November brings a myriad of emotions for me. In years past it was marked by a mixture of anxiety and delight as I prepared for the impending visit of my parents. Now as I look back, my memories of those times are bittersweet. My father is with his heavenly father and my mother rarely travels from her warmer Texas climate to the uncertainty of Colorado’s late fall weather. Although I was thankful for their regular visits each November when my children were younger, I appreciate them even more now that I will never have the opportunity to experience them again.
Having four children, you’d think that there would still be plenty of feet under my table as I look forward to Thanksgiving dinner. I treasure the memories I have of getting out the china and sitting around the dining room table together sharing our traditional foods including a layered Jello dish discovered in a cookbook from the small Canadian town where my father grew up. Up until a couple years ago that was the happy scene. Now three of my “children” are adults living in other states as they pursue their interests and passions at college. The short break and costly airfare are two of the factors in our choice to let them find a place to share Thanksgiving with others. I am grateful for the families who have extended an offer of hospitality to them as they are far from home. I’m glad I have the memories of us all together and will look forward to making new memories during their Christmas breaks.
While I have memories that I am thankful for, I am challenged to consider if my gratitude and appreciation are reflected in my behavior. Am I taking the time to show my thankfulness to those who are a part of my memories while I still can?
We often hear the phrase “having an attitude of gratitude” which is our topic for this month’s blog. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines attitude as “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior” and gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
I encourage each of us to take a few moments this month to examine our behavior and see if it matches the gratitude we feel. Let others know how they have given you cause to be thankful whether it is family in blood or spirit, especially the One who has given us more than we can ever ask or think.
A blessed Thanksgiving to all.
Elaine Clampitt is Secretary/Treasurer for Mile High Scribes, the South Denver Chapter of ACFW. She is excited that hockey season is finally underway and is not so feverishly working on her NaNoWriMo novel set in the world of professional ice hockey.
Come check out Mile High Scribes new location starting in January - the Tattered Cover bookstore in Highlands Ranch meeting on the first Monday of the month.