As I have mentioned many times before, this is my absolute favorite time of year! Fall just feels happy to me, the colors, the weather, the smells, the celebrations. This month in particular has been my favorite month of the year. Our oldest son turned 18 on the 12th, he was Confirmed on the 16th, my birthday was the 19th and Thanksgiving is just a few days away. My favorite holiday of the year!
I must admit, I get a little sad when Halloween is over and the stores and communities begin decorating for Christmas as if Thanksgiving doesn’t exist. If we overlook this wonderful opportunity to foster gratitude in our children and families we miss out on helping to prepare ourselves for what is to come in a few short weeks, the birth of our Savior.
Thanksgiving should not only be a day about Turkey and food and football, but a day that we truly examine all that we have to be thankful for in our lives. The freedoms we enjoy, the people we share our days with, the homes we live in, our health, our livelihood, our children and our spouse, our faith, the struggles we have overcome, the ones we have yet to conquer and our forgiving God. We encounter people all throughout the year that impact our lives and we are impacting theirs as well. This is a day to consciously say, “God, I am thankful for the blessings you have put in my path and for the opportunity to share these blessings with others!”
Our lives today have become so hectic, children in numerous activities, we serve on this committee and that, we work, we raise children, we literally have the world at our fingertips 24/7 via the Worldwide Web. It is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed, lost even, simply going through the motions.
Let us take this day to STOP. Let us take this day to examine where we are and where we are going. Look at the lessons we have learned in life and how our wisdom might help another one of God’s children. How are our daily choices growing our faith? How are our daily interactions with others impacting their faith? How are we investing our time, talent and treasure? Can we make a little change in our daily routine that would have a positive impact on our own faith and the faith we are handing down to generations to come?
I was blessed to have the opportunity to help a friend through a rough day this past week and I thought maybe the advice I gave her might be of use to someone else, so here it is; “I want you to keep your eyes open today as you ‘go through the motions’ look for someone that needs a kind word or a gentle touch or prayer and BE there for them! Maybe it is a complete stranger you see struggling, say a prayer that God will provide them with all that they need. Focus on giving love away to people who may not even know and you will feel the peace seeping in!” I went on to tell her that I often remind myself and teach our children that when I don’t know how to handle something, I simply say this little prayer, “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, be with me.”
If we move through our days without gratitude, the days will become weeks and the weeks will become months and the months, years. Before we know it we have forgotten where we were going and why we were headed there. So, my advice to you is this….Simply slow down and look for the little blessings in your life and BE a blessing to others. The impact this has on our lives far exceeds our own littleness, it reaches others in ways we won’t necessarily even be aware of and that is the point!
I am thankful for my husband and my children and for their unconditional love. I am thankful that they are on this faith journey with me and that they love me and teach me and forgive me and pray for me. I am looking forward to spending this Thanksgiving with friends that share this faith journey with us and I am grateful God has put people of faith on my path.
I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving, one full of fellowship, grateful hearts, delicious food and a beginning, a new beginning. Let us take this Thanksgiving to prepare our hearts for the season of Advent as we eagerly await the birth of our Savior.