Fall LeavesOh what great news it is that we finally have come to November! I think we can all agree that thank goodness we have come to election day, and now we no longer have to dodge political commercials and random phone calls and surveys and the endless news cycle always changing yet always seeming the same. No matter your views, be sure to remember to vote today, because even though the race has been divisive, the fact remains that voting is an honorable duty and responsibility of each American, the freedom to do so having cost many young Americans their lives. It is the least we can do to actively participate in our democracy in a republic, our fledgling experiment in economic and many other freedoms still alive and thriving. So again, if you haven’t yet, go vote!!

November is a month of thankfulness. No, really! We can be thankful the election is over. Thankful for the warm fall we have been blessed with, the beautiful fall colors we just enjoyed, and thankful to have family and friends, Packer and Badger games, and wonderful holiday memories just ahead - ready for the making! We can also be thankful for our jobs, our schools, our churches, those who give to others around us, those who inspire us, and perhaps, be thankful that people other than us are willing to run for political office - so we don’t have to!

When we look around, there are just so many reasons to be thankful, no matter what state we are in. Sometimes we have some temporary set-backs in life. Whether relationships that sour, or financial hardships, job loss, health issues, or children or parents that create heavy burdens, even in the midst of difficulty, we have to force ourselves at times to verbalize our blessings. And then in those times when the world is our oyster, we are looking down from the top of the mountain peak. Are we still being thankful for that which has been given to us? For that which we likely don’t even deserve?

Have you ever heard the story of Joni Eareckson Tada? As a teenager she dove into Chesapeake Bay and mis-judged the depth of the water, fracturing her spine and making her a quadriplegic for life. This happened in 1967. Where is she now? Still living, married, serving as a Christian minister to the disabled, and painting, with a brush in her teeth. She is also a speaker, a writer, and sang an Oscar nominated song just 2 years ago, Alone Yet Not Alone. In contrast to her countless years of hopeful and encouraging ministry, Miss Tada first traversed two years of depression, anger, doubt, and struggle as she processed through accepting her physical losses for life due to the accident at such a young age. No doubt, the role of gratitude and purpose God must have for what is, versus the depressed view of that which she lacked, helped bring her to her role of acceptance and her years of ministry to so many others. Even when faced with breast cancer in 2010, Tada looked to a strength beyond her own to overcome yet another great physical challenge.

So this month, I will leave you with one of Joni Eareckson Tada’s many uplifting quotes: “As a matter of fact, God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your step of faith.” So give thanks this month, and every day for all that you have, for problems you don’t have, and for the love all around you and in this beautiful world God has given us! The list of our blessings, if we were to honestly write one, would reach infinity!

Gratefully Yours,
Jill Murphy
Owner/Physical Therapist
MotionWorks Physical Therapy