img_0699This is our Thanksgiving Box. Throughout the year, we insert bits of thankfulness and read them all on Thanksgiving day.

I remember the first year we did this.  I was smiling and cooking and going through the motions, but I wasn’t feeling it. I was the mother of five, seven and under, had a lot of health issues, and I was tired.

Distractedly, I opened the box and began reading. I smiled at the sweet thank yous the kids had dictated for me over the months, but my mind still buzzed with all I had to do. Then everything grew quiet as the last paper I read came into focus.

 Thank You Eva’s lips turned pink again.

How could I have forgotten? I gathered my little Eva onto my lap and remembered how, six months previously, she had climbed on top of the dining room table and jumped as far and high as her little toddler legs would allow. Landing on her head, she almost passed out, and stayed in a state of semi-consciousness, while her face paled and her lips faded to blue.

The nurse told us to keep her awake for awhile and then check her every half hour through out the night. I did not sleep that night. It wasn’t long before her healthy pink color returned and nothing ever came of her fall. She was fine, but it sure gave me a scare.

Thinking about this made me realize something. If I had forgotten a big thing like that, how many smaller blessings had I forgotten? So the Thank you Box became a confirmed tradition in our house. For us, saying thank you in the abstract only reaches one inch deep, but as we remember the details, dozens and dozens of them, smiles grow wider, kids lean forward laughing, and everyone is joyful about the goodness of God. They don’t always think about it that way. But they’re being trained toward thankfulness. And I have found, so am I.