27 Nov
2014
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The Abundance of Thanksgiving

Four children baking in the kitchen

I spent yesterday in a kitchen with four kids baking and prepping food for the feast we’ll share with friends today. Christmas music was our soundtrack of choice. The counters were sticky. Crumbs littered the floor. Every single mixing bowl I own was dirty. The sink was full of dishes waiting to be cleaned. It was perfect.

When I give myself time to truly reflect on what I’m thankful for, my breath catches. I live in a house with on-demand water, reliable electricity, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. We own not one, but two vehicles. If those were to fail, there are six bicycles in the shed. We have the ability to easily get from one place to another. We’re well-enough to walk for miles at a time, even run if we wanted.

I have freedoms other people in the world are willing to face prison time for, or even death. These freedoms are made possible by those who defend our country on a daily basis. Each person in our home owns a Bible, and we attend the church of our choosing without repercussions.  I not only have one refrigerator stocked with food, but there is a second one in the garage, along with a standing freezer. There are cabinets in the kitchen with supplies to cook and bake for my family. I have dishes, utensils, cooking pots, oven and dishwasher. I have never truly been more than inconvenienced by hunger.

Each morning I have choices to make with what I want to wear and the means to wash and dry clothes after they’re worn. We each own multiple coats to wear depending on the weather. There are hats and gloves in abundance. I own more than one pair of shoes.

I have options to educate my children. There are various schools they can attend, or I could educate them myself. We live in a country where I can read the books I want and go to a public library to get them. My kids play on athletic teams, take music lessons, build LEGO robots and dance at a studio. We travel, watch movies at the theatre, eat at restaurants, attend sporting events and visit museums.

All six of us have health insurance and various doctors invested in our health. We have preventative care options with our food and health choices.

I’m even grateful for social media. The big world we live in seems much smaller with a screen to view it through. It amazes me that I can send a message to China or Europe right now and potentially hear back within a few minutes. I could get on a plane and fly to those places. There are people, places and ideas (for better or worse) that wouldn’t be available were it not for the Internet and social media outlets.

I’m grateful today that I will sit around a table with family and friends and share a day of thanksgiving and plenty. I’m thankful for people who had the courage to cross an ocean to the unknown and make it work. It’s not a perfect life in a perfect world, but my daily world is full of abundance in ways big and small. I have much to be thankful for, and not just on Thanksgiving.

 

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