Let’s be thankful for God
By the time you read this, the election that has consumed us will finally be over. The debates have ended, all the vitriol (hopefully) silenced, all the negative ads paid for and packed away in a film vault.
Boy, am I glad! I think we all feel that way. Now, it is time for us to positively move up from all the negativity. What better way to do that than with holiday cheer?
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. They couldn’t come at a better time. I started getting the holiday spirit very early this year. It must have been around August when I started imagining the scent of a balsam fir, the turkey in the oven, and the Macy’s parade ushering in Santa.
I was escaping the heat of summer and politics to pay a mental visit to my favorite time of year. A time when we sit down, hold hands, and give thanks. A time when laughter becomes a welcome noise in homes and a time when we start to celebrate the birth of our real leader, the Lord.
Driving home the other evening from the grocery store, I noticed the sky was developing into varying shades of gray streaked by whites and pinks from the setting sun. It was breathtaking.
I decided to pull over in a parking lot and just enjoy this changing scene. I remember telling my children that when the sky looks this beautiful it is because God is in His art studio. His brush strokes were swiping the canvas as the sun fell slowly down beyond the horizon.
There is nothing that can calm your soul, settle your nerves, and put you in prayer mode more than looking up to Heaven.
I sat in my car and I thought about my family that resides beyond those clouds and skies streaked in pink. My mother, father, brother, grandparents, some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends now call it home. I thought about the countless Thanksgivings and Christmases I enjoyed with them never giving a thought that one day they would not be there.
Tears came to my eyes, but I wasn’t sad. I was thankful. I was thankful because they were wonderful. They weren’t perfect, yet, they were simply the best gifts God ever gave me.
I was so blessed by these and so many that have walked with me. I understand, that it is family and friends that make living turn into life. We all need to pause and realize that.
Memory is a great gift. To be able to recall the faces of those we cannot see, to hear the laughter of those that are now silent, and to feel the love forever of those who once held you, is a true blessing.
As we all head to the holiday season, let’s be thankful all the way through it. Not just on that Thanksgiving Thursday, but before and beyond that day. Let’s be grateful that we live in a county that celebrates thankfulness.
Let’s love our country and our families more, forgive more, tell more people that we care for them. How hard is that? How hard is to become better? How hard is to be kinder, have more empathy, and give more?
I took my three children to a park when they were small. It was an early spring day. Blooming dogwoods surrounded the lake where ducks swam with one lone white swan. The sky was crystal clear as the sun warmed the ground where colorful tulips reached up to the sky.
All my children were under the age of 6.
“What is the most beautiful thing God made in this park?” I asked each of them.
Amy, my oldest, raised her hand excitedly, “I know, I know! It’s the tulips!” “No,” I said, “even though they are beautiful.”
Heather jumped up, “I know, I know! It’s the swan in the lake!”
“No,” I replied, “even though the swan is very elegant.”
Corey, all of age 2, pointed up and yelled, “Twees!”
“Well, Corey, God does love trees and he did make them beautiful, however, that is not the right answer.”
Looking confused, after they had exhausted everything they saw in the park, I finally explained.
“Kids, never forget this: The most beautiful thing in the park is the people. God saved his last, best creation to be us.”
This holiday season, let’s put the election season behind us. Let’s sit down at our tables and be thankful that the most beautiful thing we have is each other. Let’s be thankful for the loved ones that once graced our lives and live on in our hearts. Most of all, let’s be thankful for our amazing, true leader who is …… God.