On Gratitude

Because next week is Thanksgiving, I've been spending a lot of time thinking.  Only this year, instead of thinking solely about dishes to be served and errands to be run, I've been thinking about the Pilgrims.

I've been thinking about how their response to a year of hardship is unlike what we'd do today.

I know after a hard day I like to sit by myself, with an ice cold Coke and play Candy Crush.  Or eat chocolate.  Or (on really bad days) both.

After a year of bitter cold, losing loved ones and realizing you were in way over your head, planning a three day feast is not my first priority.  We had 13 snow days last year and I lamented the dent it put in my summer.  Gratitude was not anywhere near my mind.

Which amazes me that for the Pilgrims, the response to a year of struggle was not to blame but to bless.

And the more I think about that, the more I think I know why.

True gratitude comes out of brokenness.

When you've been hungry, you understand the worth of food.

When you've been unemployed, you understand the blessing of a job.  (I've known this first hand.)

When you've had health problems, you will never underestimate the joy of a "normal" day.  (My father suffered a stroke four years ago.  He had to re-learn many things, one of which was how to eat.  I will never forget watching him eat breakfast and him saying, "Look at me-I can chew!"  And all of us being thrilled over it.  But that's another post.)

I try really hard to make this blog humorous, sharing silly anecdotes from my classroom, but I've felt the need to write this post which has no humor at all.  I think it's because I want to remind those who are going through hard times (myself included) that while there will be hardships, there will also be a respite.

And that will make our thanksgivings even sweeter.

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