There is Always a Reason to be Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving – one of my favorite days of the year!!

Thanksgiving Day is the day I get to gather with my Family, some I may not have seen for a while and others I see more frequently, and enjoy time eating, Sharing Stories, laughing, watching movies, playing games and even enduring the afternoon coma (after those two helpings of turkey kick in!).

Thanksgiving Day is a day to relax, even though it’s filled with a whole lot of work in the kitchen, and enjoy just being me – not someone who’s trying so hard to be a good employee, a good wife and a good mom, not someone who’s trying to show the world that she’s got it all together but me, messy, weird, flawed, tired little me.

Thanksgiving Day is the day I get to enjoy my Mom’s cooking with all the amazing items on the Menu like turkey, ham, dressing, squash casserole and sweet potato casserole. Oh, and don’t forget the Pumpkin Pie (the only thing in this world that should ever be pumpkin flavored!)

But this Thanksgiving Day is different.

Today, my family, has chosen to celebrate in our separate homes. We won’t gather together in a confined space out of respect for each other. Many of us work in the public every day and although we are careful, we wouldn’t want to put our family at risk – especially those who may be most susceptible to this nasty virus that is plaguing our world.

Today, I may cry a bit because, well, that’s who I am. All of my emotions tend to betray me by defiantly streaming down my cheeks.

Today, I won’t get to eat Mom’s cooking. I’ll heat up the pre-prepared meal I purchased from Cracker Barrel because everyone knows that I’m not a cook.

Today, I won’t get to celebrate like I want but…

Today, I will still be thankful –

Thankful for my family, for health and for safety.

Thankful for the jobs and provision that has allowed me to put food on the table.

Thankful for my friends who think of me and send me wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Thankful for each new day, each new opportunity to live and enjoy life.

Thankful for all the blessings I tend to take for granted – shelter, clothing, water, fresh air, sunshine, rain, transportation, financial security, and on and on and on the list goes. I am so very blessed!

Thankful for love, for friendship, for hope.

Yes, this Thanksgiving Day will definitely be different. And I am sure I will have to redirect my thoughts many times from “Woe is me” to “Boy, I’ve got it good”. But I know that no matter the circumstances, no matter the disappointments or troubles that come my way, there is always a reason to be Thankful and always a reason to SMILE!


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 252 and 253

I’ve fallen behind again on my SMILES so here’s another double feature.


My weekday lunchtime is often non-existent. Typically, I run through a drive thru close to my office and eat my lunch at my desk. Sometimes, however, I need a break from the computer screen and the noise of the office. On days like this, I eat my lunch at the park. Unfortunately, I don’t always get the chance to find a quiet place of escape but when I do, no matter how short the break, I always find a SMILE. It’s nice to have a quiet place to reflect or decompress when the stresses of work or co-workers are stealing your SMILE. It’s even better when some of that peaceful time is spent talking with a friend which brings me to…


I’m really not much of a conversationalist. I listen well but don’t always know the right things to say. So phone calls for me are usually one-side or extremely short. But let the phone conversation be with my sister or a trusted friend and that’s a different story altogether. When I don’t feel like I need to impress, like I can express my true feelings and say anything that comes to mind without being judged, those are the phone calls I love. Phone calls filled with laughter, silliness, transparency, reminiscing, and maybe a few tears from time to time, always leave me with a SMILE.

A Year of Smiles – Day 206


“Hey, Pookie. You got a minute?” said the voice on the phone.  It was one of my best friends from college.

Yes. Yes. She called me “Pookie”.  She gave me that nickname the moment we met (You can read more about that back on Day 173.) and she still calls me “Pookie” today. I wouldn’t have it any different!

My friend and I had been commenting back and forth on Facebook about my new hairdo (See Day 205). By the way, yesterday’s post about my new haircut has received the most traffic of all my daily smiles thus far. Hmmm… If drastic changes is what it takes to get the views, I don’t know how I’m going to top that. Oooooo, maybe I’ll get a tattoo. Uhmm, Nope! 😉 Anyway, my friend mentioned that she was going to send me a private message but the next thing I knew, my phone was ringing. She decided to give me a call instead. And, boy, am I glad that she did.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard the voice of my dear friend. The fault for that is no one’s but mine. We were once close in our college days. She was a friend that I could have fun with, rely on, talk to, receive advice from – solicited or not! – and be myself with. Oh, and I loved to make her laugh because when she laughed, she held nothing back. Her laugh was, and still is, big, bold and boisterous. (How’d you like that alliteration? Pretty awesome, huh!) No one could replace my friend, Greta. Nothing could change our friendship.

But something did…


You see, near the end of my time at college, I made some choices that I knew were not the best choices for me. The guilt over my behavior caused me to pull away from my friends, the friends who I knew would not approve of my choices, the friends who would look me in the eye and tell me I was wrong, the true friends like Greta. Ultimately, after college, I pulled away completely. I didn’t feel as though I deserved such a wonderful friend or that my friend would look at me as the same Pookie she once knew.

But Greta, my loving friend, wouldn’t let me go. She has never once wavered in our friendship. She has always been a friend who reaches out to me, encourages me and prays for me. Her friendship has taught me a valuable lesson which is this: we must be careful which voices we choose to heed in our lives. In my days of guilt and regret, I chose to listen to the voice of Satan who whispered lies in my ear telling me I was unworthy of my friends and of God’s mercy and forgiveness. If I had only listened to the voice of the Heavenly Father, I would have heard serenades of love and overtures of forgiveness – by far, a much better listening experience!

My SMILE today came from hearing my friend’s voice – a voice that is faithful to lift me up when I am down, redirect me when I am astray and keep me company throughout life’s journey. Do you have a voice like that in your life? Or are the voices in your life whispering lies of your unworthiness or incompetence? Stop listening to those lies. Tune your ear to the voice of the Father who is calling out, “I love you. I made you. You are priceless. I will forgive you. I will restore you. I have a plan for you and, child, my plan is good.”

A Year of Smiles – Day 5


We have a large living room in the middle of our house.  In this room, there are two ceiling fans with light fixtures.  My younger son loves light. When he’s in the living room, the overhead lights are always on.  I, being a conscientious mom, would rather he use the table lamps to light the room so every time I walk through the living room, I flip off the overhead lights and turn on the lamps. “Aw, c’mon!” is his usual reply. Then, later, when I return to the living room, I find the overhead lights shining brightly again.  It’s a constant struggle.

The other night, my husband and I decided to have a little fun.  There are 3 light switches that control the overhead lights.  One switch is on one side of the room. The other two are on the other side beside two separate doorways on opposite ends of the room.  My husband quietly snuck through one doorway and flipped off the lights.  My son, making his usual objection, jumped up and ran to that light switch to turn on the lights again.  Just as he did, I quickly flipped off the lights from the other end of the room then ducked away so he couldn’t see me. My son was a bit baffled.  He was watching his dad and couldn’t understand how the lights were switched off.  He soon realized I was the culprit and he ran down to my switch to turn on the lights again.  Of course, as he flipped this switch, my husband then turned the lights off from his end of the room.  This went on and on.  My kid was so flustered as he ran back and forth between the light switches.  My husband and I truly enjoyed these brief moments of torturing our child. 😉  We both were doubled over with laughter.  Finally, my son remembered the third light switch and our silliness was over.  The joy, however, remained.

Need a bit of joy, today?  Go be silly with your kids.  No kids?  That’s okay.  Be silly, anyway.  A little silliness goes a long way and yields a whole lotta SMILES. 🙂