I love this song written by David Foster, Richard Page, and Carole Bayer Sager, and performed by Josh Groban. I’ve taught the song to my children at the local charter school in which I teach elementary music on Thursday and Fridays. I have 108 students there, in kindergarten through fifth grade. One of my fifth grade boys made an astute observation after we sang the song last week. He said, “I’m so glad we sang that song. People often just jump from Halloween to Christmas and ignore Thanksgiving.” That’s a good bit of wisdom for an eleven-year-old boy.

The Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell

The Four Freedoms
by Norman Rockwell

People are looking for fun, parties, and gifts, and that’s not what Thanksgiving is about. There are no costumes (except in elementary plays). We don’t exchange gifts. There’s not much money involved. What we spend on the Thanksgiving dinner is about all there is to the holiday, other than spending time with family and having a day off work before the Christmas rush begins on Black Friday.

I’m a huge fan of Norman Rockwell’s work. His Four Freedoms are wonderful, and Freedom From Want has always been one of my favorites. The painting is more about the people than it is about the food.

If I could have anything I wanted this Thanksgiving, I would relive one of the Thanksgivings I had with my parents, siblings, husband, and children. The saying, “You don’t know what you had until it’s gone,” may be trite, but it’s true.

However, when I think of what I have instead of what I’ve lost, I’m very thankful. God has blessed me beyond all imaginings. I’m thankful that I’m healthy (and for the modern medicines that help me stay that way); for my husband, daughters, son-in-law, and my daughter’s godly boyfriend; for extended family, church, friends, and acquaintances; that I have the time to write; for our home, hot water, heat, and air-conditioning; for my five part-time jobs; and for music. Most of all, I’m thankful that God loves me, and I’m thankful for salvation.

For what are you thankful? What inspires in you that attitude of gratitude?


9 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Susan Kaye

    I love Thanksgiving. Aside from the work of cooking–which is actually great because we HAVE something to cook–it’s a holiday that requires little of us other than contemplation. It helps to facilitate the examined life and all that jazz.

    And I’m really grateful that my daughter has volunteered to do dinner duty this year. I shall be on hand for consultation, but I intend to mostly veg. πŸ˜‰


  2. Robin Helm Post author

    I will have a small group this year: my husband, younger daughter, Gayle, and me. The number is small, but it’s quality! lol


      1. Robin Helm Post author

        She sounds like most children. They are always too busy to eat. I know you’ll enjoy spending the day with her and the rest of your family.


  3. Sophia Rose

    I am so thankful to still have most of my family around me and to have basic needs met. I love Thanksgiving because it is the opposite of materialism and its smack dab between two big materialistic holidays as a reminder to not get caught up in that.


    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks for sharing with us, Sophia Rose. We are paring way down on our gift-giving this Christmas. Instead, we give a good bit to Operation Christmas Child and foreign missions. Our children are grown, and we have no grandchildren yet, so we have no small children to buy gifts for. No one will be disappointed.


  4. Laura Hile

    Thank you, Robin, for sharing this song. (My school computer does not have speakers, so I must wait to listen on my home laptop.) How much we have to thank God for!

    I’ll share one back: Broadway songwriter John Bucchino’s Grateful sung by Michael Feinstein.



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