I enjoy Thanksgiving very much. The time with family, the delicious food, the warmth of hearth and home. Besides the obvious name of the holiday, I find it easy to give gratitude this time of year.
This year seems especially necessary to show gratitude for what I have been given. This has been a year that has shown me more than any before how truly blessed and fortunate that I am. I have a healthy daughter. I have money to take care of my wants and needs. I have health and youth. I appreciate the work that I do and the lives that I touch. So many persons in this world have to struggle against so much adversity, that does not shadow my doorstep. I am truly grateful for that.
However, my gratitude is ever more heightened this year for another reason. I spent one morning this week at my local University, at an annual prayer breakfast that they have every year right before Thanksgiving. And, as the President of the University spoke that morning, she talked about the fact that gratitude, in and of itself, is quite powerful indeed. However, she was describing the fact that she was also joyful on that day; for when one is showing gratitude, it is impossible to be despondent at the same time. The emotion that goes together with gratitude, is joy.
I thought about that for a long time after driving away that morning. Joy in our gratitude. How true is that. For a heart that is filled with gratitude for what I have, for the lessons that I have learned, even for the challenges that I have faced, is also a joyful heart, for being that present for such gifts.
I am truly blessed.