giving thanks

It’s hard to believe that thanksgiving has come and gone. At the beginning of the summer, thanksgiving seemed light years away, and I guess in hindsight a lot of stuff has happened this fall- new house, new school, new car – lots of ‘news’.
This thanksgiving was busy- I had three nights of thanksgiving dinners. It was chaotic. I have a bit of a loopy family- one of my brother’s literally bounces off walls, my nana thinks that my dead grandfather crank calls the house …you get the idea. But, despite the craziness and the quirkiness of my family- i love them and I am incredibly thankful. At my third thanksgiving dinner Matt’s grandfather said this very beautiful and moving grace (how often is saying grace moving!?) before dinner. He thanked God for family and for food and asked that we would be mindful of our blessings as to not take for granted the gifts in our lives. There is definitely something to be said about really KNOWING how blessed and lucky we are.
Recently my car died- literally died. The transmission was shot and the car wasn’t even worth enough to try to fix it. I had to wait a couple of days before my car could get looked at- so I had some time before I knew whether or not it was fixable. At that point, it was pretty clear that if it was too expensive to fix, then I’d need to suck it up and be car-less for the rest of the year. So, as I waited to hear the news about my poor ’96 Stratus, I thought a lot about how since I bought the car, I have appreciated every minute I had it. Maybe it was because I bought it myself, or because I didn’t have my own car till I was 23- but I was so thankful for my sweet green family sedan. When I found out that it was a write off, and I had to go clean my stuff out of it, it made it a little easier because I knew that I fully appreciated it while it worked.
My mom, who is incredible beyond space there is to write about her, bought me a new car- well, a new used car. There is no way I would have been able to just buy myself a new car- so my mom’s gift to me was such a picture of undeserved grace- and such a gift. Yes, I could have sucked it up and gone car-less this year, but my mom wants me to be able to see the people I care about, to be mobile and to not have to take a 3 hour bus to get home. I can assure you that I will definitely not take my new car for granted either.
I tell you about this car issue, because the same thought came to me this past weekend. I hope that I never take my family, friends, food and shelter for granted. Because I know, that if one day, one or all of those things cease to exist, at least I will know, while I had them, i knew how great I had it. So, I guess I need to ask myself- do I truly understand how good I have it?
I even had that thought today. I went to a damp church basement to exercise my right to vote- in a provincial election- a democratic right that people in places like Myanmar/Burma- are willing to die for. It’s just a provincial election- it’s a pencil mark on a piece of paper- but do I really know how good I have it?
I am thankful for so much- for friends, family, my education, my right to vote, my new little car.
That I am loved- that I have people in my life whom I love deeply.

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