The spirit of Thanksgiving is powerful. Not only does this time of year bring about self-reflection, it also exposes our ungratefulness and things we’ve taken for granted throughout the year. Ungratefulness often stems from human awareness and produces complaints/judgement. I know I’ve caught myself being overly critical and unappreciative. Awareness is okay, but often amplifies our sense of self and puts us in our heads.
Ungratefulness is a head thing. Gratefulness is a heart thing.
My hope is that we return to our hearts so that we can combat ingratitude and give love minus our standards or expectations, which can range from “my job not being ________ enough” to our opinion about the taste of this year’s thanksgiving turkey.
I invite you to pause and put pen to paper today. Jot down three things you know you’ve taken for granted this year. Here are mine:
Home Ownership. We decided to pursue it several years ago, making soft attempts in two different states. It wasn’t until we moved back to Mississippi that we were able to find a hospitable home buying climate. My complaints in this area are typically about the size, age, and location of our home. I have to remind myself that this home is helping us build wealth. It is also my dream home in that it is low-maintenance, charming, southern, and smart/energy-efficient.
My children. They are my greatest joys. They possess the things many of us have lost: hope, innocence, imagination…my strongest feelings of guilt are when I lose my patience with them. I often wonder if I read to them enough, if I take them to the playground enough, or if I cuddle with them enough. I know the day will come when I will only want to hold them, color with them, run around outside with them, and talk to them about simple things…
Their grandparents/My parents. When you live on your own, moving back home becomes a great blessing. We didn’t know how important it was to live closer to family. Now, all grandparents are on deck for school pick-up and life’s little emergencies. I often wonder if I show my appreciation enough. I know I could slow down and sit with them more, talk with them more, have lunch with them, inquire more about their health, home improvement ideas, and church events…
Many of us have already started preparing for Thanksgiving. I made my first grocery run yesterday and my cooking schedule is now in-the-works. Tonight I’ll make some homemade pumpkin bread and continue to reflect on things I am grateful for. What are you grateful for? Not sure? Think about it. What resources are critical to your daily life and how you operate? What do you often complain about? What are you overly critical about? Who do you tend to ignore? In order to know what we’re grateful for, we have to experience ungratefulness. Thank you for reading this. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!