A Week of Thankfulness

On a flight yesterday from Dallas to Salt Lake City, I became desperate for reading material when I finished my novel. (Sharon Hinck’s Stepping into Sunlight – highly recommended!) I picked up the American Airlines magazine and read an article about famed poet and author Maya Angelou. Fascinating woman. At one point in her life she was on the streets as a teenager, an unwed mother, victim of a violent past. In this article she described a turning point in her life when she went to the home of a trusted mentor in a fit of rage and he handed her a notebook and said, “Write down everything you’re thankful for.” She filled a page and a half.

I started thinking – if someone who had been through all that stuff could fill of a page and a half with things for which she was thankful, I ought to be able to fill a couple of encyclopedia-sized volumes. Oh, I’ve had my share of desperate situations in life, as many of us have. But I’m so blessed. God has been tremendously good to me.

I know it’s a little cliché, but since Thanksgiving is in a week, I think this is a great time to focus on the many things we’re thankful for. Here’s a small part of my list:

My family. We’re all healthy and supportive of one another and though we’ve had our share of trauma, those things have made us all stronger instead of tearing us apart.

My automatic coffee maker with the timer. I love getting up in the morning to a freshly-brewed mug of coffee.

My car, which is paid off.

My home, especially in a time when so many people are struggling to keep theirs and some are losing the battle.

My profession. I get to spend all day doing something I love, and I don’t have to fight rush-hour traffic in order to do it.

My husband, for a gazillion reasons. But most recently because I came home last night to furniture that had been dusted and polished until it gleamed and clean, folded laundry, both of which I should have done before I left on my trip.

The eyeglass industry. Without them I would seriously not be able to read a thing, and a life without books is not comprehendible.

My church. Two churches, actually, one in Kentucky and one in Utah. Some people in this world have to go to church secretly, and some are afraid to go at all.

Hairspray. My hair is so fine (and thinning, horror of horrors) that without it, I look like a homeless waif within an hour.

Forgiveness. I mess up so often, and yet Jesus kneels before me and washes my feet to cleanse away all the grime I collect from walking on the wrong path. Over and over.

I could go on and on. How about you? Want to give the cliché a try this week? If you do, I think you’ll come to the Thanksgiving table with a fresh attitude of thankfulness.