We all lead busy lives, but at this time of year, we need to slow down and take time to reflect on all the everyday blessings that we enjoy. 

There are so many little things that we don't give much thought to, like the fact that our cars start when we go out and turn on the ignition. 

We are blessed to live in a country where we are free; free to work at the job of our choice, to worship at the church of our choice, shop where we would like, purchase what we enjoy and go where we want to go without government interference.

We are truly blessed with the abundance we enjoy. One of the joys at Thanksgiving is to see our extended family; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins we rarely see. How delightful to catch up with those we don't see very often.

For what are you most thankful? Here are a few ideas to help begin your own list:

•The Lord God who loves and cares for us

•Our family who love us unconditionally

•Our church families that care for us

•Our jobs or careers, and the ability to change career direction, if we choose

•Our dedicated police officers, firefighters and EMTs

•Our military, at home and abroad, that make our country safe

•I am thankful for the gift of music, that I have a voice I can lift in praise to the Lord

•Sunshine and rain that give us beautiful flowers

•Pets that love us

•The ability to reason and learn

These are just a few ideas for what we can be thankful. Make your own list and see items for which you give thanks.

In acknowledgement for the gratitude you feel at this time of year, please donate non-perishable food or money to your church's food pantry or to the community food bank for those less fortunate so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.

We can all work on gratitude, just by saying "thank you" to someone. A spoken thank you with a smile will certainly brighten up one's day.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you, Lord, for our many blessings!

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.