A Heart Full of Gratitude

That cold Canadian blast swept through middle Tennessee late yesterday. It is 25 degrees and icy this morning; very chilly and yet I am warm, comfy and feeling extremely thankful for the many blessings in my life. November, being a month we celebrate Thanksgiving, where we reflect upon the bountiful blessings in our lives, is really something we should do every single day we awaken.

When I become semi-conscious in the morning, after sleeping next to the true love of my life snuggled in my so very comfortable Tempurpedic mattress and warm from my down comforter and expensive sheets and even before my eyes are open, in my heart and silently as not to awaken Randy, I say, “Thank-you”! “Thank you that I have a new day to live, to breathe, to see, to hear, to walk, to love and to be loved”! All this is before my feet even touch the warm, carpeted floor and slide into my slippers and before my first hot cup of coffee in my favorite stone mug. Then when I walk into my kitchen filled with my favorite things and my cabinets, pantry and refrigerator are full of good, fresh food I can eat anytime I desire. I say, “Thank-you!” again. The aroma of the fresh roasted, ground coffee already brewed from the pre-set timer is waiting for me, I pull back the curtains and look at the sun rising over the mountains and say, “Thank-you for the beauty of the Tennessee hills, meadows and nature I get to behold”!

And as I walk through my home, my beautiful and nicely furnished rooms and turn lamps on to offer a warm glow and push up the thermostat a couple of degrees, I am thankful for that electricity that comes into my home. I am thankful for the running water to flush my toilets and take a hot steamy shower and the clean, fresh laundered towels washed in a machine and dried. I am thankful for the clothes hanging and folded in my walk-in closet and the ability to pick, choose and decide what I want to wear today for work. Work…. Yes I am thankful for the work I have, that I am one that is employed and for the majority of the days, I love what I do and I get a commission check, I am paid for it too!!!! Winning! Oh and that beautiful car, the new one that I drive about to and from work, the one that Randy bought me last year, I am paying it off this week, yes, I am so thankful to be able to crawl into it, it still has that “new car” smell and the leather seats are heated AND cooled. But before I walk out the door, I grab my handbag, sunglasses, lunch and cell phone; what a blessing to have the ability to stay and get in touch with family, friends and co-workers on the go throughout our day. I get to hug Tara, look into her pretty face and tell her, “today is going to be a great day and good things are coming your way, get ready for it”! I kiss Randy, smell his cologne, which is my favorite that he wears for me, feel his big strong arms about my waist as he pulls me to him and I inhale, breathe deeply the love I feel from him. He makes me feel safe, I am loved by him and that moment will last throughout the day until I greet him in the evening the same way. At some point during my day, I hear from my oldest daughter Tiffany, her cheerful greeting of, “Hi Mommy”! Or I may be richly blessed with getting to see her smiling face and hugging her. Then there are the friends, my collection of amazing loving and true friends and every single day, I am enriched with a visit, a phone call or a text message from one of them and sometimes several of them in one day just checking in on me. How incredibly loved and special my life is with the fullness of family and friends.

Yes, I am so very thankful for my life, I am grateful for the awesome people first that are in it and the added things that make my life comfortable, enjoyable and loving. It hasn’t always been easy for me, I grew up very poor and homeless for a while and a lot of times not having enough food to eat. We never starved, but not always as much as we wanted to eat. I remember not having running water, indoor plumbing or electricity. As a kid, we lived in our car, we lived in an old school bus and we lived in a travel trailer, we thought it was pretty cool, our home always had wheels! I would not trade any of those times though, because doing without and not having enough has fashioned me into the woman of thankfulness I am today. I am grateful for the little things, the smallest of blessings and I realize just how rich I am from having nothing to having everything.

I encourage you today to look around, you may not have everything you want, but I promise you what you do have is a blessing in itself. If you have food to eat, clothes on your back, you woke up in your right and sound mind, you have someone to share your life with, you have your kids and grand kids to play with and you can feed them when they are hungry and you are breathing; be thankful! There is more to come your way, but we must be thankful for what we have first!

Have a thankful day, be mindful of your many blessings, even the smallest! You are loved and you are special! ;o)

Tonya F. Henshaw
November 16, 2014