Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving

As we near the day we call "Thanksgiving", I think of its origins and the reasons we give thanks.  Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday, which commemorates the gratitude exhibited by our earliest settlers who had endured extreme hardship in their quest for freedom from an oppressive ruler.  Many of us celebrate this day with a special meal, taking time from our busy, busy, and perhaps, humdrum lives to give thanks to God for our freedom and many other blessings.

When I was growing up, we didn't have a "Thanksgiving" meal, as my father had to work that day.  As best I can remember, I was a teenager by the time my father had that day off from work.  Then, we had an "official" Thanksgiving meal to which my mother invited older friends who might otherwise be alone that day.  I remember my mother making the turkey and cooking everyone's favorite vegetable.  So therefore, although we weren't by any means rich, along with the turkey, we had a full array of condiments and at least six different vegetables on the table.  That was the only day I ever had another meal later in the evening consisting of "left-overs."

As my husband and I raised our seven children, we tried to instill in them a spirit of thanksgiving in our everyday lives, so this day was celebrated in a big way.  Now my children, separated only by approximately 2,600 miles, celebrate with nearby family and friends, remembering their brother and sisters, living on the opposite coast of the country, in their hearts.  This is a time when we wish we could all be together again, but living on two coasts doesn't afford us this opportunity.

Judeo-Christian teachings instruct us to be thankful to our Creator.  Psychologically, it is beneficial for us, in our busy, busy, and perhaps humdrum lives, to assess our lives and our blessings.  I'm sure there are physiological benefits from this as well.  It's been my observation that when I center on being grateful, my spirit rises.  While I'm far from what I consider financially "rich", I consider myself blessed beyond belief.

I'm thankful to God for my family, our health and wealth (however, subjective) and ability to do and be what we want, within reason.  I'm thankful, as a Christian, for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who guides me day by day.  I'm thankful for the wonderful family and friends with which the Lord has seen fit to provide for me.  I'm thankful for our service men and women who lay down their lives for our safety, and their families who willingly sacrifice their lives as well.  I'm thankful for my health and ability to spend time throughout the year with all of my children and grandchildren, who are growing like "weeds."

My prayer for you, this day, is that you are able to fulfill your God-given destiny with your God-given talents.

Please feel free to share your comments.

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