Taking a thankfulness stroll 

One of these recent cold mornings I huddled under the covers and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for those very blankets. And for the bed that was holding up those covers – and also holding up me. And for the furnace that was keeping the chilly temps at bay. And for the light streaming through the bedroom windows. And for a host of other things. 

You see, sometimes I think one of the best things we can do is to imitate those sweet, precious children who utter prayers for every single thing in their lives – from thankfulness for Mommy and Daddy to asking that all puppies get homes to seeking blessings for the lawnmower.  

In fact, Jesus told us we should become like little children. 

So, as I did one time a few years ago during the Thanksgiving season, I decided to amble through our house and focus on things to be grateful for.  

As I exited the covers, in addition to prayers of thanks for the bed and the furnace, I added our house overall. Our shelter. Those boards and plaster and shingles that keep the rain away as well as protecting us from the sweltering Louisiana summers. What a wonderful box we live in. 

A photo of Hooshang sits on the little table right next to the bed, and how appropriate that it’s the first thing I saw during my thankfulness stroll. Thank you, Father, for providing me with this talented, caring man – even though you made me wait 40 years before you creatively brought us together that sunny February day. The wait was worth it. 

Next in my line of vision – the vintage dresser that belonged to my grandmother. I love that piece of furniture. In my grateful state of mind, I thank God for Ma – Rose Gunter – and the Christian influence she provided for her family and others. Across the room, photos of Mama, Daddy, Sister, Mammaw (Sallie Hollis) and my nephew, Jonathan, adorn a wicker table Mama gave me in the 1970s. 

Is a theme emerging here? I’m appreciative for my family, and I like to keep tangible things around to remind me of them. 

Then, I notice the pile of shoes that has gathered in the corner over the past few busy weeks. They’re nowhere near the closet where they should be housed.  

So what’s to be thankful for about this heap of a mess? I’m thankful to have the means to buy these 17 pairs of shoes (I kid you not – and there are more, besides). And also all the clothes that bulge from the two closets in the room. 

As I exit the bedroom, in my work space I see an assortment of sheet music and a keyboard that point to my beloved Piney Hills Harmony Chorus, and I thank God for music and the resounding joy it brings to my life. 

In the kitchen I pass a fridge full of food, and here’s how blessed we are: We often allow some of it to ruin before we consume it. How privileged is that? But, going forward, I pledge to try hard not to waste and to be so utterly thankful that I wouldn’t dare let anything spoil. 

As I enter the living room, my eyes turn to the wall of shelves that house my knick-knacks. There’s everything from a blue jay figurine to an embroidered rose to a 1990s Glamour Shot. But what my gaze stops on is the 7×7-inch frame featuring three burnished silver crosses on a black velvet background. Another small cross stands beside it with this verse engraved upon it: 

“God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world that we might have eternal life through Him” – I John 4:9. 

Now, that – that – is something to be thankful for on this day and in this season – indeed, forever and always. 

(This passage from the New Living Translation will serve as our memory verse this month.) 

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Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at sallierose@mail.com. 


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