Forced Thankfulness?

I started a blog post about a month ago after the first ER visit with the Small One but didn't like the direction it was going so I never finished it. I haven't even blogged about that kid's birthday on our family blog. It has been a hard month for us, I won't go into all the details. The quick facts: the Small One ended up with a skull fracture, the Silly One got 5 stitches in his chin after crashing on his bike and the Smart One was in the ER earlier this evening and ended up getting a gastroscope. (Hence I referenced the "first" ER visit.) After the first incident I had a huge wake up call as to how precious life really is, things are fine one moment and can be gone the next. Thankfully everyone is fine, even as I write this. The boys are healed and back to their normal (crazy and wild) selves. 
The Smart One is sleeping it off and hopefully will be back to normal tomorrow. I thought about writing a blog post about being thankful for modern medicine and the wonderful things they are able to do and discover in an instant, it is Thanksgiving in a week after all. I thought about writing how thankful I am for my wonderful little family and how each of them mean the world to me. I could go on and on about the thoughts I had about being thankful but as I was thinking I realized it is more than just being thankful. I need to live that gratitude. 
My greatest blessings, as silly as they are!
A few years ago at a large Thanksgiving dinner (my favorite way to have it) there was a particularly poignant thought on the favor that year. I liked it so much it has been stuck to my fridge ever since. It spoke of not just giving thanks but in actually living it. We shouldn't have to be forced into thankfulness as I feel I am at times. And yet here I am overwhelmed by my feelings just for 3 people, not counting the many others who impact my life for good. My goal this Thanksgiving season and moving forward is to not just be grateful and thankful for the bounteous blessings I have been given but to act on that gratitude. To show those people that mean more to me than anything how wonderful I think they are. To strive to share the blessings I have with others around me.
"Gratitude is expressed in prayer and thanksgiving, but more so in living lives of honor and integrity, of kindness and compassion, in awareness of others and their needs, and an honest expression of gratitude for all those who bless and affect our lives for good. Thanksgiving is best expressed in thanks-living -in lives of goodness and obedience and love and service."
- A. Theodore Tuttle

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