I know it's cliche, but giving thanks really is transformative.
There's another cliche, and it's the one about "mixed feelings". Not only is it cliche phraseology, it is half-true at best. The real truth is that we feel what we focus on, and we focus on what we feel. What we choose to pay attention to, and how we choose to pay attention to it, is a choice...a choice that will dictate to our hearts how we feel.
The real truth is that we cannot feel truly thankful and unhappy at the same time. If we focus on all the reasons to be grateful, we feel what we focus on. If we focus on the faults of others, or on what we perceive we lack, we feel what we focus on.
You and I can feel our way right out of boredom or discouragement. We can feel our way right out of anger or anxiety. The miracle antidote is the feeling of gratitude. Last year, I began a tradition of sorts...a November gratitude journal.
Here is the second annual Season of Harvest Gratitude Journal ~ because I want to feel what I focus on, and I need to focus on what I feel. The warmth and joy that ensues from giving thanks brightens my November afternoons, and makes me feel tranquil and privileged. I really am a daughter of privilege. My Father has given me an unfair advantage called Grace. There is nothing "balanced" about that.
...I am thankful for orange woolen yarn - it knits into such soft folds of scarf pieces or cowls or those cute fingerless gloves or even a hat.
...for the clicking of those rosewood or bamboo needles, as they obey my hands, as my hands perform the intricate task of knit and purl. I love watching my hands do it, the yarn woven in, out, around, through into something beautiful and useful.
...for half price sales at Hobby Lobby, where I picked up some adorable vintage-looking French-design wrapping paper. The wrapping paper has to speak value to the hand made gift it will soon wrap.
...that he always makes me coffee, first thing in the morning. And it's always sweet and creamy-good.
...for the miracle that is Pandora radio, streaming songs and songs and songs from the 40's right into the palm of my hand - my newest Happy Thing. (I know - I'm always two steps behind with my technology.) That 30's and 40's generation lived in such difficult and uncertain times, yet their music was so happy and positive. "You could be swingin' from a star!"
...for my vintage record player and all the Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, and Acker Bill records.
...for a certain grandbaby, who is soon to make his grand entrance. Ten years of cheek pinching, for all those times he stopped kicking just when I'd put my hand on his mommy's belly!
...for sons who serve their country.
...for being made righteous.
...the fact that I grow into righteousness, righteousness does not grow in me. I grow into the Unfathomable Gift, as I behold the Giver.
...for daughters who laugh loudly and contagiously, the sound floating up the hallway of a nest that thought it would be empty, but isn't ever.
...for a man who still takes me to the movies. (Megamind is hilarious!)