I stepped around my house to open the chickens. Leaves were falling like giant brown snowflakes from the woods. I smiled as I watched them drift to the ground as I sipped my black coffee.

They cover the ground like a warm patch-work quilt. I began to think of all the things I am grateful for this season in spite of the pain. It has been a tough year. We have had loss in our family. We have had loss in our community.

This past week, I put out a large cornucopia at the end of my driveway. It was my way of letting the community know that I am grateful for the bountiful blessings from God.

And the blessings, like coffee running over the rim of my cup into the saucer below, continue to be poured out from a dear loving Heavenly Father who is there to carry us through all of life’s pain and heartache.

The orange flame licked the logs in the fire place casting their light and warmth around me .

I’m thankful there is a way to get wood and we can provide heat in our house.

The tea pot whistled its merry tune on the stove and I poured the steaming water over the bags that held the dried bits of flavor.

As I sip the hot amber drink, I’m grateful I can have the monies to buy a treat like this every day.

Wednesday night I enjoyed listening to Jonathan read editor David Helms column aloud to me. In that moment, I was acutely aware of how special it was to have my son alive and well and talking to me. We weren’t arguing or fussing and I wasn’t worried about where he was and he was enjoying picking at me about my age.

His laughter bounced around me as my sides hurt over the joy we were sharing together.

I’m grateful there is someone in my life who sees my warts and yet cares.

My little cat curled up on my lap early Tuesday morning. I didn’t want to get up. She was purring contentedly as I sipped my black coffee knowing the floor was calling me to my day. 

But for a moment I was grateful for the warmth of my sweet animal. And then I laughed at her as she suddenly jumped from my lap and ran to the window to catch the bright red cardinal that was chirping over his breakfast.

As I surveyed the house that desperately needs cleaning, I was suddenly grateful for the four walls and the roof overhead. 

And though it is in a disarray, my heart overflowed with yet one more thing to be grateful for, peace.

And in that moment I knew that I’d rather have an upside down house and peace than a perfectly kept house with turmoil all around.

So as I face Thanksgiving tomorrow there are already many things on my heart to give thanks to God about.

My family will be around me and my community is not ripped apart by war. And we have this special day to pause and give thanks to God for His love and peace even in the midst of hurt.

I pray each of you will stop and remember the One who put into the hearts of those pilgrims long ago to have a day of rejoicing in spite of the pain and suffering. Make sure you pause and thank God that we have a free America. Happy Thanksgiving!

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