Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy – Day 1

Thanksgiving: A Countdown to Joy - Day 1 |

It’s finally Turkey Day!!

Are you ready? Or are you dreading it?

I, my friend, am looking forward to it. And as I’m sitting in my living room waiting for the rest of my clan to get their hind ends in gear so we can head over to “the gathering”, my mind is swirling with all of God’s graces that I will enjoy today:

28. Seeing family that I don’t get to see very often

29. Sharing stories that are told over and over again

30. Laughing at each other – Oops! I mean laughing with each other!

31. Remembering those family members who are no longer with us and maybe even shedding a few tears

32. Enjoying a feast and filling our bellies with the comfort foods of the holiday

33. Listening to the craziness of a full house, taking in all the chaos and loving every minute

34. Gathering in the living room to watch “A Christmas Story” for the umpteenth time while waiting for the food coma to subside

35. Comfort, love, happiness, security, and all the fuzzies of being with family and friends

No matter where you are today, no matter your circumstances, it is my prayer that you will have a

Joyous Thanksgiving Day!

And remember, the Journey to Joy begins with giving Thanks!


A Year of Smiles – Day 326: THANKSGIVING DAY


Adobe Spark (42)

Before the Thanksgiving meal each year, my family gathers together to pray. My dad usually says the blessing but before he prays, he is faithful to remind us of how good our God is, of the many blessings that have been bestowed upon our family and of the hope we have in Jesus. Dad reminds us to count our blessings and sometimes, he gives each family member the opportunity to name one thing for which he or she is thankful. It is a special time of Thanks Giving and though it usually makes me cry (because I am a huge crybaby), it always brings a SMILE to my heart.

In the midst of all your Thanksgiving festivities, remember to take the time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Everything that you call yours – your loved ones, your friends, your possessions, your job – is a gift from the Heavenly Father. He lavishes these blessings upon us because of His great love for us. The least we can do is pause for a moment to say, “Thank you.”

Giving thanks – what a fabulous reason for a holiday! And what a fabulous reason to SMILE! The great thing is, if you make Thanks Giving a daily habit, you’re guaranteed a daily SMILE.  Now, who wouldn’t want that? 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 325: Thanksgiving Countdown


Plates have been emptied.

Bellies have been filled.

Belts have been loosened.

The afternoon food coma has begun.

As the miserable groans of overeater’s remorse begin to replace conversation, there’s nothing left to do but retreat to the living room and kick back in the recliner or relax on the couch. As a collective, my family doesn’t care much for “the game” (Unless it’s golf, which I don’t understand at all.) so our afternoon recuperation usually involves watching a movie. Let me clarify – a movie suitable for kids.

Yep. All of us from grandparents down to the kiddos sit together and watch the latest children’s movie. It’s fun to see who laughs the most, who makes it through to the end, who falls asleep and who bails on the family time first by pulling out their technology. I would name names but I do have to spend the entire day with these folks tomorrow so…

The afternoon food coma – it’s a SMILE that begins with the blissful agony of being stuffed to the gills, continues with a restful time of movies and relaxation and always ends with,

“Okay. Who’s ready for pie?”

My belt has no more notches (Heck, I’m not even wearing it anymore.) and my eyes are swimming in gravy but “Me, me, me! I’ll have a piece of pie!”

Adobe Spark (41)

And the SMILE of the Thanksgiving afternoon food coma keeps on giving. 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 324: Thanksgiving Countdown


Adobe Spark

We all have them – stories about ourselves that only our families know, stories that our siblings use to hold us hostage or blackmail us into doing their chores or keeping their secrets, stories that will forever haunt not only our dreams but also our every waking moment. These are the tales of our past mistakes or those silly things we did when we were too young to know what we were doing. These are the anecdotes parents tell when the new boyfriend is introduced or the in-laws are invited to dinner. These are the stories we long to forget. Still, these stories are told over and over again.




Yeah, but isn’t it fun to sit around the dinner table, tell each other’s stories and laugh at each other’s embarrassment? And what better place to laugh at each other than at the Thanksgiving table?

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without our annual reminiscing sessions. Since there are six of us kids, there are plenty of stories to remember and retell and, therefore, plenty of opportunities to relive the humiliation, embarrassment or hilarious frivolity. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy remembering the time her older brothers held her down and tickled her til she couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard? Hmmm. I still don’t think that was a fun moment. That might be why I chased my brothers around the house with a baseball bat!

Family stories – even if they’re embarrassing, they’re still fun to remember. And there wouldn’t be quite as many SMILES at the Thanksgiving table without them!


Adobe SparkThanksgiving is only 2 days away. I can’t wait for that delicious turkey and dressing! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! (Unh – I need to go find some food! 😉 )

I really do love this holiday so I thought I’d take a cue from my friend over at Brandi’s World and begin a countdown to Thanksgiving. Oh, but I only have three days (including today). That’s not much of a countdown, is it?


I’m five days behind on my SMILES. That means I have eight SMILES available to include in a Thanksgiving countdown. I can cram eight SMILES in three days.

Really, I can!

So get ready for a Thanksgiving Countdown – A Couple of Stars and a Happy Face style.

A Year of Smiles – Day 283

Reason to SMILE #283: THE ORDINARY

Adobe Spark (23)

Dear Lord,

I take so many things for granted, so many little things. A comfortable pair of shoes, a warm sweater, a hot meal, the light of each new day, the consistency of my every breath, a job that provides for my family’s sustenance – all these things are mine because of your goodness alone. With careless hands I receive such wonderful gifts and my words of thanksgiving for all of these things are spoken in hypocrisy.

Every day I experience your inexhaustible goodness yet I do not allow myself to see it. How happy I would be if I learned to appreciate the ordinary for extraordinary may only occur once in a lifetime. The ordinary, however, fills all of my days.

Thank you, Lord, for pouring out your goodness into my life despite the many times I do not acknowledge that goodness. Help me to see the good in the ordinary, to find the SMILES in the everyday things and to know that even the smallest things of life are extraordinary gifts from you.