You know 2019 is starting to gallop off into the sunset when stores are brimming with holiday specials. Hallmarks goes into overdrive with their sweet, syrupy marathon Holiday movies (and there’s NOTHING wrong with that) – and folks are turning their thoughts to turkey dinners, cooking, baking and shopping.
It’s a good time to reflect on the year slipping away, and the new one coming at us faster than an Amtrak Excello. It’s also a good time to be extra thankful for our blessings – too many to count – too many that we may have taken for granted.
Sometimes it can be a hard year if we are faced with serious illness, financial hardship and even death of a loved one. It’s easy to feel “let down” or “bitter” and easy to ask ourselves “Why me? Why us?” — but thanks to the power from above, we ultimately get through it.
In Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger” – she belts out: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” While Stronger (What doesn’t kill you) may be a pop contemporary hit – there’s also truth to the title. When challenges and obstacles are put in our path, they are a test of our faith and beliefs. Will we keep the faith in bad times or crumble and fall – giving up on God and prayer?
It’s during these bad times when hope seems to slip away, that we need to focus on the blessings already provided. When a loved one becomes sick, we need to grateful for having that special person in our lives as we pray for their speedy recovery. When someone dies, we need to be thankful for the time we’ve had together and the joy and memories that were shared. When other hardships hit, we need to remember there is always hope.
Life is meant to be challenging to help us become stronger in our faith and beliefs. It’s important to be thankful no matter what the circumstances. Having food on our table, a safe roof over our head and good health are all major blessings. Things like TV, Internet, being able to afford a gourmet cup of coffee, a movie or nice restaurant dinner are all blessings that are easy to overlook. Many folks can’t afford ANY of those or even a safe and warm place to live.
I am thankful for my family and friends. My solid brick home is nothing fancy, but its home and feels “right.” The gardens, woods and wildlife surrounding me are all blessings that I am thankful for each and every day and never take for granted. I would feel empty without them.
A wise man once told me that at 83, he wasn’t as fast as he used to be and he had some ailments to contend with, but he was still thankful to wake up each morning to discover what the day held for him – be it good, bad or challenging. His mind was still sharp as a tack and he started every morning with a prayer of thankfulness. With the joyous holiday season and New Year fast approaching, this is the best advice he could give: Start your morning with a prayer of thankfulness – be thankful 24/7 for your blessings — great and small.