Giving Thanks: Why It's Not Just For November

If you’re a little out of the loop, or just haven’t viewed a calendar in a while, it’s November. A month known for turkey, pumpkin pie and giving thanks. For those of you who have Facebook, and I’m sure many of you do, you've noticed numerous statuses affirming the different things people are thankful for.

While I love seeing everyone appreciating the wonderful aspects of their lives, I can’t help but wonder why this is only done one month out of the year. What is it about November that causes us to be more appreciative of the good, and even some of the bad?

Just the other day I happened to leave the house much sooner than I needed to, and found myself on campus much too early for my first class. I normally race to class no matter how much time I have, but this day I decided to take my speed-walk down to a easy stroll. As I was “strolling” through Marvin’s Grove I decided to really take notice of my surroundings. It was a slightly misty, autumn morning. The red and orange leaves stood out against the tree trunks that were dark from the morning shower. I watched as squirrels scampered around searching for walnuts that had fallen to the ground, blanketed with leaves. Before I knew it, instant peace came over me.

                                                                                                                        (Marvin's Grove on a sunny, autumn day)

Earlier that morning I remember being stressed out of my mind from staying up all night knocking out a term paper I should have begun weeks prior. I looked out at the rain and cursed the fact that I had to figure out what I needed to do with my hair in order for it not to frizz up like a clown’s wig. I grabbed a granola bar as I dashed out the door, knowing I would be “starving” only hours later. I climbed into my car and sped past those walking to class and waiting at the bus stops as the rain poured down.

And there I was. In the middle of Marvin’s Grove, realizing how ridiculously unthankful I had been.

I have the opportunity to attend classes at the college I have dreamed about since I was a child. The fact that I have to write papers that challenge my mind and make me think beyond my level of knowledge is both terrifying and exhilarating. I get to experience the refreshing moisture of rain on my skin as well as see the beauty that comes from the earth after it is nourished back to life. I have food in my pantry, hand and stomach that enables me to be energized and ready to take on whatever life decides to throw my way. And I drive a car that gets me from point A to point B safely and out of the elements of this crazy, Kansas weather.

Simply put, I have it made.

I have it made because I have things in this life that much of the world doesn’t, and if you are reading this, you do too.

So let’s not forget once December 1st comes around, all the wonderful blessings we have. Family, friends, education, heck, even turkey and pumpkin pie because let’s admit, it’s freaking delicious.

Join me in turning this month of thanks into a year of thanks. We can begin with November.