North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

November 21, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: Thankfulness can be a year-round tradition

By Danielle Pelkey
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and this gives us the perfect excuse to tell others what we are truly thankful for.

I started a new tradition with my family recently. My parents are missionaries to India, and when they leave for India, my daughters and I tell one thing we are thankful for every day until they return a few days before Christmas. This goes on for as many months as they are in India, so we have had plenty of opportunities to share with each other what we are thankful for.

It’s amazing what a 3 and 5-year-old will think to be thankful for. We have been thankful for our dog (which we gave away over a year ago, but dadgum, we are thankful for the time we had with old Yeager), friends we haven’t seen in months, our teachers, and my personal favorite was when Raygan was thankful that Anna quit picking her nose one morning.

As Iā€ˆlisten every morning on the way to school to my children tell me what they are thankful for, I can’t help but to think that God likes to hear what His children are thankful for also. There is a mad rage on Facebook right now called the 30 days of Thanksgiving. This is when people post something they are thankful for everyday for the month of November. This is an excellent practice, but can’t we be thankful outside of the month of November? Let’s not confine our thoughts of thanks to just one month out of the year.

Surely we can find enough stuff to be grateful for that we don’t have to stretch our imaginations too far to come up with one thing every day. Some days I am thankful that I actually had a bracelet that matched my shirt. Other days I am thankful that the test for someone’s cancer was negative. You see how varying and far reaching our thankfulness can be. We can be thankful for something as small as the smile that a stranger gave us while in line at the grocery store. Those are the things that often go unnoticed, but make such a huge difference in our day-to-day lives.

Don’t take the little things for granted this holiday season. Make sure to let Aunt Effie know that you are grateful for the time that she put into that awesome Jell-O mold she always brings to Thanksgiving dinner.

Tell your dad thanks for mowing the lawn and raking up the leaves before the big family get together at his house. Tell your children that you are thankful that God saw fit to bless you with their lives as a part of you, then tell them that you’re also thankful that they get their good looks from their Mom.

Go out of your way to be thankful for the next few days; not just thankful to God, be thankful to the ones around you who feed the good stuff into your life. Be grateful to the little people who make you whole as a person.

And when you join hands around the turkey tomorrow, make sure to say a prayer and thank God for our great country, our great freedoms and the family and friends that He has blessed you with on that day.