I woke up early this morning, earlier than usual, earlier than the rest of the house. The skies outside are grey and damp, hiding the sun that is trying to rise. I can see that the yard is wet and the trees are dripping from last night's cold rain. The house is quiet but for the quiet hum of the furnace and the soft, insistent meowing of the cat awaiting her breakfast. This is a magical time of the day, one that comes rarely for this so-not-a-morning-person, and I want to capture it, hold on to it, and remember it forever.
Because this is a moment, on this very special holiday, to reflect on my blessings. So many reasons to be thankful. So many joys that I've been given in life. While I've often tried to maintain a grateful heart on a daily basis, it turns out that in practice that is much harder to do than it is to intend to do. Too many busy days with too many full calendars, too many obligations, too many frustrations -- all this gets in the way of gratitude. Somehow life rolls along, and if we're not careful, we miss it.
So when a special moment like this one comes along, I have to stop. Be still. Take it in. Life is good. God is good. I am blessed beyond expression. I love and I am loved. That's what it all comes down to.
So, before the family wakes up, before the kitchen becomes a blur of pots and pans and chopped vegetables and turkey parts, before the football games come on -- before "Thanksgiving Day" starts -- I will celebrate my own thanksgiving. I am filled up and overflowing with gratitude and joy.
Thank You, God, for all that You have given me.