Are You Feeling Thankful?

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Two days from now we celebrate Thanksgiving. This time of year I focus all my energy on feeling thankful. In a world full of reasons to feel full and satisfied, many people feel empty. It physically pains me to watch people fixate on the wrong things. If you put your energy into anger and wallow in self pity, you will create more of the same. If you focus on your blessings and put your time and attention into loving the people around your table, you will receive more blessings. Sometimes we think the problem is everything and everyone else when the truth is the root of the problem is our own thinking. Do you focus on what is wrong or do you practice feeling good about what is right? You can change your life and how you see the people in it but it takes some hard work. If people had any idea how much changing their own thinking could elevate their own lives and bring joy, how could they not choose to do it?

On this day, if there’s only one thing you can really feel grateful for in the depths of your heart, spend time there and watch how different you will feel at the end of this day. Count your blessings and put that list of complaints in the garbage. Commit to thankfulness and life and the people it will transform before your eyes.

A Time to Pause and Be Thankful

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I used to rush through Thanksgiving season and try and fast forward to Christmas. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to pause and be thankful for the things in my life. I give thanks so many times a day now. In between feeling frustrated, discouraged and the other array of feelings that accompany everyday life, I find hope and strength in the things I am grateful for. Thanksgiving is now a time I purposely slow down. I love that my family all helps with preparing the food. I love that we bake together and break bread and spend time together at the table just being together. No presents, no rushing…just a moment of sitting quietly together in the passing of time. Every year I appreciate and love this time even more. How do you feel about Thanksgiving?

A Sign of Hope

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In a world where the negative seems to be winning out, I offer this story of hope. My daughter is 17 years old. Every night her friend group debates a topic in a closed group. They are very diverse in their thinking and each of them has very strong opinions. She allowed me to sit in on their group. I was absolutely amazed at how respectful these kids were toward one another. They were allowed a safe place to express their beliefs without being bullied or ridiculed. Tomorrow I am hosting their “Squidsgiving”. They call themselves group squid and tomorrow, although they are very different, they will sit at the table to share a nice dinner and break bread together. I could not be more proud or grateful that these are the kids my daughter shares her deepest thoughts and most special moments with. They are an example to all of us. They are the hope we so desperately need.

Missing So Many Today

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I’m not really sure if I chose the right time to taper my depression medication. I am hoping by the time the holidays are over, I will be off of them for good. As I sit here quietly thinking about the family members who have passed away, I can’t help but shed a few tears. People come and go into our lives and they change us. Some for the better and others for worse but the ones we hold dearly never completely slip away.  Their lessons, their memory, their kind words and their smile live in very special part of our hearts. It seems like yesterday that I was a teenager sitting in a room full of relatives, surrounded by an amazing circle of love. It saddens me to know many of those special people haven’t been a part of my life in several years. Every Thanksgiving I allow myself to remember. I sit in the pain, in my loneliness and I quietly grieve for their loss. I also remind myself that life is so much shorten than we ever imagine and it is so important to make memories with the people I am still blessed to have a part of my life. My heart is so full knowing in three short days I will return to place I grew up. The house that built me will be standing strong with a faint memory of my grandmother standing in the window waiting for me to pull in the drive. I still feel her presence today. Take time to look around your table over this long weekend. Be grateful for every person, every day, every memory and for all the wonderful times that are still to come. Count your blessings. Count them a hundred times and allow that special love to fill your heart and tuck it away where you can pull it back out whenever you need it most. 

Giving Thanks for Family

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I am so excited counting the days to Thanksgiving. This year will be a little different than most. Other years, we have spent the day with my husbands family but this year it will just be the four of us at home. I realize the closer we get to the kids graduating from high school, the more we need to appreciate the time we have left. Life gets so busy sometimes with work, sports, school, studying and the days we spend quality time together are few and far between. That is why I am tickled pink to have my husband and kids all to myself for an entire day. No friends, no homework, no emails. Just our little family, some great food and some good old board games.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Will this year be filled with years of tradition or will you be doing something out of the ordinary?

