Monday, November 10, 2008

What about Thanksgiving?

It's now November. Halloween is over and if you didn't know better, you might think Christmas is the next major holiday.

But it's not. Thanksgiving is. What happened to Thanksgiving? I know, I know, there aren't any twinkling lights and presents attached to it. Turkeys aren't as cute as elves, and Pilgrims are definitely a step down from Santa Claus.
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but what about Thanksgiving?

What happened to this holiday? It seems to have been lost in the shuffle. Redeposited where old outdated holidays go I suppose. Like Veteran's Day- when we used to have a parade every year when I was growing up. Like George Washington and President Lincoln's birthdays, now we just have "Presidents Day".
Like the Fourth of July is now just a day when we watch fireworks. Don't mention patriotism, don't you know... it's verboten.

I am thankful that I live in the USA. For the men and women who have died for my freedom. For my family members who have served, or are currently serving in the following armed forces: 2 National Guardsman, 1 Army Ranger, 1 Airforce pilot, 2 Navy, 1 Marine. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting yourself in harms way daily so that my family can enjoy the freedom we do.

Well, I for one want to remember this holiday. The Pilgrims came and settled here to escape religious persecution and to have the freedom to believe as they wanted without fear.
I am thankful for them.

I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father, who is kind and forgiving, and through whom all things are possible. Including, but not limited to, the miracle that is my sobriety.

I am thankful for my church, which provides me with the opportunity to meet twice a week with outstanding young women like these above. I am a young woman leader in my church and it has been my privilege to associate with these shining examples of our future, and watch them grow. I only hope I can learn all they have to teach me before I die.

I am thankful for the little things in life. Naps and cats, soft beds and food to eat. A roof over my head, and clothing for my children.

I am thankful for the beauty that is around us. For nature's dance that we are a witness to every day. For glorious color and diversity.

I am thankful for all of God's creatures, great and small. For the chance to have saved this Monarch and the opportunity to be a part of her glorious emergence from sleep into this winged fairy creature.

I am thankful for my family, who has saved my life on more than one occasion. For my daughter, whose grace and beauty still take my breath away. For her kind and loving nature, for her extraordinary courage which amazes me daily. I am thankful for her sweet spirit and for how she stands up for what's right- no matter the cost. And she makes me laugh, oh she makes me laugh...

I am thankful for my husband, see him on the right? He is like Chaucer- a trudger. He is the hardest working man I know. I am thankful for his willingness to do anything he needs to for his family. Including taking a job in the fast food industry at age 50 to ensure that we have food on the table. For his dedication and love to his oh-so-less-than-perfect-wife. I love you...

I am thankful for my son. That's him on the right with the nunchuks. For his strength, the way he makes me laugh until I cry, and for his valiant spirit. For the way he keeps going, even though the road is a hard one. For his incredible talent in music, and how when I am going through a difficult time, he will bring out his acoustic guitar and just play for me... all of the songs he knows I love.

I am thankful for my parents. I have learned so much from them, and I would not trade them in for the world. Through good times and the not so good times, I love my father. I am proud of my mother and her dedication to her temple work. I am thankful for her, and so glad she is in my life.
I am thankful for my dog. One look into his eyes reminds me just what unconditional love is supposed to be. For knowing when I need a hug, and for always, always loving me- no matter what.

And I am thankful for my friends. You know who you are. The ones who support me through the good and the bad, and the ugly. The ones who make me want to be a better person. I don't know what I would do without my friends I have in my life, both in my church and outside of it. I have been buoyed up again and again by their strength, their determination, their courage in overcoming what seem to be at times insurmountable challenges.
I have come to love and rely on those friends never met in person...
I am thankful for you!