When Spring came this year, and with it a vastly different way of living, we were reminded of the beauty of simplicity and rest. Being forced to slow down offered us a chance to take inventory of the important and the superfluous. We learned that it’s often the little or commonplace things that usher in joy. We were reminded of the privilege of gathering with loved ones, and the importance of our health.
It’s October in Canada, and we have made it to fall—to Thanksgiving.
Even now, as we move through autumn and head into the long winter months of anticipated isolation due to the second wave of a pandemic we hoped wouldn’t last, we can find things to be thankful for. Even when Thanksgiving looks vastly different from last year, we can— and we must—choose thankfulness. Not only now, but also as a habitual discipline throughout the year.
Sometimes, when in the thick of hardships or when there seems to be no end to a lengthy struggle, it’s difficult to find things to be grateful for. But I’d go as far as to say that’s when we most need to. Being thankful reminds us that though things may not look good, there is still good to be found. Being thankful reminds us that despite our fears and sorrows, there is still rest and beauty. Being thankful reminds us of the abundance of provision amid loss.
No season lasts forever. The leaves fall and are whisked away, the snow covers the earth and recedes, the flowers burst forth, and the blazing glory of summer returns. This too shall pass, along with whatever else you may be facing. Seasons of life, or the soul, are perpetually changing. That itself is something to be thankful for—to be hopeful for. That wherever you find yourself today, if you look around, even in a dark season, there is still something to be grateful for.
This week, I was reminded of the fragility of life when my girlfriend suffered a heart attack and spent several worrisome days in the hospital. Although she will need to spend the next eight weeks resting at home, we are rejoicing that she is still with us. I also learned of the passing of a fellow homeschool mom who, two days ago, lost her life to an eight-year struggle with cancer. She and I are the same age, and she too has four children. These moments fill us with sorrow and remind us how often we take our life for granted.
We don’t know the number of days we are given, only God knows that, but we can choose a posture of thankfulness and live each one as a gift. I know that mother of four did as she learned of her condition and lived out her last months. And I know my friend is more thankful than ever to have been given the gift of more days… more time.
So now, even though we find ourselves in a season we didn’t ask for and have no control over, we can practice thankfulness. Though living through a pandemic isn’t what we expected if we spend our time and energy bemoaning it, we are effectively wasting our precious days—ones we can never recapture. Why would we purposely do that? Instead, let’s be thankful and see what beauty we can sew in the storm.
You may know how much I adore lists. Well, I’ve made a thankful list below, and I encourage you to make your own. Here it is.
15 things I’m thankful for:
1. Morning coffee with my husband.
2. Time spent with my kids.
3. Supportive & loving family.
4. Good food.
5. Words woven to impart beauty & share stories.
6. Second chances.
7. Plants, flowers & gardens.
8. The way the sun highlights the trees.
9. The way the world smells & glistens after the rain.
10. The songs & beauty of birds.
11. The laughter of a baby.
12. The feel of clean sheets.
13. Birthday cake.
There are more. But this is enough for today because today is my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving, so I‘d better pay attention to the sweet gifts surrounding me. Soon, my kids will all be together under one roof. We’ve already had our traditional birthday cake breakfast and the turkey is in the oven. The cranberry sauce is made, and I’m about to make the stuffing. So, I better get going. I don’t want to miss this! Happy Thanksgiving! xo
“Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” ~ Psalm 90:12