One of my favorite time of each year is the celebration of Thanksgiving and all that it entails. Meeting with family, friends, and relatives…eating the Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings…playing football in the cool weather then coming into a warm house and smelling all of the scrumptious food…watching NFL football games on TV…or simply going around the dinner table and listening to each person share the things that they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving is truly a time to give thanks. We have SO MUCH that we should be thankful for but sometimes, we can forget just how much we have been blessed. The following story, that was conveyed by Cary Schmidt, is a cute little story that (I hope) will serve as a reminder to the many blessings that we have been given.
Two old friends met each other on the street one day. One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”
The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you: three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”
“That’s a lot of money.”
“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”
“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”
“You don’t understand!” he interrupted. “Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”
Now the man’s friend was really confused. “Then, why do you look so glum?”
“This week . . . nothing!”
That’s a problem with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it. The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it almost as an entitlement. We feel hurt, even angry if we don’t receive it any longer.
It is the same way with the blessings God gives us every day. I don’t deserve the comfortable home that I live in, the beautiful scenery around me, the clean water I drink. But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful. I’ve come to expect these good things. And when one of them is removed for a short time (like water or electricity or the internet going down), I get upset.
Let’s make an effort today to recognize the blessing we’ve come to take for granted. Focus on what we have rather than on what we don’t have, and see if it doesn’t improve our attitudes.
I have always felt that the one thing in the world that make people truly the happiest, is when they do and give things to other people. How many times that you remember, have you felt really good about yourself, when you have helped someone? Said an encouraging word? Giving thanks for everything that you have?….or maybe just a small thing? Gratitude and Thanksgiving…both words go hand together…or like Forest Gump would say, “Like peas and carrots.”
I decided to find some inspiring quotes from all kinds of people, to hopefully, encourage you, enlighten your soul, or inspire you to say “thank you” or help someone today. Make it a goal of yours to show gratitude and compassion to at least one person every day!
“There is joy without gratitude” ~ Brene Brown
“At times our own flame goes out, and is rekindled by a spark from another person… Each of us had cause to think, with great gratitude, of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~ Karl Barth
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them>” ~ John F. Kennedy
“When you love what you have, you have everything you need.” ~ Unknown (one of my favorites though 🙂
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more>” Oprah Winfrey
“Nothing os more honored than a grateful heart.” ~ Seneca
“Gratitude and Thanksgiving is more than an attitude, it’s a lifestyle.” ~ Jenni Mullnix
“If the only prayer you ever say is “Thank You”, that would be enough.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” ~ Unknown
“I’m thankful for every moment.” ~ Al Green
“No one has ever become poor from giving.” ~ Maya Angelou
“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” ~ Charlie Brown
This picture really does speak 1,000 words and it should touch the heart and spirit of each one of us. This is a picture, taken by Mike Wells, of a little Ugandan boy whose hand is being held by a missionary.
This should serve as a great reminder to all of us, as to how “rich and blessed” a lot of us really are. There are many things that we take for granted…nice homes, cars, families, jobs, good health, food, etc. We all should take a moment out of time, everyday, to give thanks for all that we have!
Millions of people around the world believe in a greater, powerful being. For the individuals that don’t share that belief, then, unfortunately, today’s poem is not for you…or is it? There are many things that we don’t know about God but we do believe that He takes care and loves us unconditionally. The following poem is meant to give you something to think about and well as be thankful for the blessings that have.
What if, GOD couldn’t take the time to bless us today because
we couldn’t take the time to thank Him yesterday?
What if, GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because
we didn’t follow Him today?
What if, we never saw another flower bloom because
we grumbled when GOD sent the rain.
What if, GOD didn’t walk with us today because
we failed to recognize it as His day?
What if, GOD took away the Bible tomorrow because
we would not read it today?
What if, GOD took away His message because
we failed to listen to the messenger?
What if, GOD didn’t send His only begotten Son because
He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin.
What if, the door of the church was closed because
we did not open the door of our heart?
What if, GOD stopped loving and caring for us because
we failed to love and care for others?
What if, GOD would not hear us today because
we would not listen to Him yesterday?
What if, GOD answered our prayers
the way we answer His call to service?
What if, GOD met our needs
the way we give Him our lives???
I recently came across a heartwarming story written by Charles Rogers, that I thought would be a beautiful tale to share. It shows us once again, how sometimes, despite millions of people that celebrate Thanksgiving each year, there are still untold numbers of people that are lonely and hurting.
But it can also be a time of sharing and helping others…and sometimes, one act of kindness can have an impact on someone’s life that could last a long time!
There was a time when old-time Canarsien Ned Caro, who is now 85, celebrated Thanksgiving Day just like the rest of us: with turkey and trimmings and family, and even giving a friendly toast to those pilgrims of long ago. Thanksgiving was a happy event – then.
