What a fun Thanksgiving and weekend. We alternate holidays with my family since we are all so spread out, and this year we were together on Thanksgiving. My mom is an amazing cook and as usual, she had an awesome spread! So good! We spent the day with my brother, his wife, and their 3 kids, my sister and her husband, and my other sister, her husband, their 2 kids, their 2 foster kids, and their dog.
It was a noisy, crazy house, but so much fun!
Honestly, Thanksgiving has never been one of my "favorite" holidays. It always seemed odd to me that we had to declare a holiday to remember to be grateful. My thinking was "shouldn't we be thankful every day?" Of course, that never stopped me from enjoying all the good food. ha!
This year, I secretly challenged myself to find things to be grateful for outside of the normal ideas of family and friends, although I am very thankful for those. I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and here is what I came up with....
1. I am thankful for our soldiers, who sacrificed their Thanksgiving holiday to protect me so that I could enjoy mine. To go along with that, I am also thankful for our police officers, fire-fighters, and EMTs who also sacrifice their holidays to protect and help us.
2. I am thankful to be living where I am. In spite of all our problems, I wouldn't want to live anywhere other than in America. I can worship and pray to my God. I can celebrate a holiday that revolves around my God and no one can deny me that right. "They" don't have to agree with it or like it...but they can't stop me. I just pray that never ends.
3. I am thankful to have what some consider "luxuries" - food, clothing and shelter. I've never had to live in my car or under a bridge. I've never had to dig through a dumpster for a shirt without holes, or for my next meal. I can lay my head down without being afraid of what tomorrow will bring.
4. I am thankful for a little foster boy named "M". When at my parents house, we all went around the room telling what we were thankful for and M put it plain and simple: "I'm thankful that this is my best Thanksgiving ever." Which made me thankful for the lump in my throat.
5. Which leads me to the last thing on my list, and the thing M reminded me of....I am thankful for love. I have never had to know the sadness of feeling unloved by everyone around me. I've never had to know what it was like to have people who were supposed to love and care for me, fail at that. I have never had to know the fear in being taken away from all I knew...no matter how bad it was. I have never had to know what it was like to be handed over to complete strangers. And, I have never had to experience true love from strangers who accepted me for me... and willingly embraced me. I have never known the hunger for that kind of love. A small child reminded me of that, and for that I am truly thankful.
God Bless You M. I am so thankful for you.