Monday, October 10, 2011

My Thanksgiving List

I spend too much time on my blog jokingly lamenting the things I don’t have; the dreams I yearn to come true, but so far have not.  A home of my own, a new car, a husband, children…

Today, though, on this gorgeous Thanksgiving Monday, I’ve decided to step away from that and make a list of all I have to be grateful for, today and every day.  Yesterday at church, our student minister Nancy (who you may notice comments frequently on the blog!!) stood before us and told us all of the things she was thankful for this Thanksgiving.  She put forth the challenge to the congregation to let her know all that we have to hold dear and give thanks for.  I figured, what better way to share with Nancy – and all of you – than here in a blog post!

  • I’ll start my Thanksgiving List by talking about that very church service!  When I arrived at church to find it bursting with colour as the ladies had decorated the windows and the front of the church with pumpkins, gourds, jars of jam, pickles, & beets, flowers, & fruit and vegetables, it almost took my breath away.  There was a big group of kids in attendance, and when they gathered at the front of the church for Children’s Time and sang “This Little Light of Mine” along with the rest of the congregation, I caught sight my niece and nephew with their little fingers raised in the air and huge smiles on their faces.  My heart was literally bursting – so much so that I choked up and couldn’t even sing.  I give thanks for my church family, and our minister Nancy who truly does seem to be “our match made in Heaven”.
  • I’m grateful for the past year of healing.  I’ve reflected this weekend on where I was one year ago.  On the surface, it might not look like much has changed, but last year I remember sitting at that Thanksgiving church service and thinking, “What a joke.  There’s not much to give thanks for this year.”  In reality, there was plenty to be grateful for, but at the time I was still hurting, sad, angry and wondering how life could just be so unfair.  The pain of losing two cousins only a few months before was fresh and still cutting very deeply.  I realized how much happier and positive I felt this weekend.  Time really does heal.  There are some days when it feels like it never really goes away or gets better, but my attitude now is definitely glass-half-full; my outlook more positive and enlightened.  I miss them every day, but living life to the fullest is the best way to honour them.
  • I’m thankful for a job and a place of work that I love.  Sure, there are days when I’d rather stay in bed than go to work, but I am truly lucky to have a job so close to home, and to work with people who have such understanding and patience – even when I’m not at my best.  People who are my friends – not just my employers.  I am so grateful for them.
  • I’m blessed to have such a wonderful family.  My parents, my siblings, my niece and nephew… and an extended family that I love dearly.  I got to spend lots of time with the Young Family cousins this weekend, as the MacKechnies hosted their annual Tub Rave, and it’s a guaranteed good time.  I may have lost $10 to Brandon betting on the Sens/Leafs game, I may have rolled my eyes when Jim ribbed me about my Wade Redden crush (again), and I may not have been entirely impressed when Kayla dumped my Caesar all over me (because I just can’t drink that fast!!!) – but I loved every minute I spent with them.  And I also love that I have an uncle who has been to hell and back, but can still stand up in the middle of a garage with a guitar slung around his neck, and bring such joy to the people gathered by singing his favourite songs, and telling us how much “I like I like I like that song!” when we sing “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”.

uncle garry

  • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I have the best friends in the world.  I look forward to every chance I get to spend with them.  Coming up we have a birthday dinner, Car Rally, a book club, a movie night, a baby shower…so much to look forward to.  And I look forward to it all because I will be with them.
  • I’m grateful that my brother Luke and his girlfriend Amanda have given me a new nephew.  It may not be the kind I’d normally get excited about, since he’s covered in fur, named Yzerman, and in about two weeks will weigh more than me…but right now, he’s darned cute.  And he may just make me a “dog person” yet!


  • I’m so thankful that I got to spend a few hours cuddling with the beautiful 6-week-old, 9-lb. bundle of joy that is Jake & Sherri-Lynn’s baby, Olivia, on Friday night.  I promised everyone at Kelsey’s baby shower that I wouldn’t hog the smallest “guest”.  I lied.  Once I stole her from Lise’s arms, I didn’t relinquish her until Mama needed to feed her.  It was a beautiful little baby fix for me.


  • My list could go on and on, but I’ll end it here by giving thanks for all of you, who read my blog, who are there to support me when I need you, who have encouraged me on my weight-loss goals, and who can pick me up with a little comment or email on the days when I need it most.  Some of you I know in real life, many of you I’ve never met, and yet I feel like I’ve made so many great connections, and think of you all as true friends. 

To my Canadian friends, I hope you all have had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend, and that your Thanksgiving Lists are as long - or longer! - than mine.  We all have so much to be grateful for; it doesn’t hurt to take a moment to collect it all and hold it in our hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Shelley said...

Jill - fabulous! I love your list and it really does help remind us of what we need to be thankful of! :) Happy Thanksgiving! :)

sarajo said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving list! Thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

Thanks, Jillian,
Your post about our church service brought tears to my eyes and choked me right up. Wasn't it the most wonderful, blessed day? So grateful to spend it with my church family. Happy Thanksgivng. I hope your Mom didn't cook along with the turkey, my kitchen was really warm from making soup.

Nicole said...

Such a great list Jill (I so want to always call you Jilly :)). Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Stacie said...

Life is way to short not to be thankful. Much better to be grateful for what we do have, than to worry about what we don't have. Great list!

Lindsay said...

Awesome post Jill! Such an amazing list!! I'm thankful for you! :-)

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I loved your thankful list. I'm glad you're healing. And what a cute little baby. I don't blame you for hogging her. :)