Deciding whether to post my usual 12 Days of Thanksgiving series this year was an arduous task. I’m not exactly sure why. The dates seemed to sneak up on me. I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have flown by. It’s always interesting to me how the passage of time flies or creeps, and I suppose part of the pursuit of EyeJunkie is an attempt to slow it down to a series of continual snapshots I can more easily take in.
Beyond the fast pace of experiences that seems to have overtaken my mind over the last few months, I think my real dilema in creating a series of Thanksgiving posts has been a sort of reluctance to explore the topic. I wasn’t sure I really had the mental space to do it justice this year. You may have gleaned from my rather infrequent posts recently that this time of transition in my life has been almost an overload to my spirit, one in which I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. That soul-searching sometimes involves mind-wandering and spirit-wandering, evaluating where I’ve been and imagining where I might be going. Wandering leads to questioning, and questioning is sometimes a gratitude killer.
However, the concept of “3rd annual” is a very powerful encouragement for a girl like me. I place so much stock in traditions that the mere thought of having celebrated the 12 Days of Thanksgiving for the last two years was a powerful enticement to make the commitment this year too. SO… I’m taking the plunge. Today begins the 3rd Annual 12 Days of Thanksgiving posting series at EyeJunkie. Since I’ve noticed my own scattered quality lately as well as the whole soul-searching, gratitude-challenged penchant I mentioned earlier, I thought I needed a little boost for topic ideas. This year, I’m using each of the letters in the word “thanksgiving” as thought-starting catalysts for sharing some of the things blessing me at the moment. They may not be the typical things, but they are realities and ideas that are impressing on me just how big this life is, and how much I DON’T want to miss it.
You see, through the process of deciding whether I really wanted to focus my attention on Thanksgiving for twelve days straight, I’ve realized once again how very central gratitude is to living a deliberate life. How essential it is to a life aware. At least a positive life aware. To be engaged in your own life in any meaningful way requires paying attention to what’s there. It requires looking with intention (even intently) at the things filling up that life and pulling from them the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful–whatever differentiates between living and mere existence.
The dictionary defines “thanksgiving” as the “grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors.” Grateful acknowledgement. Awareness is the prerequisite to acknowledgement. We can’t recognize blessings until we commit to seeing them–really seeing them. So, as I begin this 12-day journey toward Thanksgiving Day, even though I’ve been mired in reluctance, I find that I’m finally eager to seek out blessings and once again cultivate a grateful heart.
I’m reminded of a story in the biblical book of Genesis. A story in the life of Jacob. He found himself at a moment of transition–moving from the life he’d come to know and one of uncertainty. A moment of wandering. A moment of facing his past and his future. Alone at night, he wrestled with an angel until daybreak. When it was clear the new day of decision and action had arrived–the next day–he spoke to the angel. “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Though it came through wrestling, he received his blessing that day. And he walked away battered, but with a new confidence for the journey.
I hope you’ll join me for these twelve days. Perhaps thanksgiving will require a little wrestling to find the blessing. But, the blessing is there nonetheless. Let’s don’t let go until we see it.