Have you ever heard that Sunday school song that goes, “We have so much, so much, so much…to be thankful for!”? Well, that song was on repeat for me this last month.
Every time I logged onto Facebook, I had another friend counting their (whatever date of the month) reason to be thankful. If you have a Facebook, you probably know what I’m talking about. Maybe you even did the whole “thankful” countdown yourself.
Personally, instead of creating a list on Facebook, I did a “thankful tree” similar to what Jayne Gautreau mentioned on a recent post (thanks, Jayne). My girls and I did it pretty faithfully and managed to eeek out 27 things we were thankful for, but wouldn’t you know? After covering the basics of faith, family and friends, I found myself reaching for things to be thankful for.
Sure, I did obvious things like our house, our girls’ daycare, etc. but the more I looked at our tree, the more holes I saw. I felt that the list wasn’t adequate; even though we had faithfully filled out a leaf every day, I still felt like I wasn’t truly appreciating all we’ve been blessed with.
It’s weird—we have so much to be thankful for, but I was struggling to come up with even the most basic thing to write down on my little hand-leaves. I mean, I’m the first to tell people how blessed I am, and it’s not just lip service. However, coming up with one specific thing every day was tough.
As I sit looking at our tree (yea, I’m pretty sure that it’ll be a fixture in the Carollo household for another month at least), I’m beginning to understand why it was so difficult for me to express in words all the things I’m thankful for.
As much as I am thankful for my girls, for Dom, our house, our new van (Oh, yea, we got one), etc., what I’m mostly thankful for are the things that can’t be adequately described on a piece of paper the size of my daughters’ hands.
So, as fun as it was to trace my squirrely little girls’ hands and play keep-away with the bottle of craft glue (all, month, long), I think that this month, I’ll try something new: Instead of searching for one thing that I’m thankful for each day, I’m going to try and reflect on all that we have, every day.
One of the things I learned doing my craft tree this last month was how much I take for granted. We hear about “the starving kids in Africa” so much that we become desensitized to it, but there are really starving kids in Africa. Kids who don’t have access to even water while my girls splash around in a tub every night pretending they’re Ariel from The Little Mermaid (or Ursula if you’re Eddaline).
I hate laundry with the fire of a thousand suns, but from start to finish, I can have a load washed and dried in a couple of hours. Some people don’t have access to electricity, much less their personal washer and dryer they can gripe about. Kind of puts it in perspective for me.
So this month, I’ve decided I’m going to try and be a lot more general in my “thankful thinking.” Instead of looking for one thing to be thankful for each day, I’m going to try and just acknowledge that there are innumerable things for me to be thankful for and hopefully that will help me sustain an attitude of gratitude.
‘Cause a thankful heart, while it’s great to have during this time of year, shouldn’t be limited to a single month on the calendar.
...what I’m mostly thankful for are the things that can’t be adequately described