Today the last of the leftovers that were not frozen or eaten became fare for the chickens. The feast we enjoyed with family is only a memory, the day set aside by our nation as a time to remember and give thanks has long passed, friends and family have returned home and with a new week resumed their usual routines. But as I crumple a couple of hardened rolls into the last spoonful of dressing and toss it out to my greedy flock, I am reminded once again of the abundance of my blessings.

It is sad to say that my mind is so often focused on the things of this world that it is almost always those earthly blessings that remind me of the abundance I have been given. Today it was my chickens. As I watched them I was suddenly reminded how blessed I was to live in the country so I can enjoy the simple pleasures of farm life; I was thankful I was home and for the time today to feed the chickens; I was thankful for the late afternoon sun and long slanted shadows that turn dead grass golden. From there the list just escalated and soon I was feeling over-whelmed and awed as the memory of abundance flooded my mind.

There was a time in my life that my gratitude would have been limited to only those things in my life that are pleasurable and enjoyable, but God in his grace and mercy has opened my eyes to some of the bountiful blessings I have acquired in seasons of hardship, pain, and suffering and today my heart overflows with gratitude for those things too. For I think I would have never known true joy and deep, abiding peace if I had not known heart-wrenching sorrow and the deep pain of loss. I think I only really know God will never leave me because I have known days…seasons…when I have felt He was missing. And when have been lost and drowning in a sea of confusion, I learned how it feels to be wrapped in peace.

Life may not always be easy, but a life surrendered is always blessed. Upon reflection I may not have known as I passed through each season how to give thanks for all things and this giving thanks for all things may not yet be perfected in my life, but as I look back on all the many seasons in my life and all that has been mine, I pray gratitude is the glue that I apply to each moment as I bind them all together – all these bountiful blessings.

And so as I once again count my many blessings, I am reminded that although Thanksgiving Day may have passed as an annual holiday, today and everyday can and should be a day of thanksgiving.