Cultivating Gratitude Leads To …

… a heart full of joy. And this Thanksgiving, my heart is filled with joy at the memories created on this fourth November Thursday in 2011 …

– That most sumptuous smell of roasting turkey permeating the house throughout the morning

– Beautiful blessing text messages which make me smile like none other

– Nine-year old niece hands playing with my hair while I sit and talk with Grandma, her eyes glowing as she describes learning penmanship as a little girl.

– Cheek against soft, downy baby head, and celebrating the newest family member’s first Thanksgiving with us.

– A long table around which sit so many people that I love … what a blessing big families are!

– And even more family members that live far away that we get to hear from throughout the day

– A mama who works so hard to provide the most beautiful and delicious meal for us

– A 5-year old nephew who sweetly refers to the sparkling cider as “Cinderella”

– The abundance of food in this country … on this feast-day … and the traditional arrangement of it on my plate and taste of it in my mouth.

– Washing and drying all the silver and cooking pans with mother and niece …

– That things such as the auntie’s old Barbies and her pirate hat & eyepatch are all it takes to make the little ones’ day

– Running between houses, carrying this and that … trying not to drop the games … delivering coats … holding little hands

– Three types of dessert to savor with a full cup of chai at the sister’s house … all of us sitting around the table, making goals for the next year

– The success of making a new dessert, and finding that pear tart is absolutely delicious!

– A game of Clue with a dad who inadvertently gives away all the clues … 😀

– Brother of mine strumming the guitar mellowly in the background

– A sister and brother with whom to laugh over old movies with … and subsequently fail to finish said movies with

– Finishing the day with Christmas music, candles, and more notes

– Counting all these blessings one by one … and realizing I’ll never be able to count them all … but that doesn’t stop me from numbering them, and in the process, gaining joy from each gift God has given me. This life He is allowing me to live is the most beautiful I could ask for. Praise His name … He is good. All the time.

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