We’ve just had a day of national gratitude and with the disappointments of the elections it could be easy to forget the blessings of life.  So I’m choosing to focus verbally and in my heart on the life-giving acts, people and unexpected events of this past week as a foundation for moving forward.

I spent a week drinking from the well of the life I’ve always found in the City of the Angeles with my family of choice – the Browns.  They are a family with all the challenges, dreams and hopes of any dynasty seasoned with wisdom and an immeasurable amount of love.   The matriarch and her five children, their offspring and spouses gather for Thanksgiving with choice friendships bonded by years of wonder, growth and adventure.

Preparation of Thanksgiving banquet is a three day event flavored each day by the arrival of additional members of the clan.   There is a master list with everyone’s assignments and is accompanied by multiple runs to the grocery store for an additional ingredients.  The hustle and bustle is accented by stories of past Thanksgivings and memories of events that have shaped and molded our lives.

I also had the good fortune of visiting with a high school teacher who encouraged me to sing, taught me to love the sciences and engage in all life has to offer.  It was such a blessing to reminisce and catch up with one of my life’s sculptors.

I also participated other ways of giving thanks as I talked daily with a former roommate whose husband is experiencing his last days as an earthly child of God.  We consistently thanked God for his life and the witness of their marriage and our friendship.  Being present with a family, even virtually, during a time like this is an honor and privilege for which I am grateful.

Gratitude is a quality I make an effort to embrace regardless of the circumstances.  It’s not easy but I am open to looking for and finding the sparks of grace that lead to a grateful heart.   I wonder how our world would be transformed if it were sculpted by gratitude on a daily basis instead of annually.  Focusing on blessings in our lives can give us the courage  and strength to take on the challenges we face knowing that God has not forsaken us and offer a brief respite from our trials.


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