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The Art of Thankfulness

I’ve been told that I think too much and I’m sure that’s true. But I feel that it’s not always a bad thing.

I have several friends who are going through hardships lately, mostly dealing with serious injury or illness. This has caused a lot of deep thinking on my part. And a lot of sadness. I want to help, but in most cases I can’t as I’m either too far away or it’s simply out of my hands. I can do little things, but I feel so helpless wanting to do more. All I can do is pray. And so I do. I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer.

There are some things that I’ve come to realize. To be honest, I’ve had these thoughts many other times during my life. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but they seem to hit me in a much deeper way now…

I’m so thankful for what I have. I’ve made mistakes and have gone through some tough times so I feel truly blessed for the gifts that I’ve been given.

Things can change in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re living your life and things are rolling along with the occasional bump in the road…the next minute everything, and I mean everything, can change.

I have no right to complain. This is hard for me. I complain. I try not to, but I do. And I sure can get on the complaining bandwagon. Okay, so I do still complain. Just a lot less.

Another thing. It could happen to any of us. In most cases, we can’t do anything to stop it. And we never know when it’ll happen. This thought has plagued me lately, but I know that it’s out of my hands.

As Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote in her Missouri Ruralist column “As A Farm Woman Thinks” dated Nov. 15, 1922 :

As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness—just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day and a cool breeze when the day is warm.

Oh, we have so much to be thankful for that we seldom think of it in that way! I wish we might think more about these things that we are so much inclined to overlook and live more in the spirit of the old Scotch table blessing.

“Some hae meat wha canna’ eat
And some can eat that lack it.
But I hae meat and I can eat
And sae the Laird be thankit.”*

*From the poem “The Selkirk Grace” by Robert Burns

So, I choose to be thankful for the simple things. I realize that my problems are small compared to what others are faced with. And I know that things can change quickly and without warning. I will try harder to show my love, live my dreams, appreciate what I have been given today and realize that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

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