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Warmest Regards: Thankfulness should last more than a day

Published November 17. 2018 07:50AM

Somewhere between the turkey and pumpkin pie many of us will remember to utter at least a few words thanksgiving on a day that was once mostly devoted to expressing gratitude.

I don’t just spend Thanksgiving feeling grateful because I don’t think thankfulness should be restricted to one day a year.

I am grateful every single day.

The first thing I do each day is to go for what I call my gratitude walk.

I give praise to the Lord for giving me a new day and I soak in the uniqueness of the day at hand.

Every single day is different. Some are balmy; some are windy. All are a magnificent gift for which I am genuinely grateful.

I have never gotten over the beauty and majesty of creation. I spend the first part of my walk of gratitude observing every aspect of my little world, being ever so grateful for where I live. I still can’t get over the wonder of it all.

The neighborhood around my house is a nature lover’s paradise. Each morning I am treated to the abundant wildlife of our area.

This morning I was captivated by one of the biggest blue herons I have ever seen. Then I was beyond delighted when Big Bird came to sit on top of my screened-in porch.

I was also treated to the sight of sandhill cranes in flight. These big birds are always a treat to see, but I seldom see one in flight. Most of the time I see a family of cranes hunting together for breakfast.

These gangly birds have a rather distinctive call that can be heard blocks away. As soon as I hear it I’m on the lookout for our neighborhood family of sandhill cranes.

This morning I also had the special treat of seeing the moon on one side and the morning sun on the other. I always appreciate when that happens.

I say a prayer of thankfulness for all of nature’s wonders.

Each day when I start my morning gratitude walk I am especially grateful if I can walk. With multiple physical problems, (as we get older we all have them) some days are better than others. But even if I can only walk a shorter distance than I want, I do it with a happy heart.

The older I get, the more gratitude I feel. There is very little that I take for granted.

When I was still working, my mornings were rushed as I drove to work. I didn’t take time to linger and didn’t take time to savor the start of the day.

When no time clock dictates your life, there is plenty of time to savor the day … plenty of time to say “thank you” for the many simple pleasure that come our way.

I don’t think we do that often enough.

Be truthful, don’t many of us take life for granted? Aren’t we so caught up in routine that we fail to grasp the fact that there is no such thing as a routine day? Each one is special in its own way.

Do I remember to feel gratitude throughout the day? Not constantly.

Like the rest of us, I sometimes get caught up in the busyness of the day and don’t think about its grandeur. I just think about my daily schedule and keep an eye on my wristwatch as I go from one activity to another.

When I catch myself doing that I give myself a mental shake, take some deep breaths and think about the blessings that abound in my life.

I’ve always said that life is like a big incredible banquet and I’m like a starved person who wants as much of it as possible.

I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what I do or what I accomplish during any given day. All that matters is that I enjoy every single day … and that I appreciate all the good things life brings my way.

What about the bad things? What about the worries and the big problems we all get hit with sooner or later?

Scripture tells us to be thankful for every circumstance.

“Give thanks at all times for all things,” the Bible tells us.

I confess I have not yet learned to feel grateful for problems that involve my children. I find it easier to come to gripes with my own problems. But there isn’t a parent alive who wants to see their children hurting.

Sometimes we hurt in a major ways when we lose a loved one.

I remember going to a grief support class where we were told we should be grateful for our grief because grief springs from love. We were reminded we should be grateful for all the love that has come into our lives.

While I understood what the counselor was saying, at the time I found it hard to be grateful to be grieving.

As the years have progressed, my gratitude has deepened and matured. According to several surveys I read older people are more prone to be filled with gratitude.

Many of my close friends give praise for everything that comes their way, including the worst of times. I’m trying to get to that point.

Meanwhile, I will never stop being thankful for every day of life.

Contact Pattie Mihalik at

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