Thursday, November 26, 2009
I'm So Thankful!
The day before Thanksgiving is a big grocery shopping day to gather up all of the special last minute ingredients for a family feast. Now you know that grocery shopping is not my favorite chore because I often feel persecuted by rude comments from fellow shoppers for my family size and the amount of groceries I buy nearly every week. But yesterday was a huge exception to the norm.
Yesterday the store was filled with smiling faces and friendly voices wishing one another a Happy Thanksgiving. I passed the security guard who commented with a wink "Here's Wonder Woman once again!" Next the manager asked me where all of my "helpers" were. I was grateful to tell him that although I appreciate their help in the store, sometimes it's nice to shop alone.
As grateful as I was to receive these kind comments, as Christians we know that the greatest joys come in giving more than receiving. So it was with great joy that after I unloaded my cart with the weekly grocery staples, I was able to add one more item behind my purchases, a gift of a jar of home-made grape jelly and a thank you card to surprise Carol, my favorite cashier as she finished ringing up my purchases. Week after week Carol greets me with smiles and friendly chat to help me forget about the rude comments I usually gather from the other shoppers. I was so happy to be able to give her this small token of my appreciation.
After sharing a hug of thanksgiving gratitude, we commenced with some small talk. Carol wanted to know if I would spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping for Christmas presents. I assured her that the stores are the last place I'd spend my time, but instead, I will spend that day mixing up Christmas cookie dough and filling the freezer with the cookie dough until I am ready to bake the cookies that our family will share and enjoy at Christmas time. I confessed that I have to stand guard at the freezer to make sure that my kids don't raid it and eat the raw, frozen dough before I get a chance to bake the cookies!
The woman standing behind me said with tears in her eyes, "If that is all you have to worry about, consider yourself lucky! I am going to visit my daughter today...in the cemetery." She was buying nothing but flowers. As Carol and I both reached to hug her and comfort her, I felt the sting of tears in my eyes, but this time, instead of the tears of self-pity and resentment from which I usually suffer in the grocery story, they were tears of gratitude for my healthy and happy family.
So this year as I sit down to a Thanksgiving feast with my family, I will bow my head and thank God for the rich blessing of my wonderful husband and our five beautiful children and four fabulous God-children. I will thank God for my brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces and nephews, including the greats! I am thankful that we are all healthy and happy and that this Thanksgiving, we will be visiting each other in our varied homes and not in the cemetery. I am especially thankful for my mother-in-law who is now cancer free and my father-in-law who will be relieved from some of the burden of caring for her in her sickness. I am grateful for my friends both near and far. I am grateful for this blogging community and your wonderful, loving words of wisdom and kindness. I am so grateful and I am so blessed. Thank you God!