Maria A. Mansfield
On Being Thankful
When we moved to America, I adopted the American Thanksgiving Holiday as our own because I really enjoy this holiday and everything about it.
I love how families gather over a gourmet feast and ponder over the blessings they all received that year. Giving thanks has always been very important to me, so naturally, I love this holiday.
Looking back, my first Thanksgiving meal was sheer beginner’s luck! A lady at the store had explained to me in great detail, how she fixed her turkey. I tried to remember everything she said -plus I cooked up all the sides she had mentioned. I was going to do Thanksgiving right!
What I didn’t consider was how much food this whole meal represented! After I served all the dishes on the table, I realized I’d cooked a whole turkey with all the fixings for just my husband, my two-year-old son and myself. Ok, I was seven months pregnant -but still! A ton of food was still over, even after second helpings. Don’t get me wrong. I was extra grateful for the bounty but it was all too much! Especially by the time I had to pack it all back into our refrigerator. We must have had turkey for two weeks solid! I’m not even kidding.
But seriously, doesn’t that sound just like us in real life, sometimes? We get to enjoy so much bounty here in America. We have access to so many things, every day that we don’t even know it. We work so hard to get it all, do it all and see it all! -And then what?
After we’ve posted all our photos on social media, and received two hundred and eighty likes, the event we worked so hard for is over, the vacation we planned for months went by in a flash and now, we still need to pay the credit cards! Before we know it, half our life has gone by rushing and stressing over things that weren’t that important, it’s just that “we really wanted to have it all and experience it all!”
What if we could remember how simple the first Thanksgiving was and just how unsophisticated the occasion. If we could stop and think for a minute that everything we have is really a gift from God.
Yes, I know you’re thinking: “But I paid for it!” -And didn’t He also give us our job, the knowledge and the connections to get it? He has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others as well.
James 1:17 says: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...” -I know I had to read it again too, because I thought it was going to say Amazon, The Mall or Target. But it doesn’t. It actually says: “from above, from the Father of lights...” How refreshing it is to be reminded of this!
This Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for what really matters in our life because they’re all gifts from God.
Like being thankful for our families. Whether we’re married or single. Thankful for our spouse or partner who loves us. Thankful for our kids, -at whatever stage they’re at.
Grateful for our parents, if we still have them, how important to take time to go see them and tell them what a blessing they are to us.
Always thankful for friends who love and encourage us. Grateful for strangers who were kind to us when we needed help.
Thankful for our jobs -even if they might not be all we hoped for. At least we have them.
Let’s be thankful for our health because it’s really fragile. Let’s not forget to be grateful for the simple things that make our days enjoyable.
Thankful for every opportunity to serve others, because there’s greatness in humility. Let’s be grateful for our freedom and the sacrifices of so many who have protected our country.
Even thankful for the adversity in our life, which makes us stronger and more resilient. Grateful for the gifts of joy, love, kindness, and laughter we can enjoy freely every day.
On this day, grateful to God for giving us life and all of our blessings.
I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!
All the best,
Maria A. Mansfield
Author: “LIFE IS WORTH GETTING BETTER”