Sometimes when I first wake up I try to remind myself of what I am thankful for, when I do this it just sets a positive tone for the day. When I'm snuggled in my warm bed surrounded by my luxurious comforter and don't want to leave it to step out to the cold room and put on my exercise clothes to start my morning workout I remind myself that I am so grateful that I can get out of bed, that I can exercise...not everyone has that ability or luxury.
Recently I reread a story written by Joel Osteen in his book "Every Day A Friday". It goes like this, a man walks into his ministers office down and discouraged and says there is nothing going right about his life. The minister wisely asks him to do an exercise listing all of his assets on one side of a sheet of paper and all the challenges on the other. The man laughs that there will be nothing on the asset side. So the minister says to him " I am so sorry to hear that your wife has passed away" the man replies "what are you talking about my wife didn't pass away she is healthy and alive". Then the minister says " I am so sorry to hear your house burned down". The man responds "My house didn't burn down". On and on this conversation goes until the minister has reminded this man of all he takes for granted and the assets side of the paper is completely full. (pg 65 Every Day A Friday).
This Thanksgiving I am going to make a list of all the gifts I have in my life and keep it close by to remember that which I so easily take for granted.
In early October I attended a breakfast fundraiser for Shelter Network. It was truly an inspiring morning with Leigh Anne Tuohy as the keynote speaker. As I was moved to tears to hear her stories of taking in the homeless young boy, Michael Oher, I was also challenged to do the same. To not ignore the people we see on the streets everyday.
If this did not make me think and feel differently, more compassionately, the life story of a young women and single mother, Cheryll certainly did. She told her personal story of her struggle with homelessness, how she went from having a home, job, and husband and slowly lost everything until Shelter Network stepped in and saved her life by providing her with housing, encouragement and career training.
Now when I have to clean the toilets or scrub the floor I stop myself before I utter the complaints of doing such mundane work and thank God that I have a home, and toilets that get dirty and floors that need washing.
Today is Thanksgiving and as much I would like to stay with you now I must go to prepare the stuffing and the turkey for my family and friends and I will do it with joy since I am so blessed to have these relationships in my life. Happy Thanksgiving!