I tend to think the actual message of Thanksgiving gets lost somewhere amongst all the tedious and never-ending travel, shopping, cooking, and planning for Black Friday shopping.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Thanksgiving, for me, is a day to reflect on my life. Where it’s going; where it’s been; how can I make it better. This year, as I have every year for the past 3 years, I’ve written a blog post for my writer friend Angela Hayes’ Thankful Authors blog.
Unlike in past years, though, this year I asked a question instead of writing about what I was thankful for. I’m reblogging the post here, and providing a link so you can read all the other blogs for the month on Angela’s website.
My question this year? Are you a blessing?
Blessings come in many shapes and take different forms for different people. Sometimes a blessing is a gift, given to you just when you need it the most. Other times, it can be the fact that someone was thinking about you and reached out, never knowing you were having a horrible day. Their out-of-the-blue connection helped you get through that tough time. A blessing can also be a notion that was put in your head that sparked into a full fledged idea, and then with a little elbow grease and good luck, blossomed into something that changed your life – or the lives of others.
However you define it, a blessing is always – ALWAYS – as Martha Stewart is fond of saying, A Good Thing.
I’m blessed in many ways.
I’m healthy. I have a wonderful and close family unit and structure. I have my faith that gets me though everything on a daily basis. I live in a country where I’m not imprisoned for having an opinion. I have a roof over my head, warm clothes in the winter, and more food on the table than I can ever eat. I get to do what I love for a living and I am supported by friends and family in whatever I try.
I never take those blessings for granted. Never.
And I tend to think I am the exception to the norm, especially during the current time we live in. In the affluent community I reside in there are homeless citizens begging on the streets. There are children who are separated from their families and living in foster homes because of incarceration or drug addiction issues with their parents. There are elderly people who must choose between eating and paying their winter fuel bill. There are children who have no access to new, warm winter clothes. There are veterans suffering from PTSD without access to the help they need. There are families who have nowhere safe to live because of the economic ravishes brought about by job loss or illness.
Where are the blessings for these people? Where is their hope?
I know I’m lucky. Believe me, I know that there, but for the Grace of God, go I.
So what’s the point of this ramble you ask? If I’m so blessed, what am I droning on about?
Just this: if you are as blessed as I am, have you ever thought about being a blessing to someone else?
Maybe reaching out and volunteering to serve a meal or two at your local food shelter/pantry? Donating the clothes you haven’t worn since you bought them to a shelter for those who have nothing but what’s on their backs?
Have you ever thought of purchasing a few extra food items when you do your weekly grocery shopping and then donating it to your church food pantry, or the local food bank?
Have you ever adopted a child or a family for Christmas and helped them with the cost of much needed winter wear or even the ability to give a few toys to the kids?
Have you ever thought what your life would be like without your blessings?
I have. I was one of those kids who didn’t have enough food at times when I was growing up. I didn’t have a new winter coat and had to wear one two sizes too small and missing some buttons. I had no winter boots to guard against the frigid, wet snow. And because I remember what that time was like, I honor the blessings I have now by giving back. By volunteering. By trying to make someone else’s life better.
Thanksgiving is a reflective time for most people. If it is for you and you realize how good you have it, maybe you’ll consider being someone’s angel this year.
Maybe you’ll decide to be a blessing to a person or family who needs one.
Believe me, the blessings you have are nothing compared to the ones you give to others.
Wishing you and your loved one the Happiest of Thanksgivings. May your tables be full, your heart overflowing, and your blessings be immeasurable.