Teaching, Learning, and Living
Thanksgiving Reminders

Thanksgiving Reminders

Turkey Handprint Napkin Ring   Thanksgiving Table  

I just can’t let the Thanksgiving holiday weekend go by without expressing a small fraction of my thankfulness in writing.  This holiday was much needed in my life and it was a wonderful weekend with my immediate family.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but this year I was really afraid that it might just turn into another day that we HAD to get through and would end i n further exhaustion.  However, we had a quiet Thanksgiving at home with my dad as our only guest.  It was wonderful.  We played “baseball” outside, rode bikes, ate turkey, and played games.  It was perfect in my book.  It also gave me time to really reflect on the thankfulness in my life.

I tend to take for granted all of the blessings God grants to me and sometimes I can’t even recognize them for the busyness around me.  I have so much for which to be thankful and so I pause to remember them as the Christmas holiday frenzy starts up all around me.  This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but just a few thoughts of thankfulness I had this Thanksgiving season.

I am thankful for the little voice that fills our house with songs, questions, ideas, and hilarity.  Even now, when he should be napping, my son is singing “hello, how do you do, it’s good to be with you” (from his Kindermusik class).  Words are so important to relationships and I love to have conversations with my son and other young children who provide insight and perspective to my life.

I am thankful for little eyes that see everything and remind me to pay attention to the details of life.  I constantly look at American flags and train tracks as we drive down the road.  I also see tiny bugs and leaves, “trash trucks” and motorcycle helmets, and letters and numbers everywhere.  On my own, I notice more and more the things that are important to my son…and in turn, things that are important to others in my life.  When we look at the little things, we are often pointed to the big picture too and can better relate to others we are called to love and serve.

I am thankful for music.  Our house, car, shopping carts, etc are filled with continuous music, thanks to a very musical three-year-old in our lives.  I notice music all around me and appreciate music that I never thought I would, from The Wheels on the Bus (over and over and over again) to patriotic fife and drum music ALL YEAR ROUND.  Music can bring such joy and create intense emotional connections.  What a blessing to have ears to hear and appreciate such sounds.

I am thankful for family near and far.  We are blessed to have family around the world who make our lives that much more interesting and increase our understanding and knowledge of the vast world in which we live.

I am thankful for a job that is rewarding and relational.  Even when it is hard and paperwork is piling up around me, I must remember that I have the privilege of spending my days with children who are wide-eyed observers of the world around them.  Like my own son, the children I teach also teach me about spending time focusing on the little things, finding joy in discovery, loving unconditionally, and forgiving those who hurt us.  I love being part of their lives and rejoicing with them as they grow and mature.

Finally, I am thankful for time.  Rushing though our days and busy schedules keeps us from really concentrating on the passage of time and all that is changing as time ticks along.  My son constantly asks “what time is it?”.  He is too young to really understand what that means, but it often refocuses my attention to time and what happens throughout the day.  This holiday weekend, it felt like time slowed down just a little bit and I could really be present in every moment.  Time is too special to let pass without taking mental snapshots of the events that take us down life’s road.

In closing, I want to share a  song that I remember singing as a child.  It is a traditional hymn of thanks and is one to remember throughout the year.

For the Beauty of the Earth  by Folliott S. Pierpoint (1835-1917)

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

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