Giving Thanks

by Patty Blake on Wed, 2013-11-27 14:16

Patty Blake

It’s Thanksgiving time once again. Our family plans to gather at my sister-in-law’s home on Thursday along with a few friends. There will certainly be the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

But the most important thing is just being together. If all goes according to plan, both of our daughters (and our son-in-law) will actually make it to dinner instead of having to work. I’m really looking forward to this.

Along with many other people on Facebook, I have been updating my status each day this month with something for which I am grateful. I have forgotten once or twice, but catch up as soon as I remember. It isn’t that I don’t think there’s something to be thankful for every day. In fact, sometimes I have three or four blessings to choose from … or more.

Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” is especially helpful when facing a difficult journey. It would be so easy for me to use my ALS as an excuse to complain. There certainly is plenty to gripe about. I am unable to help with any food preparation for Thanksgiving. In fact, I will need help just to eat on that day. Add to this all the other issues regarding my nearly useless hands and my difficulty conversing in a crowd of people, and we have the makings of a full on meltdown.

But those of you who know me know that I look hard to find the good. This Facebook exercise has reinforced my determination to be constantly on the lookout for blessings.

Scripture reminds us:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Colossians 3:17 NIV

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Ephesians 5:19b-20 NIV

I am grateful for so many things. Something that brings me great joy these days, as it has my whole life, is music. I praise God that ALS cannot take this away from me. Our extensive CD collection along with iTunes enable me to enjoy all my favorites. Through the Internet and YouTube, I have been enjoying getting to know various artists. I found one of my favorite hymns for this time of year, “For the Beauty of the Earth,” performed by several groups and individuals. There are many excellent versions, but this is one of my new favorites.

What an amazing planet we live on. To be sure, there is plenty of ugliness in the world, and it might be difficult to look past that sometimes. Each one of us has a choice every day. We can choose to focus on everything that’s wrong. To obsess about the state of the government, social issues, immorality, etc. There is a time and a place for such discussions. This Thursday is NOT that time. The Thanksgiving table is NOT the place. Pack away strong opinions and arguments for now. Thanksgiving is a time for love. Whoever you spend time with that day, make sure they hear gratitude in your voice, see it in your eyes and sense it in your touch. Do this and I guarantee you will have a blessed day.

However you spend this Thanksgiving day, remember to pause and give thanks for blessings both great and small.

This blog was posted originally on Nov. 25, 2013.

About the Author

Hi. I’m Patty, and I’m a wife and mom to two grown daughters, and I'm in my 50s, dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or motor neuron disease). This blog is my journey through uncharted waters. People ask me constantly how I’m doing. The short answer is “OK.” I add “so far” in my head most times. So that’s what I’m calling this little corner of the interwebz, OK, So Far. So if you’re up for it, come along on this roller coaster ride known as my life. I can’t promise much in the way of entertainment, but I’ll try not to be too boring! Thanks for stopping by.

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