Yesterday, I did not use the computer at all. That in itself is cause for thanksgiving.
Accustomed now to my habit of writing daily about something I'm thankful for--even though I was away from the computer--I found myself noticing, appreciating, being thankful.
I was thankful for Sunday school and a chance to discuss Hebrews with other believers.
Thankful that our pastor is now safely home, and he preached a sermon about Jesus.
Thankful that my son Jon played his trumpet and sang a solo and blessed my heart.
Thankful for a church community that joined together to hang wreaths and put up a Christmas tree in our sanctuary.
Thankful for friends who shared lunch and good conversation with us after church.
Thankful for cozy flannel pajama pants to wear when I got home, on a dark rainy day.
Thankful for leftovers.
How do you pick just one thing to be thankful for?
I feel that when giving thanks in a public setting, it is important to be thankful for things that are not particularly exclusive to oneself. Sometimes when people intend to be giving thanks, they end up bragging by mistake. I am sure that they don't mean it this way. Still, it can be unkind to make big public proclamations about things you have that other people don't have, whether it is a stable marriage, a gifted child, a tropical vacation, an exclusive group of friends, a new car, a happy childhood, or anything else that somebody else might lack and wish for.
We should be mindful, in this month of thanksgiving, to be encouragers, to help others generate gratitude in their hearts. We should strive to highlight the blessings that we all share, and glory in the blessings that are daily available to everyone. At the same time, we should avoid boasting about things we have that others may not also have. When trying to cultivate thankfulness, it is unseemly to sow discontent.
Here's an idea: if gratitude for something is welling up in your heart, but it's for something that other people don't have, something they might feel jealous or envious about, try to figure out a way to express your thanks in a non-public way. Spend some time writing emails, personal notes, maybe even thank-you cards.
Perhaps I will spend the rest of the month doing that, instead of blogging.
Perhaps, but don't be sad if you don't get a card from me. I might be scared to start, for fear of whom I'd miss and what would happen if my loved ones started comparing notes.
Just know: if you are reading this, I am exceedingly thankful for YOU.