Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessing

Later this month, we will celebrate what Lincoln described as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

In 2007, President Eyring spoke about remembering the things God has done for us. He shared that every night, he would consider how he had seen the hand of God blessing his family, and he would record that.
I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
We try to do this all the time - to count our blessings, and to remember where they came from - but especially in November our hearts turn toward gratitude. In past years, I've shared my gratitude thoughts, but I think that this year, I will remember these things, and ponder them quietly in my heart.

A few months ago, I heard this poem on The Writer's Almanac. It seemed to me the perfect way to begin the Thanksgiving season - focusing on the ordinary blessings, that so often we overlook.
Ordinary Life
by Barbara Crooker

This was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
without a murmur, remembering
their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch's little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa's ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken's diminished to skin & skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
order themselves
into the winter night.
Here's an unexpected gift I came across today, while driving someone home after church:

Alamo Ave, near Nichols Rd

There is beauty everywhere, everywhere.

Thank you.

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