The beauty of gratitude

What a great gift to have a whole feast day dedicated to giving thanks! I’m relishing the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving while we’re here in the States. It might even be a tradition we take home to New Zealand with us!

This year we’re hosting Thanksgiving and are having two friends from church over to eat with us. I’ve had fun preparing the menu, and I’ve already done a heap of prep today — that way I will hopefully not feel rushed tomorrow. It’s been fun learning what are ‘traditional’ foods, and I’ve tried to stick to a traditional Thanksgiving menu. I hope to share some photos with you next week.

There are many things to be thankful for this year, and I thought I’d list a few. Gratitude is contagious!

I’m thankful for the free gift of salvation from sin. To be adopted as a child of God is just such an extravagant gift received that it calls for an entire life lived in thankfulness!

I’m thankful for my steadfast, honourable husband and for our marriage that just seems to get better every year.

I’m thankful for two healthy, busy, happy children. They bring us great joy. They are also chief instruments in my sanctification!

I’m very thankful that all the tests and monitors on my heart came back clear. There is nothing wrong with my heart, according to the doctors. They’re all shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads about the cause of those miserable symptoms I had for months. Those symptoms are gone, for whatever reason, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

I’m thankful it is not this time last year. Good health is something we can not take for granted.

I’m thankful for the many visitors we had in our home for meals and visits over the last year. They have all enriched our lives.

I’m thankful for the time we’ve been able to spend in the States. It has opened my eyes to new things. I’ve loved being able to discover New York (and we’ve hardly scratched the surface!). It’s been an great experience so far.

I’m thankful that our time to go home draws nearer. It’s a mixed-feelings type of thankful, though. I will leave some very dear friendships behind. Thankfully we will be able to stay in contact via email/skype.

I’m very thankful that Marica and I have the opportunity to be able to attend Jeremy and Lillian’s wedding in January. It will be a bit of a whirlwind trip — there and back in 10 days, but I’m sure it will be totally worth it!

I’m thankful for a new perspective on Thankfulness. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp opened my eyes to the miracle of thankfulness in a new way.

I’m thankful to live in a country (both here and back home) where I’m free to serve God without persecution.

I’m thankful for a warm home when the weather turns cold. In fact, the building’s heating system is sometimes so hot we have to open the windows a crack!

I’m thankful for my camera. I’m practically in love with it.

I’m thankful that my list of things to be thankful for is so long that I could continue for many more pages! But I have to stop now, Marica is hanging out to watch The Swiss Family Robinson.  :-)

Thankgiving should not just be one day in the year, it should be an everyday thing. Gratitude in all circumstances radically alters the way you view the world and it’s the best weapon to use when discontent creeps up on you. Writing that is a good reminder to myself too!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful time wherever you are.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!

5 thoughts on “The beauty of gratitude

  1. Amen! I’m thankful you both will be able to make it to our wedding too! You know it might not have happened if it weren’t for your encouragement in the beginning :)

  2. I, too, love the idea of gratitude! I am thankful for many things, and you are included in that list! I a happy I have met you and your family. I will certainly miss you guys when you leave. Have a happy Thanksgiving! I am off to go make a lemon meringue pie, deviled eggs, and a delicious cucumber-green pepper-avocado-tomato salad. DELISHKIS IN MY KISHKIS!! Hugs and love from me and my family to you and yours!

  3. Amongst other things, I’m really glad to hear that your heart symptoms all have cleared up, as well as the doctor’s finding nothing untoward!

  4. I loved reading this, Franci. As you say, gratitude is contagious.
    I had to re-read your exciting episode from “this time last year.” It was good to be reminded of that ‘story’.
    Mum

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