Thankful Still

Thanksgiving is a radically defiant day. In the middle of a season defined by short days and long nights, we set aside a day to give thanks—for what we have and who we have.

This year, thankfulness might have to be more grounded in intention. In recent years the challenge was whether or not we would leave our seated positions on Thursday to shop for Black Friday. Who knew that one year, those seated positions might not even be possible.

All of us have likely seen pain, loss, and disappointment over these past months. But Thanksgiving is a symbolic day of declaration: grateful regardless of circumstances.

Whether we are locked down, locked in, or locked out, our hearts are never bound by the same rules. Regardless of any laws being imposed from the outside, our hearts are still free.

*We can sit still and breathe in the abundance of life around us. 
*We can affirm that no matter what we see, beauty is also in our midst.
*We can listen to our beating hearts and remember that love keeps them beating. 
*We can remind others that they are valuable, whether they are sitting with us or not.
*We can decide we want to do better at living a generous and grateful life.

So let’s be quietly defiant today and cultivate gratitude for the abundant grace and mercy available to us all. What we cultivate in the quiet can then be lived out in the noisy, the messy, and the hard. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from a little grace and mercy today so let’s be generous in our thanks “giving.”

“Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.”— Rumi

Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting?

“Happy Thanksgetting.”

Those are the sentiments in the latest Verizon commercial. Initially, it made me mad. Until I realized that they were simply stating what all the other ads were implying. They are actually the sentiments in every single commercial aimed at the holiday consumer. Don’t focus on giving thanks people; focus on getting stuff.

During this season, I am continually challenging myself on my thoughts. Am I focused on giving, on gratitude? Or am I focused on getting, on lack? Oh to be grateful for the simple things we have. The sound of a loved one walking through the door, the sight of a pantry filled with food, the smell of a frosty fall morning. Gratitude sees our mundane and calls it beautiful. It covers our ordinary with wonder.
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.” Elie Wiesel
Let our lives demonstrate gratitude this season. There is a big difference between Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting. Let’s be those who celebrate Thanksgiving with hearts that see the wonder in our beautifully ordinary lives. And cause others to celebrate theirs as well.

Thankfulness matters.

Happy Thanksgiving!