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Give thanks for ‘everyday’ blessings
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Dust on the Dashboard

Give thanks for ‘everyday’ blessings

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. Reach him at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

This week is Thanksgiving. I do not know about you, but this year does feel like Thanksgiving to me.

The weather is about right and for the most part I am caught up on farm work, or maybe I am less behind, but in either case I have had time to think about Thanksgiving and anticipate the holiday.

Let us face it, the anticipation of a holiday is usually better than the actual holiday itself. We wait for weeks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or the Fourth of July. Then – bang there it is, and it is over.

Yes, this week is Thanksgiving and there are few holidays a fat guy like me like better than Thanksgiving. The day when we are given free rein to stuff ourselves and diets are out the door. The day when we get the biggest turkey we can find, get up in the wee hours of the morning to start it cooking and smell it all morning. You have the hustle and bustle of cooking and family.

Thanksgiving truly is one of the top five days of the year.

With all the football and gluttony, we often miss the whole point of Thanksgiving. The day is not called eat a bunch and fall into a food coma watching football day. No, it is called Thanksgiving for a reason.

We are told it is to commemorate the first fall of the pilgrims. It was a time when they sat down to a feast and gave thanks for merely surviving up to that point. Sure, there was a long hard winter ahead, but they celebrated simply having food and being alive. It’s sure a far cry from our lives.

Let us face it, we are very blessed to live here and live in these times. Sure, we have our challenges and some of them are profoundly serious. But in the general scheme of daily living, we have it good and really easy.

We all live in comfortable houses. Sure, some are more comfortable than others but most of us do not have to worry about the elements or staying warm in the winter. Our homes are insulated and heated enough that they offer us protection in the harshest of weather. Our ancestors did not have it that easy and yet they found time to give thanks.

Food is another thing we take for granted but that we should be very thankful for. I know there is food insecurity in our neighborhoods, and I hope that is a cause each of us will accept and get behind. Often, we would be surprised at who in our communities are worried about where their next meal will come from and that should never happen in a country where food is so plentiful. We waste enough to feed those who are food insecure. However, my guess is that most of you reading this have plenty and too often I think we do not realize how blessed we are.

Add that on to all of the great “stuff” we have. Entertainment at our fingertips, transportation whenever we want it and the freedom to choose what we do, how we spend our money and where we go. Most of us are leading the best lives any human has ever lived and we are doing it knowing we are safer and more secure than anyone in any age. Yet, I would bet that most of us seldom take time to give thanks for all of the “everyday” blessings in our lives.

It is easy to forget just how good we have it, especially in this day and age. We are constantly bombarded with news about how dreadful things are and just how fast we are headed toward disaster. True, we need to be vigilant and never take this life for granted but we also must take time to be thankful for all we have and all we have been given.

This Thanksgiving take a little time and reflect on all the good things in your life. I do not care who you are or where you are in your life, you have good things in it. Make sure you recognize all of those blessings, I bet you will come up with more than you thought you had.

Maybe you write them down, maybe you share them with your spouse and kids but in any case, come up with a list. It will make you feel better, I promise.

When you have your list give thanks to God for all he has given you. Yes, I know we all work awfully hard for what we have but it the end everything is a blessing and a gift, and we should treat it as such. Give thanks for all you have and again I think you will find just how blessed you are. Then spend time with your family and friends because, in my opinion, those relationships are my biggest blessings. Then, enjoy the day, because we really do have a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension educator for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. He can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

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Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. Reach him at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

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"I wondered how many times over the ages someone had sat in that same spot with the weight of the world on their shoulders and had gotten that same message from God."

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