Thanksgiving and giving thanks

I have been thinking about this post for over a week and wanted to get started earlier, but I didn’t. Before I began writing, I came across the quote below originally posted to twitter by

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order; confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 

Thanksgiving Day has always meant family, turkey, and football to me. Today is no different. I slept late this morning and truly no one was stirring in the house. We were awakened by my mom who called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. It was good to talk with her and within a few minutes all of us were in the awake. William climbed into bed between Beth and I, Olivia snuggled up on Beth’s side of the bed, and I finished talking with my mom.

Yesterday, I got Olivia started on her Thanksgiving blog post and read P is for Pilgrim and Yertle the Turtle before she fell asleep last night. She helped her mom this morning with the pecan pie and sweet potato casserole before she disappeared into the family room to play with Ivy. In a few short hours we will sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner as a family and talk about the day and the things we are thankful for in our lives. 

What are you thankful for?

I have been thinking of this post for at least a week now and have a list of all of the things for which I am thankful. The list is in no particular order, though family is listed at the top.

I am thankful for:

Beth, my wife of 19 years and friend for much longer, for my mom who kept me from making mistakes and allowed me learn from the ones I made, for my dad who taught me that you are always learning and of the memories of watching football on Thanksgiving, for William who teaches me patience and always surprises me, for Olivia who is sweet and sassy and my girl, for my step-mom Julie who was a friend when I needed one growing up; my mother and father-in-law who have become a second set of parents to me, for my for my brothers Warren and David, and the list continues.

I continue to be thankful for my home and the roof over my head, for the opportunity to teach kids how to read, write, and think as well as why geography is important, for my students who challenge me to be a better teacher,  for the community I live in which values education, for my children’s teachers who are sharing their passion for learning, for the Boy Scouts and Troop 35, and the adults who take time to teach and coach sports teams and are involved in our community.

I am thankful for the gift of nature, the trees in the backyard, the lake at the cottage, the memories of summer vacation at Tesomas, my memories of my trip to Paris with my brothers and Julie, and watching the sun set over the lake. I am thankful for the friends to share it with and sitting around the fire with stories and roasting marshmallows.

I am thankful for our church which is a place to think about God and all that he has provided for me as I do his work on Earth. Though sometimes I fail, more often than I succeed, I am thankful for all that I have. 

The list is endless and I am thankful for countless other things. Nothing happens by accident, though sometimes it seems as if it does. It is all part of a bigger picture. Above all, I am thankful for the opportunities I have had and the strength and trust that has been placed on me by others to accomplish them.

I am thankful for the time to write and reflect and share. As I wrote last week in the post on the writing process last week, it would be sad if I were writing and no one was reading it. I have much to be thankful for and the days I have had have really counted. Making the Days Count, one day at a time. What are you thankful for?

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