“O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!” (William Shakespeare)
I eke every last little bit out of the month of November, the month of thanks. Other than the trip to the tree farm, I don’t do anything related to Christmas until the clock strikes midnight on November 30 (and I secretly judge those who do (but still love them)…except for those who are not Americans…they can do whatever they want for obvious reasons).
Actually, I do have a confession to make. Today, I bought poinsettias (I never knew there was no “t” in the first half of that word until just now when spell-check corrected me) for friends and myself for the start of December tomorrow, but mine will stay in its brown wrapper until I wake at dawn.
As I reflect tonight about my #thirtythanks for the month of November, I am somewhat surprised at what I am the most grateful for. Yes, I did write one thing each day for which I was thankful and took a picture to prove my point, but those things are NOT what is crossing the landscape of my mind.
As November draws to a close, my heart is drawn to the countless times others expressed their thankfulness and appreciation OF me TO me. I recall emails, face-to-face conversations, texts, FB messages, and phone calls where someone said thank you to me. One of my very favorite was a simple text from our son Josh the day he went back to college this past Monday.
Just that simple note reminded me that he valued me and appreciated the hard work I had put in to making our holiday nice. And there were so many other moments this past month where someone remembered to say thank you. And you know what? Every time it occurred, my heart became a little less empty and a lot more full, a little less broken and a lot more healed. What a gift! Thanksgiving heals. I imagine that’s a secret President Lincoln knew when he declared a national day of thanksgiving during a time of civil war. It brings unity where there is division, joy in the midst of sorrow, and clarity instead of confusion.
It’s why I am so passionate about it. I want more of all that’s good and healing for my heart and yours. It’s why I don’t just celebrate on the day, but I take the month of November and every #thankfulthursday during the rest of the year. It’s why I have a thankful app on my phone that puts an annoying red notification circle at 7:00 pm every night. I need the reminder because I’m human and my mind wanders to other, not-so-healed places at times. I want my life to be saturated, or as St. Paul says, “overwhelmed with thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving heals.
Thank you for all the times you have taken a moment to show your appreciation to all the different people in your life, from the clerk at the store to the spouse you might be annoyed with at the moment, from the person who teaches your children to the fallible mother who raised you, from the friend who sends you an encouraging text to the stranger who lets you pull out in front of them. You have brought so much healing through this simple act. I know what it’s done for me. And I know what it’s doing for you and those whose lives you touch.
It’s December Eve. Let’s take one more quiet moment together to reflect and allow our hearts to be filled up with all the goodness that gratitude has to offer. And then, do one more thing: find someone to say a simple thank you to as soon as you can. It will change their world forever. Thanksgiving heals.