However, things changed two years ago when his wife of sixty years passed away. “Things will never be the same,” he said, rightfully in the depths of depression. The loneliness was almost unbearable, but Ned knew his religion would see him through. “The Lord has a way of helping people like me,” he said. “I know it now because of what He did for me.”
A long time ago, Ned was the owner of a popular bar at the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road, right in the heart of Canarsie, so he was used to listening to stories (“It goes with the job,” he would say). He was also used to telling stories (“That went with the job too, if you came into my place,” he added).
He then proceeded to tell his Thanksgiving story, preceding it with the notation that his late wife’s name was Rose. “Rosie,” he called her.
“My beautiful Rosie was kinda sick about six or seven years ago,” he said. “She was in her seventies and I was almost eighty and getting around wasn’t too easy, so we were getting Meals on Wheels at the time.
“Well, one day the Meals on Wheels person delivered the food and Rosie opened the Styrofoam containers the lunch was packed in and found a note in one of the boxes from the person who packed them, a six-year-old girl by the name of Erin Cohen from West-chester. The note said, ‘Whoever receives this box…please write to me. I am six years old and I would like to hear from you and I will write back.'”
Ned said Rose was “happily surprised” and sat down and read the note over and over, finally saying to him, “I think I’ll write to her.”
Rose took up her pen and note paper and sent off a thank you note to six-year-old Erin Cohen of Westchester, telling her who she and Ned were, where they were from and few insignificant details. She didn’t necessarily feel she’d get a reply, but nevertheless, she asked for one.
“And don’t you know? An answer came the very next week,” Ned said. “Rose was as pleased as she could be and that very night she sat down and answered the nice letter she got from Erin. She told her about me and our son and about how things were here in Canarsie. You know. All the basic stuff.”
She sent off the letter and nervously waited to see if the youngster would continue the correspondence.
Needless to say, she did, and sent along a photo of herself, leading to more exchanges and, eventually, a few phone calls.
Unfortunately, they never met face-to-face, though. According to Ned, the drive was “just too much” for him to try. And Erin’s parents – her father, Lawrence, is a veterinarian and her mother, Diane, an interior decorator- couldn’t make it either. Both parties promised they’d get together “soon”…and the time just went…
On March 27, 2004, at the age of 79, Rosie passed away. Ned was devastated, and, after a reasonable period, called Erin’s parents, telling them, “I really don’t know how to tell Erin that her corresponding friend is gone.” They said they would take care of it for him.
“And what do you think if I continue the correspondence from now on?” he asked.
“That would be wonderful!”
In the summer, as Ned and Erin wrote to each other, Erin’s father invited Ned to join them for dinner at a restaurant near Canarsie where he met Erin, now 12 years old.
“We talked for hours and really hit it off,” he said, excitedly. “We had a beautiful day together.”
As time went on, Ned met with the family every now and then for lunch or dinner on a weekend.
Last September, the family sent him a special invitation to Erin’s bat mitzvah, which he had to turn down.
“I don’t drive now,” Ned answered when they called him.
“I’ll pick you up, take you to our house in Westchester and take you home,” said Mr. Cohen. “How would that be?”
“Just about perfect,” was the answer.
“The story doesn’t end there,” Ned Caro said. “Hopefully, the story will continue for a long, long time because this year they invited me to come to share Thanksgiving dinner with their whole family. This year Thanksgiving will be something special to remember. Again they’ll pick me up and take me home. I mean, last year I was pretty lonely, but this year – especially at this time of year – I’ll break bread with Erin and my ‘other’ family. It’ll be almost like it used to be.
May your stuffing be tasty May your turkey plump, May your potatoes and gravy Have nary a lump. May your yams be delicious And your pies take the prize, And may your Thanksgiving dinner Stay off your thighs!
Every once in a while, I come across a short story or illustration that reminds me of things that I may have forgotten…such was the case when I found this brief tale. It made me remember really how fortunate that I am and how important it is to always give thanks and be thankful!
I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.
My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, ‘This Is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are Received.’
I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.
Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.
The angel then said to me, ‘This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.’
I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth
Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the Door of a very small station To my great surprise, only one angel was Seated there, idly doing nothing.
‘This is the Acknowledgment Section,’ My angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed ‘How Is it that there is no work going on here?’ I asked.
‘So sad,’ the angel sighed. ‘After people receive the blessings that they asked For, very few send back acknowledgments .’
‘How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?’ I asked.
‘Simple,’ the angel answered. Just say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’
‘What blessings should they acknowledge? ‘ I asked..
‘If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy .’
‘And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity. ‘
Also ‘ If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day .’
