At the family/friend gathering where I often celebrate Thanksgiving, we have a tradition at the beginning of the meal. Each person sits down to a plate with three popcorn kernels on it (I’ve realized recently that, as microwave popcorn is the only kind I know how to make, this is tough to replicate at my own home!). For each kernel, the person names one thing for which they are greatful. I don’t know when we started this practice; it’s been part of my Thanksgiving since I was a child.
While its good to try to focus on just three things, sometimes I am overwhelmed by blessings, and feel like I need a whole handful of popcorn kernels. To be sure, I can do my fair share of complaining, but I also think I’ve been richly blessed.
So this year, I am thankful for this strange life of mine, how different it is from anyone else’s, how unique and short and precious it is, and what a gift from the Holy. I am thankful secondly for the people in it, for my remarkable husband who puts up with a great deal and faces each day with new excitement, for my amazing and utterly surprising daughter, who keeps me on my toes and comes up with new ways to delight and challenge at every turn, for my family– including in-laws– who get along with one another and celebrate together, for my friends, many of whom are farther away than I’d like, whom I miss terribly, for my church communities whom I am just getting to know. Finally, I’m thankful for the blank slate that is the future, the unknown blessing in this time and place, the friendships yet developed, the ministries on the horizon, the small and large joys undiscovered that will be next year’s handful of popcorn kernels.
For what are you thankful this week?