Today is our family Thanksgiving dinner. We have gotten into the habit of doing a Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Do I love this? NO! I miss the traditional Thanksgiving Day with all the family, food and fun! Do I love that my children want to come home for dinner? YES! I will welcome my children and grandchildren home anytime they want to come. It is such a blessing to have family close.
I got up early and cleaned the bathroom, started some laundry, made my bed and said my morning prayers. Yes in that order. I have many ideas running through my head this morning and got out of bed running. After I made my bed I started thinking that I didn’t kneel down and share my gratitude for this day and ask for guidance and direction. My day goes so much smoother when I remember to kneel first thing. I love Denzel Washington’s (actor) advice to put your shoes under your bed at night so in the morning you have to get down on the floor to get them, and while you are there you can remember to give thanks to your creator.
After my prayers I stopped to read and gather my thoughts. I have been reading a book called, Lighten Up! by Chieko N. Okazaki. It is a very old book but I love how she uses her life experiences to teach me. Today I was encouraged by these two sentences… Once again, may I suggest an important assignment for all of us: Lighten Up! Drop those unrealistic expectations.
Today I will enjoy my family, enjoy the food, enjoy the music we play, enjoy the time, enjoy the memories we are making, enjoy the crying, enjoy the breakdowns, enjoy the breakthroughs! I will Lighten Up and enjoy the journey of this day.
Every Thanksgiving season I like to focus on the things I am grateful for. Today I am grateful that I picked up a small Loom that I thought the grand-kids would like. I was running through the store yesterday getting last minute things for our dinner and saw a loom that the kids can weave material through and create designs. It was $5 and I thought it would be fun to see what they could do with it. I left it sitting on the table out of the package and forgot about it. When I came home from my meetings I found them all enjoying the loom. They had been weaving all afternoon. My oldest grandson was the most interested. It was surprising because I didn’t think he would think it was “Cool”. They have been weaving all morning too. It was the best $5 I have spent. I told them we would use their finished projects for our hot pads today on the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Today I am Thankful for my beautiful grandchildren, my wonderful health, a husband who works hard to provide for our family, my bed, my beautiful daughters, my handsome sons, my sisters and brother, my aunts, uncles and cousins! I am Thankful for my friends and business partners. I am Thankful for social media and keeping up with people all over the world. I am Thankful for all the food we have to eat. I am Thankful for my home. I am Thankful for my abundance and Joy! I am Thankful for Books that I can read! I am Thankful I can read! I am Thankful for Today and that I can Lighten Up!!!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! If you need some encouragement to be Thankful do what Chieko’s mother taught her and she shares in her book… Whenever anyone gave us a gift – and our Japanese and Hawaiian neighbors were always generous with what little they had- my mother taught me to return the plate, clean and polished, and bear another gift in return. The size of the gift was not important. It was not a feeling of paying something back in kind, in the sense of purchasing a service or giving someone a wage. Instead, it was a recognition of a reciprocal relationship of giving and taking. I remember my mother would say, “on gaeshi.” Those words do not mean “Be Grateful” or “Return the favor,” but rather, “Acknowledge the obligation,” with even a little sense of “Honor the obligation.”
My Thankful challenge to you today is to Lighten Up! and Honor and Acknowledge the obligation… ON GAESHI.