I've fallen short on going to church and praying regularly, so during my conversations with the man upstairs, I try to focus on giving thanks while apologizing for seeming so ungrateful at times. I figure If I can't be disciplined enough to walk the walk, I really shouldn't be asking Him for many favors, so I try not to do this as much.
I do often ask Him for guidance, as I try to steer myself in the right direction. It would be a lot easier if I'd turn the wheel over to God, but apparently I keep thinking I can do it all by myself. If I can't accomplish praying for anything else, I will give Him my thanks for giving me the people in my life. From friends to family, they are truly my Thanksgiving.
Being able to share my life with someone who makes me laugh, understands my quirks and continually overlooks my shortcomings has to be fate, I couldn't be so lucky, he choose to love me. With four grown children, sons- and daughter-in-laws and four wonderfully grand grandchildren, we share a family that is making memories and traditions that will last lifetimes. I am so thankful.
I love that I never left the town I was born in, but that's not for everyone. As my daughters were growing up and began making lives of their own, I didn't hesitate to voice my opinion about where they should land. There was no hinting around, I insisted they live within a 25-mile radius of my house. Whether they actually listened or it was luck, they're close enough for regular visits, but far enough away to make the son-in-laws happy. I am so thankful.
The grandchildren make my life complete in a way I never thought possible. Being able to experience their accomplishments – from getting their first tooth to losing their first tooth, it's simply amazing. There's never enough time to get in all of the grandkid goodness I need. Even when their parents think they're being "bad," they're good. Being a part of their lives is what makes "going over the hill" my favorite chapter in this life and it's so much easier to overlook the gray hair, aches and pains. I am so thankful.
When I'm missing mom's way of comfort or telling me like it is, I know I can count on my sister to fill in the void. Even though she says I'm the bossy one, she really is, but I like it that way. She keeps me grounded, without even knowing it, and I can't imagine life without my big sister in it. Siblings know you better than anyone, and I'm glad she also wants to be my friend. I am so thankful.
My parents weren't perfect; nobody's are, but they taught me the value of having a family, cherishing the cycle of life and being thankful for those who come into our lives and for those who leave us. They showed me life as it really is, and I am so thankful.
My true Thanksgiving goes to God, as He gives, without being asked, and continuously forgives me for pushing him out of the driver's seat. I am so thankful.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org