Someone once said, ''Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of what you think or how you respond. The key is how you respond to what happens to you in life.''
By the time you read this article the Thanksgiving holiday will be over. The hectic shopping will be completed and family will have returned home. Regardless of what you see when you look around, there are many reasons to be thankful.
I have so much to be thankful for as I write this. Thanksgiving morning a close friend of mine who lives in Massachusetts called me. We are both early risers and we talked for about an hour. Then my wife and I went out for a four-mile walk. We usually talk a lot during this time. These walks usually help me think through issues and problems too. There is so much to be thankful for.
We planned on going to my sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by the great aroma of turkey and stuffing. My sister is as good a cook as my mom was. The house was hot and steamy, but the important thing is that my sister and brother-in-law were there. My nephews were there, too. Kids were running around and playing and sometimes they were real loud. There is so much to be thankful for.
Like any extended family at the holidays there were some people missing. Some family members live in different parts of the country. We talked on the phone and enjoyed them being there even if they weren't physically.
Some family members have died and we shared memories and stories and they live on in our hearts. There is so much to be thankful for.
In our family we stand around the table and hold hands and give thanks. My brother in-law said grace and then it was time to eat and talk. Our families talk a lot while eating but that is part of the fun. For my wife and me it has been a while since we have lived near family. My family has always liked getting together. We don't feel like we have to do it; we want to do it. There is so much to be thankful for.
We shared about times when the nephews were younger and we laughed and laughed. We got the new school pictures of their kids. We showed them pictures of our sons and granddaughter. We wished everyone could be here, but they couldn't. Life and jobs sometimes move loved ones far away. But there is so much to be thankful for.
Some of our extended family is unemployed right now. Some have lost good jobs because of the economy. Some are still working regularly the same job they have had for a long time. Some have had to move out of state to work. But we were together and enjoying one another's company and conversations. Somehow just being together talking and laughing made things better. There is so much to be thankful for.
Viktor Frankl, who spent time in a Nazi concentration camp, said, ''Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.'' Who knows what next year will bring. Right now there is so much to choose to be thankful for.
Mazey is a Trumbull County pastor.