Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

I’ve seen those words together so many times before, even printed on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts. I truly know what they mean, for I am all three.

We enjoyed a busy Thanksgiving Day in our home. It was full of food and family, and one more recent tradition — watching the National Dog Show. This year was particularly exciting for me because my favorite breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, won for the Herding Group! I‘ve never owned a dog, but if in retirement I find myself on a small farm (apparently a growing possibility, if you ask my hubby), a Corgi may enter the picture. At least, there is one in my imagination, sitting beside me on the front porch as I sip my morning coffee. 🙂

But that will have to wait for a future post . . .

I am thankful. We were feeling especially blessed to have Mom with us this Thanksgiving. She had emergency surgery last Monday to implant a pacemaker, and is feeling so much better now. And since everyone was home for the holiday —including our son, who drove all the way from Flagstaff, AZ — we decided to decorate our Christmas tree while the turkey roasted. We have learned that when a loved one has dementia, you make the most of every  moment. Even though they may not remember, don’t miss the opportunity to see them smile while making your own family memories.

I am grateful. We took our time at the table, savoring the delicious dinner and a rare moment when our entire family was all together sharing a meal. Mom didn’t say a word, but listened to our conversation and ate every last bite of food on her plate. We talked about past holidays and laughed at stories from our childhood. My brother and I often search our mother’s face for a glimmer of recognition, but receive only a faint smile. He pats her shoulder and reassures her, “It’s okay, Mom.” She was too tired for dessert, so my brother took two slices of pie to go, and drove her back to the nursing home.

I am blessed. After the dishes were done and the leftovers were packed away, I gratefully settled in for three days of rest. The next morning, I stayed in my PJs until late morning, enjoying the peace and quiet while everyone else slept in. I love weekend mornings for the solitude. It is my coffee time, my quiet time. I purposely avoided the Black Friday madness, opting instead for a bit of armchair shopping and a cranberry orange scone. I even enjoyed the cold, rainy Saturday that followed, particularly because I had nowhere to go.

I have learned that giving thanks is a daily practice that extends far beyond a festive table laden with food. I am thankful, grateful, and blessed for and by a God who loves me and continues to guide me through each day, no matter what it brings. Every dawn that breaks is a new opportunity to give gratitude to Him, and also seek new ways to share my many blessings with others.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭100:4‬