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Happy Thanksgiving! Today is the day when–in addition to enjoying delicious food and fellowship with family and friends–we contemplate and express gratitude for the many blessings in our lives.

We send texts to our loved ones and make posts on social media sending our thankful vibes out into the world. It is a day of positive expression and I love every minute of it!

But it occurred to me this morning that there’s even a greater opportunity that presents itself with this day and with this kick-off to the holiday season.

It’s easy to be thankful for the obvious things: our family, our friends, our faith. But what if we went beyond “baseline thankfulness” and were thankful even for the storms in life?

Early this morning, I was at my favorite morning beach spot (Walls in Waikiki). I had just sat down and was settling in when it started dumping rain. I figured I’d stick it out but then it got torrential. Everyone on the beach was running for cover and I too fled!

Part of me was bummed that I couldn’t hang out and enjoy the sunrise there, but then I considered that even in this storm, there were things to be thankful for:

  • I was thankful that we have regular rain and are not at this time suffering from drought like they are in California
  • I was thankful for all the tourists who after taking cover during the downpour came out to take pictures of the beautiful rainbow over the ocean that appeared after the rain let up
  • I was thankful for the rainbow itself, a reminder to me personally of the promises of God
  • I was thankful that I live 10 minutes from the beach and that I have a working car that will take me there whenever I choose
  • I was thankful that I live in Hawaii and make my home in a place that people all around the world only dream to one day visit

Whether the storm is actual or metaphorical, if we shift our mindsets of fear and despair into one of gratitude, we can usually find a silver lining.

I was talking with a colleague recently about relationships, particularly ones that fail. She made a comment that stuck with me for the last month. She said:

“You have to get your heart broken a lot, because then you know that you have one, that you’re alive, and that you’re truly living life”.

She elaborated that so much good and so much growth actually comes from these painful experiences.

When we are in the middle of the storm, whether it’s a house full of clutter, a scary medical report, or a broken relationship, it’s hard to see our way out and to hang on to hope for a better time. Thankfulness, in all circumstances, will help get us there.

Today, I’m thankful for you.

Wishing you a day of abundant blessings and a heart of hope.

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