‘If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation .. You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.’ ;
‘If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people In the world .’
‘If your parents are still alive and still married …you are very rare .’
‘If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair.’
Ok, what now? How can I start?
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
This is a re-post of a story that I posted a year or so ago on another blog of mine that was written by Steve Goodier.
At first it sounded like a Thanksgiving story, but the more I reflected on it, the more appropriate it seemed for any time of the year. The way I heard it, the story went like this:
Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment — to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.
Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.
But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.
Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.
His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went — until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.
When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”
She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.” Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.
Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.
The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.
Thanksgiving is without question, one of my favorite holidays of the year. There is nothing nicer than being outside either watching or playing a football in the crisp fall air, then returning indoors, into a house that is warm and filled with the mouth-watering smells of a cooking turkey, various pies, stuffing, and other tasty foods. Laughing, talking, and spending our time with our family, friends and loved ones is simply priceless.
As much as I enjoy sharing my own personal memories with you, I thought, a week or so ago, that it would be an interesting idea to ask my fellow bloggers what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving might be. The following accounts are what some of them decided to share with you! I would like to ask you to visit their blogs when you have a moment.
A few things my husband never fails to remind me of, every single Thanksgiving:
1. the time I cooked the turkey with the giblets packet still inside the bird. I thought I got everything out. I don’t even eat turkey–I’m vegan! He thought it was strange they didn’t include the innards to make gravy…
2. The first time I cooked our turkey, I roasted it upside down. It was crazy trying to watch that little thing pop up to let me know the bird was done..
3. The time my husband tried to ‘help’ me take the bird out of the oven. I think a tad bit of the pain touched his arm–and he dropped the entire pan on the floor. Turkey and drippings EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, the pan wasn’t the only thing that was hot.
Time with family–without pressure of gifts, lounging around on a couch stuffed bigger than the turkey until my aunt decides that it’s time for a family walk around the neighborhood. Stuffing, cranberries, bread, turkey, wine, yams, and everyone saying what he or she is thankful for.
Being the middle child, I’ve lived in the shadow of my older and younger sisters. Yet one of my talents shines through on Thanksgiving and I feel special, even irreplaceable. I make the best challah (Jewish egg braided bread) anyone has ever eaten. It’s simply not Thanksgiving without “Lorna’s bread.” I’m very grateful for the bread, the fact that everyone enjoys it so much, and for the yearly recognition!
My Favorite Thing About Thanksgiving Is the memory of my dad teaching me to carve a turkey. We would work on it together and because I was his helper I got to be the first to taste the turkey as we worked. He was second to taste, thats the kind of person he was letting his assistant have the first taste! We would carve the whole turkey at once so we were done with it for the day, my mom would immediately put the carcass in the big pot of water for turkey soup. What a wonderful skill to have, I often volunteer to carve the turkey at gatherings and I have gotten very fast over the years. Each time I carve a turkey I remember those days of sharing the task with my dad and the two of us sneaking tastes of the turkey as we worked.
Macy’s parade on TV, followed by the dog show…the ONE day dinner is AT the table with family (and often including friends, who’d otherwise be alone)…also, last year, passing the “torch” to my daughter, to do the “honors” of cooking the meal in HER home was a proud moment for me!
When I think of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of the smell of homemade dressing baking in the oven. It’s an old family recipe that’s been passed down from my great-grandmother. Grandma and Mom made it every year: sautéing onions and celery, mixing with bread crumbs and turkey broth and then preparing it into little patties that they would bake and place on a platter. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it!
I’m thankful for family and good food. Being from a family that loves sports, we always take in a few football games. There are lots of spectacular games this time of the year as teams play their rivals and a lot is on the line.
When dinner was done, my PopPop would sit at the head of the table and I would occupy his lap. Nana placed the turkey carcass in front of us and he would tell me stories while we picked it clean. He is gone now, and I am much older, but I have never forgotten that time with him, feeling like the Princess of the Thanksgiving table.
Thanksgiving conjures up many, many heartwarming memories for many of us. We all have favorite things about this delicious holiday. So, I decided that it would be sort of fun to ask YOU…my friends and fellow bloggers…
What is YOUR favorite thing or experience of Thanksgiving?
Please send me your thoughts and within the week, I will write up a blog that will include your favorite thoughts, memories, and a free link to your page!!
So, sit back..think about what you may want to share about Thanksgiving with others…then let me know!! That’s all there is to it!
Thanks for your time.
I am looking forward to hearing from many of you!!
The Thanksgiving season is here and there is much to be thankful for. I decided to do something different this year. I put out a question to my Word Press and personal friends of mine, and asked them to share with us something that they are thankful for in either a few words or a sentence or two. The following quotes are from the dear people that decided to share their thoughts with everyone. It is my hope and prayer that some of these quotes (whether it be one, some or all of them) will be an encouragement to your heart.
