purpose it was meant to, and second, because I'm not sure it would really work for me. Not because I'm not thankful for my life. I am VERY thankful for my life. I go to bed at night thanking God for all my blessings and pray that I get to hold on to them and that he will protect them for me. I know life is precarious and I constantly worry in the back of my mind the other shoe will drop someday and tragedy will strike.

But what if we did more than be thankful for 30 days, or even for the rest of our lives? What if we woke up every morning and and consciously thanked God just for another morning of life? What if we not only made the effort to push away all the worry and stress another day brings for most of us, and promised to do one small thing that was kind that day? It could be something as simple as trying to smile and wish people we see a good morning. Or letting someone who only has a couple of things to pay for in the grocery line jump ahead of us in line. Just one kind thing wouldn't take that much.

I freely admit, I don't know if I will be able to start doing this everyday. My life like everyone else's is busy, stressful and hectic. The holidays don't relieve that stress. In many ways they add to it. There are expectations to be met for ourselves, our families, our children, you name it. But the season we are going into is a season of hope. A new year will dawn soon. I wonder how much better my day would be each morning if I really tried to breath a simple prayer upon waking that I am still alive. I have another day and another opportunity to share some good in the world. Maybe if I can do that I can spread my thankfulness quotient beyond 30 days and extend it to whatever time I've got left in this world. As a Christian I think it would be a good start for me, because the one I believe came to light my way in the darkness didn't ask for much. He simply asked me to love my neighbor. How can I do that if I can't wake up in the morning loving myself? Maybe I can start by not thinking about what the world asks of me so much and simply start by taking a breath and being glad that I'm able to.

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