A Lesson In Thankfulness

Recently, a teacher of mine asked the class to write down our favorite Thanksgiving tradition. In a split second, I took my pen to paper. "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition," I wrote, "is waking up early to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my family before going to lunch at my Nana and Papa's." To me, that is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is also Charlie Brown, overeating, and every other cliche known to man. Thanksgiving is the one day a year everyone forgets what they want, and remembers only what they have- what they're most thankful for.

And although I am guilty of it as well, I hate that we have to wait until Thanksgiving to remember the things we appreciate most. It has become a running joke that people have even taken to skipping Thanksgiving altogether, as we are caught up in the excitement of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Christmas. I myself have had to take a breather from thinking about presents to focus on the holiday at hand. Too often we become complacent- too confident in our own abilities. Lately, I have been having issues letting go of worries about the future. Yet with Thanksgiving, we force ourselves to take the time to stop and trust that we aren't the ones in control, but that's okay! Even when we don't see it, God is moving. And as difficult a lesson it is to learn, praising him in the good and praising him in the bad is totally worth it.

The other day, I was listening to the radio. KLove mentioned their "Attitude of Gratitude" challenge. For every day in November, the station asked people to choose something to lay before Him, in honor of His immense blessings in our life. And while that is a great way to start, why stop there? We have so many things to be happy about!

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."
-Psalm 100:1-5

From the time I was little, my mother has raised me to write thank-you notes for anything that I receive, whether it be a gift or even a favor. Can you imagine the number of thank-you notes we would have to write if we truly wrote down everything that we appreciated in life? I would be head over heels in paper and envelopes that I wouldn't even know where to begin! From being thankful for books, and thunderstorms, to chicken nuggets, and Disney movies, I wouldn't ever catch up. And I love that. Even in my mere 18 years of life, I am so blessed that I could make lists for days and still not run out of things to by thankful for. How lucky am I?

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