I am so thankful for my two handsome sons, a beautiful wife, and the wonderful life that the good Lord has blessed with. ~ Me, Coach Muller
One thing? I have at least two. I’m thankful for a support and everything my parents did for me and doing..and for patience of my husband….as I’m not a sweetie all the time J ~ Anastasiias ~ Blog:
I am thankful for his guiding me out of a depression and placing many new friends on my life’s path, as well as old friends, to help him with that. I call them my earth angels. I am also thankful that He protects my family from serious injuries or worse. ~ Elaine ~ Blog: Elaine’s Random Thoughts
I am thankful for all of the sacrifices that my mom and dad made to make my life easier (paid for my BA/MA–and gave me the tools to pay for my next degree). I am thankful for all of the furrbabies I have known that have given comfort to my soul: Samantha my childhood horse (we had her for 30 years), Gypsy, Fred, Lady, Aubrey, Charlie, Dulce, Hannah, and even crazy Chloe–who was not long for our world. And all of the rescues in between. They have all touched me in powerful ways and made me a better person. ~ Sandra ~ Blog: A Promise to Dad
I am thankful for being born into this life, with all its craziness and challenges! ~ Julianne Victoria ~ Blog: Through the Peacock’s Eyes
I am thankful for the life I have been given, the values my parents taught me, the random acts of kindness that happen when we least expect them, and most particularly for my wife of 51 years that showed me how smart I was by letting me marry her. ~ Oldmainer ~ Blog: Oldmainer
I am thankful for my blog: sounds weird perhaps, but it has opened up a whole new world to me. ~ Uncle Spike ~ Blog: Uncle Spike’s Adventures
I am thankful for Skip, my husband… hero… best friend, and for our 3 Pups. They are all I have left in this big, old world as my son, Tommy… died 3 years ago. Thank-you for letting me ‘tell the world’ how thankful I am. ~ Gloria aka Granny Gee ~ Blog: Grannyscolorful
I am thankful for life ~ Kiwiskan ~ Blog: Kiwissoar
I am thankful to all the women who suffered through breast cancer before me, which helped create a seamless treatment programs – without them, the system would not work the way it does today! For the “headaches” I didn’t have to live through, I am thankful for them. ~ Tkmorin ~ Blog: Bite Size Canada
I have been blessed, although I have recently lost my job, I am thankful for all my friends, family, badminton Girls… I am thankful that I still have a place to live in and food to eat, clean clothes to wear… There are so many things I am grateful for I could go on and on and on. ~ Claudette ~ Blog:
I am both thankful and grateful that we can walk by faith trusting Romans 8-28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose and that God loves us in spite of our things and stuff. ~ Ann “afriend4ever54” Friend ~ Blog: AfriendofJESUS2013Blog
I am thankful for the relationship I have with The Lord and for His love for me. Those two things help me to be thankful for everything else. ~ Skye ~ Blog: The Sanctuary of My Heart
There are many things that I am thankful for, but there’s only one thing that I can’t live without – God’s unconditional love, grace and forgiveness. In this messed up world, what a comfort it is to know that there is one we can all trust as our Father, Savior, and of course – as a friend. ~ Teri4sure ~ Blog: A Change-N-Me
I thank Jesus Christ, the Shepherd of my soul. “I once was lost but now am found. ~ Especially Me ~ Blog: Especially Me
The Peace in my heart and health ~ Ted E. ~ Personal Friend
Jesus! Eternal life and family & dear friends. ~ Cathy T. ~ Personal Friend
For today. ~ Elizabeth C. ~ Personal Friend
I am grateful for the purring of my cat. The best sound ever. ~ Franhunne4u ~ Blog: Inhannover
the ever-present “ability” we have to (no matter our age) to go back to school, learn new skills, and make a positive change not only for ourselves, but for others…God is GOOD! ~ Karen R. ~ Personal Friend
My salvation & that the Lord saves all my tears. He understands my heartache. ~ Jana J. ~ Personal Friend
I’m thankful that this is only my “temporary home”. ~ Nancy T. ~ Personal Friend
I am thankful for my husband, kids, friends, and especially old schools friends who always make me laugh! ~ Cynthia M. ~ Personal Friend
I am thankful that my son and I have reconnected after almost 10 years of troubled times. This second chance for both of us is a precious gift. ~ Jenna Dee~ Blog: Jenna Dee
I am thankful that God never changes. He stays the same and is there each day we breath, read, think, and enjoy. Even when we breathe our last breath on earth, He is with us and accepts us to be with Him forevermore. ~ Mark S. ~ Blog: This Day With God