The 2018 election is over! Can I get a hallelujah! Now instead of campaign ads filling our airwaves maybe we can find out who burned down Cheryl’s She-Shed as one post on Facebook suggests. For those of you who don’t know who Cheryl is, you can Google State Farm Insurance to find her story. Finally she has given us is something to smile about!
In just a couple of weeks Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving, which is not the religious holiday but a great reminder of the Pilgrims and their shared dinner with the Indians. That is the story that I learned in grade school so I want to use it because I believe it offers us a an opportunity to once again give thanks for our friends, family and all people that make up this country regardless of color, creed, gender, or immigration status. We live in a land of great abundance and another Thanksgiving holiday provides us with an opportunity to celebrate. I am not overlooking the fact that not all Americans experience the same privileges as others so please understand that I am speaking my truth and reflecting on my abundance rather than the feeling of scarcity.
So today I want to shift our feelings of scarcity and instead offer thanks for all of our blessings.
My heart gives thanks for:
Freedom: The right to live my life according to my values, ideals and perspectives. Living in the freedom to express my opinion and engage with to others who offer different perspectives with civility and respect even when we disagree. Even though the campaign season has been long and I am glad it is over, I celebrate the right to vote and be counted!
Worship: I am free to worship a God of grace and truth who loves me for me with no strings attached. I live with the right to worship in a church of my choosing without fear of government retaliation or punishment. I also have the freedom to believe and experience God in a way that might be different from my “neighbor.”
Creation: I am amazed that I get to walk through creation breathing the air, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, listening to the waves crashing, watching the stars come to life in the dark sky and sitting under the shade of a tree is a gift to enjoy. Regardless of where we choose to live, experiencing creation’s endless beauty is a blessing that we can appreciate and offer our thanks.
Medical Care: Too often I take for granted that I live in a nation with an abundance of doctors, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, and other medical care teams and let’s not forget all of the drugs at our fingertips to help us be well.
Love of family and friends: My heart truly gives thanks for my daughters, my son-in-law, my grand girls, and my extended family that live miles away. There is always room to improve telling them how grateful I am that they are in my life. Through the years, I have developed friends who have walked with me through divorce, deaths, education and transitions and who have just loved me for who I am. My heart celebrates all of these relationships.
As I turn the page from the divisive nature of the past weeks, my hope is that you will join me in finding a way to celebrate the good that life offers you. Earlier I mentioned that sometimes it is very difficult to be thankful because of the harsh realities of life but I still think there is room for gratitude. In order to change the negative and divisive mood of the country we need to begin by changing our perspectives. Likely you have heard people say, if we want things to change, we need to be the change. This change begins with looking at life through a lens of gratitude to see the abundance we have been given. So with this in mind, I will pray for others even when it is difficult. I will strive to treat people the way I want to be treated, and above all I will love God and my neighbor with my whole heart. With each new day, I will turn the page and celebrate with a thankful heart so that I can sing, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”