Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Reflections

Before I share my thoughts for today, I'd like to remember our soldiers scattered across the world who are sacrificing being with their families and loved ones today. I wish I could thank each and every one of them for their dedication and courage, and the sacrifices they make for their country every day.

This is how a lot of them are spending their Thanksgiving Day ...

May God bless them and keep them safe, and let them know we are ever mindful and grateful for their service.

To every thing there is a season, and along with the Thanksgiving season comes a time for reflection. It is a time of gathering … a time of remembering loved ones who are no longer with us … a time of sharing memories of Thanksgivings Past … and a time to "praise God from whom all blessings flow."

But sometimes when counting our blessings, we overlook, or take for granted, the little blessings of life that we receive every day. They are there, all around us, just for the taking. All we have to do is slow down and listen and open our eyes and senses to receive them.

I think I have become more appreciative of these little blessings as a result of my passion for photography. The smell of roses, or honeysuckle, or sweet olive drifting around me as I photograph them, or discovering a lady bug snuggled within the petals of a flower, dew drops clinging to the petals of an exquisite magnolia blossom ... those are small, but oh, so sweet, blessings.

I am an early riser, and every morning, just before daybreak, I am serenaded by song birds outside my office window, announcing the dawn of a new day. That's a blessing, folks.

And the beautiful sound of church bells tolling the noon hour, as we go about our busy days ... a sound that never ceases to give me chill bumps when I hear it. How about you -- do you hear them?

Are you inspired by a beautiful sunset through your windshield on your drive home from work? Or are you caught up in the stresses of the day and worrying about getting home to fix dinner?

One of the most precious sounds to me is our granddaughter's sweet voice. I am blessed each and every time she bows her little head and puts her heart and soul into saying the blessing for us, or saying her bedtime prayers. And the sweet sound of her singing or humming just melts my heart. All of these little blessings are just a part of one of our greatest blessings in life ... a little girl named Avery Grace.

Here are a few more things I think of as little everyday blessings ...

The night music of crickets and tree frogs in the summertime (which may be considered a nuisance by some, but is a comforting and peaceful sound to me. When I was a little girl and spent the night with my grandmother, she used to tuck me into bed at night, turn off the lamp, and say, "Shhhhh ... let's listen to the night music.")

The sparkle and wonder in a child's eyes at Christmastime

Watching butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumble bees as they flit from flower to flower, drinking the sweet nectar God made for them

The beauty, grace, and tranquility of falling snow (not something we get to enjoy much here in Mississippi)


Beams of sunlight bouncing off a lake, sparkling like diamonds

The joy of seeing a deer and her little ones feeding on the side of a road

I could go on and on ... God's glory and blessings are all around us, every day and night. And as we come together today to praise Him and to thank Him for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us, let us remember to thank Him for the little blessings, too.


racheld said...

You are every day on my list of GRATEFULS. And WAY more than a small one.

Have a wonderful day with your beautiful family!!


Deb said...

that is a wonderful post...Happy Thanksgiving...I am happy I found your blog....

Anonymous said...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING JANIE!!! Your journaling today is beautiful! I too enjoy and appreciate all that you mentioned; in fact crickets get into our basement every year and although they startle me when I do laundry I appreciate the seranade and will never "step" on one!! You already know I rise early as well and appreciate the sunrise on the drive to work as well as the smell of fresh coffee and the sunset on the way home make the workday bearable!!lol Right now it is the anticipation of an overdue dinner with my daughter and the abundance in my kitchen that is making me feel very blessed! Now if the turkey cooperates today's blessings will be complete!! Enjoy your weekend - talk soon. Sincerely, Jeannette

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, I am singing in the Amen Chorus on this entire post. There is so much to be thankful for.

Instead of being upset that our plans went awry today and that we couldn't be in NC as planned, I determined to have a lovely time wiht Mr. Magpie on a "date." And we did have a great time. We took the camera with us and got wonderful shots of all the hard work the hotel staff had done, and I am thankful for them because the Casa Monica's 95 Cordova puts on such a fabulous feast! They were set to serve 800 people today! It is an all day affair.

When we were seated, we were seated next to a precious couple from Orlando with two little toe-headed boys who were darling. The husband was from Louisiana, so we had much to discuss. Just loved sitting with them, and we all had a blast together. The children were perfect angels (ages five and six) and so well behaved. It was one of the most relaxing and fun Thanksgivings I've ever spent.

Sending you much love across the miles...


Sheila :-)

Tonja said...

This is a beautiful post! Your kind and loving heart shows through your words. Your appreciation of the 'best things in life' is evident! This post blessed me.