There’s a bad apple in every bunch … the driver who makes less than loving hand gestures, the litterbug, the shopper who takes 30 items through the express lane, and the runner who cuts in the crazy-long port-a-potty line at a marathon start.  Where is the love?  I’ve been the bad apple too many times, and it makes me cringe when I think about my blunders.  They’re clouded with selfishness and a lack of appreciation for my infinite blessings.  Well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend and an opportune time to focus on blessings and realign my outlook.  Simply reflecting on one aspect of my life – running – over the last few days provides a slew of fresh blessings … a race last Sunday gave me 26.2 miles with a dear friend in picture-perfect running weather … Thanksgiving Day began with a run through our neighborhood with my daughter Anna, while my son Pete had a sweet ride in his stroller … and the list goes on …

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;   Psalms 107:1

I don’t have any problems making endless lists of things for which I’m thankful.  My hurdle is sincerely appreciating them and failing to let gratitude define my outlook.  Within a disturbingly short time after acknowledging my blessings, I’ve been known to drift into thoughts of selfish “want” – how nice it would be to have budget-free finances, full service filling stations, thicker hair, and a wider garage so I wouldn’t have to turn sideways to get by my car … just to name a few.  If I truly appreciated what I have, I don’t think those trivial thoughts could invade my mind.  My blessings are overwhelmingly abundant – health, a loving extended family, a comfortable home, rich friendships, and a happy, healthy husband & four children.  I have never wanted for food, clothing or shelter, and I feel insulated from such needs and suffering.  A few blows to my world, however, could puncture my insulation and drop me in a place where struggling for basic needs is a reality.  Being in need is more possible than I want to imagine, and those whose basic needs are not met are more like me than I acknowledge.  With that in mind, I pray that God will help me eliminate my desire for more and more “wants” and replace it with sincere gratitude for all I have.  On this Thanksgiving Saturday, I THANK YOU for the time you take to read my posts.  It makes me happy to think of you on the other side of my computer.  As we head into the seasons of Advent and Christmas, I praise God for my blessings and intend to stand a little straighter, with a posture of gratitude and significantly fewer “bad apple” moments.

Dear God, thank you very much for my abundant blessings.