Thanksgiving provides an interlude to the busyness; the hustle and bustle of life. A time for reflection, a shift in thinking that looks backward rather than forward. A reflection of gratitude for the good God has provided and worked into our lives in a multitude of ways.

It’s also a time, however, for travel as many do during this holiday, making it the busiest travel time of the year. We joined in the travel caravan this year by visiting Nebraska to spend time with family. A very special time of celebration, enjoying life together and giving thanks. These times help to create “pictures” of thankfulness. Pictures that portray a life filled with gratitude. One such time took place while visiting my mother who entered into a nursing care facility earlier this year. We were participating with her in an afternoon activity with other residents that week in recognition of Thanksgiving. The event coordinator asked those in attendance, “What are you are thankful for?” As they went around the room, the first couple of people highlighted the apple and pumpkin pie that had just been served. The next person stated they were thankful for their family and the next one noted they were thankful for their family and friends. The next expressed thankfulness for their husband as well as their family. As they continued to ask each of the residents; family, friends, and spouse were the common refrains. Others added their faith in God. When they got close to the end of those in attendance, they came to a married couple who were sitting close to each other. The woman did not have the ability to control her upper muscular movements. Her husband though was holding steadfastly on to her hand. When it was his turn, he lovingly expressed his thankfulness for his wife. His reflections of gratitude were abundant in his countenance. He had portraits of thankfulness for their marriage that far exceeded the challenges of the present.

The picture taken this day in visiting Mom was a reminder about what is important in life. Busyness has a tendency to distract… get us focused on the “to do list,” the next activity or the “things” in life. But what is far more important are our relationships. As these dear people who are in the twilight of their days noted in their grateful expressions. They didn’t note the “things” in life but gratitude for those close relationships. Their spouse, their family, their friends and their God. Couldn’t agree more. May your pictures of thankfulness be overflowing.