What Are You Thankful For?

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Thanksgiving will be here in just a few days but do you ever pause and think of all the things you are grateful for? It is so easy to get caught up in the little things and when we do, our focus becomes so narrow that we lose sight of all that is good. I make it a daily practice to make a mental list of everything I am grateful for. Sometimes I am just stumbling through the words and other times I am engulfed with happiness and gratitude. Today, think of three things that you are thankful for that move your thoughts and feelings toward a place of love and positivity. Thoughts become things and what you think about multiplies. Pay attention and think about what you want more of instead of what you don’t want at all. Have you thought of three things today? Here is my list:

1) Holidays. I look so forward to those moments when I am surrounded by the people who mean the world to me. 

2) Inner Calmness. It is so nice to wake up and feel like I am in a place of peace.

3) My kids. The reason I strive to make this world a better place one small act of kindness at a time.

Give Thanks

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Today many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving. As we sit around a table filled with people we love, let us remember how connected we really are. Let’s pause for a moment to be truly thankful for the abundance of food and the people in our lives. It doesn’t matter if the sweet potatoes aren’t perfect or your turkey is dry. It’s not about a pumpkin pie or the perfect recipe for the stuffing inside your turkey. It isn’t really about the food at al. It is about appreciating all you have and at least for today, pausing long enough to truly be thankful for the blessings in your life. There are so many if focus your awareness on them. See how many you can think of today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thanksgiving Memories

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You can almost feel the excitement in the air, everyone is cordial, smiling and counting their blessings. This is one special time of year that is just about gratitude and giving thanks. No presents, no stress, just some good old fashioned eating and time with the ones we love. What could be better than that right! I can almost taste the stuffing and turkey as I write these words. My favorite though, is shopping on Friday and coming home and making a great big turkey sandwich. I love the holidays. Every single one.

I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by extended family. I truly felt loved. We would make the hour trip each year to Aunt Gracie’s and you could feel the love as you walked through the door. People were jammed in everywhere and some of the older cousins and aunts would be fiddling around in the kitchen to make dinner just right. On this Thanksgiving, just like every other one, I will give thanks for these special people that always made me feel part of something wonderful. When I close my eyes I can still see them at the tables, sitting there talking and laughing. Many of them have passed on but they are still right here in my memories and in my heart. This year I will fill my heart with the thankfulness I feel because I was blessed enough to have each and every one of them play such an important role in my life. I hope they will have a wonderful feast in heaven and remember how much they are loved.

It’s My Thanksgiving, I will Shop If I Want Too! (Miley’s newest song?)

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I keep seeing these nagging insinuations and insulting comments, especially on Facebook, about the fact that some people will be shopping on Thanksgiving. I’d like to offer my two cents. For one, if you don’t agree with shopping on Thanksgiving then it is your prerogative not to do it. However, I would like to bring up what may seem as a silly point to some. Football is on 4 days a week. If I take the time to travel and visit with family, I am insulted the tv is even on. Yet, for most people there would be no Thanksgiving without sitting around a football game. But, that is not my choice to make. To each his own. What I don’t like is how we are always trying to make others feel guilty for the choices they make but yet, when we turn the finger around and point it the other way, all of a sudden it becomes none of our business.

I remember traveling to Dallas last year for Thanksgiving. We stopped at a Starbucks halfway in between for coffee and restrooms. I remember a conversation I had with 2 of the counter workers. I asked if they were bummed they had to work on a holiday. Both agreed they were ecstatic. They only had to put in a few hours and the extra money they would make getting paid time and a half would go a long way that time of year.

So, remember we all have the right to make choices that suit ourselves and our lifestyle. If you want to point a finger at me because I may swing by Walmart to get a 50 inch tv at the price of $288.00 think again before you criticize me. It just might be the tv that allows you to watch football at my house if you ever happen to stop in on Thanksgiving. So there!