Happy Thanksgiving! Wasn’t it a terrific day yesterday? A day full of eating and family and eating and sleeping and eating and fun! Actually, I don’t think I got an-after-lunch-nap but that’s ok.
I like my Thanksgivings best when its steeped in tradition and intentional. We can eat a turkey any day and we can over-indulge whenever we want, but to be really be Thanksgiving, this day has to be more than that.
My mom has a tradition every Thanksgiving. Its simple. Its easy. But it helps me keep Thanksgiving more than just a day about eating.
Every year my mom pulls out her hand drawn thankful turkey and carefully puts it on the wall. To begin with he looks a little sad, so bare because he doesn’t have any feathers yet. But as the days surrounding Thanksgiving pass, he is filled with colorful feathers inscribed with the blessings that we are most grateful for. Some of them say “family.” Some of them say “God.” Some of them say “my blankie.” And some of them even say, “my hot wife!” They aren’t elaborate or fancy, but they are true, heartfelt things we are grateful for.
For this first time ever, I struggled to know what to write. Not because I wasn’t grateful, but because I was so grateful for so many things I just didn’t know what to pick. We have been blessed with a beautiful home in a place that we get do what we love to do. We are constantly surrounded by good friends and family. We have so many opportunities to learn, to serve, and to grow. And while our year was so full, it was so full of blessings! I just didn’t know what to write.
As I sat there trying to decide what to put on my empty thankful feather I began to think back through this year and all the things we had done and I began to realize that what I treasure most are the moments. Those special moments you breath in deep because you know just how fleeting they can be. Those moments you pause to take it all in so you can remember the sounds and smells that wrap around you. Those moments that seem to make a place deep within your soul.
Those moments came as I stood with my kids as the heavy snowflakes drifted down from a peaceful winter storm while we were building a snowman. They came as we worked in the garden, planting, weeding and watering lending to our eventual harvest. It was in the quiet that I had those special moments when I rocked my growing baby before bed. More came as we worked together as a family to fill our yard with new grass. Some of those moments were spent late at night as we talked and laughed with our brothers and sisters.
There are so many things in this life that I wish we could have or that I could give to my family. We fill our lives with things or with moments and if I had to choose what my kids filled their lives with, it would be these moments. More than anything, I hope that they hang on to them. That they cherish them. Because all of the things that they have will slip away, but these moments are for them to keep forever.
There was no better thing for me to be thankful and to put on my feather than “the moments.” What are you thankful for in this season of gratitude? There are no wrong answers because being grateful is so much more important than what we are grateful for. If you haven’t, take a minute and look through your life and find those things that bless your life.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!
From a very grateful Rancher’s Wife