Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Thanks

Oh Thou, who has given us o much, mercifully grant us one more thing -- a grateful heart. (George Herbert)
That quotation hangs on our kitchen wall above the breakfast table. And I think we are a pretty thankful lot in our house. Our kids have learned to thank others for the kindnesses they perform. We thank one another for preparing dinner, for doing chores.

My ten year old daughter often says prayers that are only thank-you prayers, something that really touches me.

We practiced a long-standing family tradition for Thanksgiving this year. The first Family Night of November, we introduce the Thankful Turkey -- a box with a turkey head and tail, and with a slot in the top. The idea is that we should spend the month writing things we're thankful for, and then we read them at Thanksgiving dinner. We also invite guests who come to dinner to contribute their thanks to the turkey.

There were sixteen of us at dinner this year, including out of town visitors. The thank-yous ran the gamut from the general (six or seven "family" entries) to the very specific (thanks for the Relief Society sisters who provided meals while my wife was recuperating from back surgery this month) and everything in between. It was fun to have everyone take turn drawing a slip from the box and reading it. One of the kids even penned thank-yous from our dog Molly and the cousins' dog Owen who was also visiting for the day!

My thanks are wide ranging, too. For specific blessings such as my wife's progress in her recovery from surgery to my children's success in their endeavors to my own continuing employment to the blessings of the gospel in our lives to a home with heat and protection from the elements to plenty of food to eat to the genuine love I feel for my family.

It's amazing the blessings I enjoy. And it's wonderful to take a few days and concentrate on those instead of the challenges (I enjoy plenty of those, too).

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