November 27, 2009
Things to be thankful for. . .
Yesterday I had the best Thanksgiving I have had in years. I guess that as you get older, you must get wiser, or at least gain perspective. For alot of our young married years Kerry and I spent Thanksgiving at our own home, where I cooked the meal and we enjoyed it with our little ones. We would occasionally have Thanksgiving at Kerry's folks or at mine, but not too often. This year we decided to invite everyone to come over. Gray and Lisa and their boys came, and they brought a family of friends with them. Angel and Brad and Kylee came over (but we missed mom Simmons.) Mindy and Andy and their boys surprised everyone and came all the way from Mass., and Sunshine and David and Tryston came. We must not forget Grama and Grampa Gifford. Then in the afternoon my son Jake and his girlfriend came over too. With my family included in the mix we had 35 people. So we really had a houseful! We had all the usual trimmings and food, nothing out of the ordinary there. The cousins enjoyed each other and played without fighting. No one was "bored" no one got sick, no one left early, none of the adults were upset with each other, (which may be unusual, for us it is just a repeat of our family reunion) . . .everyone enjoyed dinner, everyone hung out until at least 7 p.m. and some even stayed until almost 10 p. m. The food was great, the craft activity was fun, some books were read, some naps taken, and alot of visiting was done. So why was this year so good. It was not really that out of the ordinary as far as family gatherings go. As I pondered this question (here is the perspective part); the only answer that I could come up with is that the spirit was present(not that its never been there before of course). We have a tradition on Thanksgiving. We take turns sharing something that we are thankful for. One of those present said that they were thankful for "the good and the bad that God sends into their life." I must agree with that. I particularly feel that the "bad" that is sent into our lives has a tendency to mold us, and to bring us closer to God. I think it makes it easier to feel the spirit and the whisperings that come to each of us as we are guided by his hand. The difference in Thanksgiving this year is that we included the One we were supposed to be thanking. It was a wonderful day that I will not soon forget. Having the spirit present makes all the difference in the world. If we had the spirit present at all our family gatherings, the food would always taste better, the company would always be better, our homes would always be warm (at least our insides would be) and the world would always be a better place. