Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Create a Thanksgiving Slideshow

This week is all about being thankful. It is a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives and to appreciate  all that we have.

Sometimes, it can feel as though I'm being put on the spot--

Quick, quick, what are your blessings? Do you feel grateful? Do you? Do you?

It can be difficult to create or force sincere gratitude. Sure, we all rationally know how blessed we are and we are thankful. But there are moments in life when I am so overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude that I am overcome with joy and moved to tears. How do you create that?

It can be especially difficult for us moms as we prepare for a holiday. There is grocery shopping to do, pies to bake, clothes to pick out and iron, a house to clean, etc, etc. While dealing with the stress of added items to your to-do list, are you feeling genuine gratitude? Maybe you are. But some of us might need a little help :)

Something that has helped me this week is pretty simple and only took about twenty minutes or so. I changed the screen saver on my laptop. How does this make me feel thankful?

Well, I have basically created a Thanksgiving slideshow to be my screensaver. I have also done this for Halloween and Christmas with pictures featuring those holidays. I also plan to do this for each child, making a slideshow featuring that child to have playing around the time of their birthdays.

I do have some Thanksgiving photos that I have added to this slideshow. But the majority of the photos I have added are from special moments in the past year or two. Veronica's birth. Family vacations. Kristen's 21st birthday. Our anniversary. Time spent with friends. Our new puppy. Veronica's baptism. Kristal, strong and healthy and on the other side of chemo, running a 5K. Jason and I becoming godparents, strengthening our friendship with two different families. My surprise 30th birthday party. Grandparents and great grandparents bonding with our children. Seeing our children growing up before our eyes.

Visual reminders of all of the blessings in my life.

Reviewing all of the photos we've taken in this way helps me to pause from all of the to-do's and recall how very rich my life is. A few days ago, I overheard Joshua ask Noah, "Have you ever had a dream come true?" This question makes me smile and also makes me realize once again that most of my dreams have come true.

I have set my computer settings so that this slideshow begins after only a minute of inactivity and angled my screen toward the kitchen so that I can watch it while I cook and wash the dishes. To further the sentiment, I have the soundtracks to certain movies playing that make me feel reflective.

While I realize how busy all the moms are this week, especially those of you hosting the holiday meal, make sure to take some time and truly reflect on your blessings. You deserve that. You deserve to experience this holiday with genuine gratitude and joy in your hearts. The moms I know work so hard at creating and building beautiful homes, families and lives around them. If need be, skip the laundry this week. It will still be there on Monday, I promise. Have popcorn for dinner tonight. Whatever you need to do to create a little time for yourself and reflect on the riches of your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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