Sunday, November 1, 2009

27 Days of Thankful, #1

I've struggled with Thanksgiving for awhile now.

Some of you know that when I was 16, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. It was not a long battle, but it was painful, and it left indelible scars on our family.

Losing a family member is always difficult, but losing someone you love during a holiday season just adds an extra element of "blech" to the whole situation. My dad passed away just a few days before Thanksgiving, and the holiday has really never been the same for me. I know where my dad is, I know I'll see him again someday, but it still hurts to know we've all missed so many happy times with him in this life.

We spent that first lonely Thanksgiving in a cheesy all-you-can-eat buffet, probably the only spot in town that was open. I remember the effort it took to smile, to swallow, to speak.

I guess that the effort is kind of the point.

Giving Thanks, Being Grateful, Offering Thanksgiving...sometimes requires an effort.

Sure, it's easy to be thankful for your life when you have great hair, cute kids, new shoes, and a husband who makes you smile every day.

It's the days when you hear bad news from the pediatrician, your car gets a flat tire, and your hair is frizzy that you find thankfulness a real stretch.

Thanksgiving Day is different for the T family these days. T and I have our own children to grow traditions with, and we often spend the holiday with his big, noisy extended family in Tennessee. It's hard to feel alone when you're surrounded by 50+ people who love you. Yet that sneaky, bitter, woe-is-me feeling has a tendency to come creeping back in.

27 Days of Thankful is going to be my way of combating that feeling this month.
I'm planning on posting something, anything (no matter how silly or small!), that I am thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving Day. I'd love it if you'd join me in the comments section.

Let's focus on the good and great things in our lives for a few weeks, even if it's just once for a few minutes in our very busy days.

Here's #1.Today, I am thankful for the Griswolds, and the crazy, silly, over the top, fabulous Halloween lights display they put on each year. It's not exactly my style, but I think it's so much fun to see out my front window each night. A great reminder that holiday decorating doesn't always have to look like it popped off the pages of Better Homes & Gardens. It can be fun too.

I am grateful for the smiles they put on my family's faces each night these past few weeks.

There. That was easy....

How about you?

{What are you thankful for today, right now?}

*If you have a post on thankfulness, feel free to link it up in the comments!

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25 comments:

  1. i'm thankful that my husband loves me no matter what (even when i'm mean & ugly to him like i was just a few minutes ago).

    & i'm thankful for you & your blog today & everyday :)

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  2. I love this idea Amanda! Do you mind if I "borrow" it and do it on my blog too?

    Today I am thankful for wonderful friends who are sending prayers and well-wishes to my family.

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  3. It's a great idea to count our blessings every day! Today (as every day) I am thankful for my church family. And at this moment I'm also thankful that NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is okay after his horrific wreck.

    I have a Thankful blog post going up tomorrow. I hope you'll stop by and check it out. :)

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  4. I find being thankful hard a times, too. I do something similar to this year round now with Thankful Thursday on my blog. It's a linkup party so if you ever want to share, please feel free. :) I find that finding something once a week makes my life a little bit better than if I didn't spend time to reflect on the things I've been given. I hope this will help your Thanksgiving be a happier time!

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  5. I love this Idea of telling what we are thankful of. thank you for your post. so I am thankful for wonderful family and friends. and for God watching over each and everyone of them. it has been a hard year for us this year. Our youngest is doing his first tour in Afghanistan. I am thankful that God has given us such a wonderful and caring person in our son Jake, and our other children Casey and Courtney.

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  6. i am thankful that chad and i got to do nursery today in ella's class. the 3 year olds are so much fun!! natalie cracked me up when she offered to bring in her own playdough next week, b/c the church playdough was way to sticky:o)

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  7. What a great post! I love how you emphasize that it takes effort to be thankful. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I wish you the best this holiday season!

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  8. This is a GREAT idea and would be wonderful for dinner conversations every night!

    Today, I am thankful for money to buy groceries.

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  9. I'm sorry about the loss of your Dad.

    I'm thankful for my kids and husband, my home, family and friends. Simple really, but that's all I ever wanted, and I'm lucky that I have it.

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  10. I ♥ this idea. I am so glad that I've seen a few starting this this year. I did an entire month of thanks on my blog last year, in honor of Thanksgiving. It was quite the experience, and I look back on it with great memories. As I'm sure you'll find, it's amazing to really stop and appreciate, and give thanks, for all of those seemingly small things in life, that are actually a huge blessing. Best of luck on your journey!

    Stopping by from Xazmin's. :)

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  11. I am grateful for losing 10 lbs and working myself back to health again.

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  12. Love the idea! I'm in! Here's my link up!

    http://thinking-of-blue.blogspot.com/2009/11/27-days-of-thankful-day-1.html

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  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yours is wonderful!! And I love your 27 days of being thankful idea!

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  14. I am thankful for the warm of my home and the love of the Heavenly Father.

    Great idea!

    Hope you have a wonderful month of thankfulness!

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  15. I love this idea! I'm thankful for my sweet husband who is my best friend in the whole world.

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  16. Amanda, this is fantastic! Firstborn and I both tend to be pessimistic, so last week I bought us each a little notebook to start gratitude journals. Every night we write down 5 things we are thankful for. It's harder than it sounds.
    I lost my mom to cancer when I was 16, so I can sympathize with your pain. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  17. I'm with Xazmin...can I put this on my blog too?

    I'm thankful for people like you who take to opportunity to turn something sad into something fun for others. Oh, I'm also thankful for Crystal Light. I hate plain water don't you?

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  18. This is such a nice idea, Amanda! I love it.

    I'm thankful that...even though my commute is loooong, this time of year I get to see how beautiful the scenery can be. All of the leaves have changed, and are now starting to blow around, and it makes me happy to be nice and cozy warm in my car, appreciating the beauty of nature!

    Have a great day :)

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  19. What a great idea! You know in these last few weeks of craziness it seemes like a lot was working against me & some of my family. This is surely a great way to combat the highs, lows, & I don't knows. I definately want to write a post & link up to this one if that's ok? Blessings!

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  20. I came here from Thinking of Blue, I thing it's a really great idea! I'll definitely say what I'm thankful for each day, even if it's just a quick thing over twitter.

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  21. I am thankful to have found your blog and this post. I lost my mother last year, shortly before her birthday and Easter. It was difficult that year and again this year as I am sure both will be for years to come. I'm happy to see I'm not alone in these feelings and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you! ox

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  22. I love your idea, but so sorry for your loss! Also praying for your little girl - oh my! Nothing scares a Momma more than knowin' something isn't quite right with her baby!!
    Today I'm thankful for the compliment I recieved from my hubby just today! He said he appreciated how I love our girls and doesn't want to take for granted the time and effort I put in caring for them! He made me cry!
    I think I'll keep him around a little longer :)

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  23. Your idea is brillant
    I am Thankful for my Hubby. I sometimes take him foregranted, and get mad at him, but I don't know what I would do without him

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  24. http://geauxremingtons.blogspot.com/2009/11/27-days-of-thankfulness-jumping-in.html

    i jumped in late but listed SEVEN things i am thankful for in one post :)
    i am thankful that i am almost done with work for the night :) i am very tired and just want to go to bed. 7:30 is going to come really early.

    thanks for starting this great idea.

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  25. http://geauxremingtons.blogspot.com/2009/11/27-days-of-thankfulness-jumping-in.html

    i jumped in late but listed SEVEN things i am thankful for in one post :)
    i am thankful that i am almost done with work for the night :) i am very tired and just want to go to bed. 7:30 is going to come really early.

    thanks for starting this great idea.

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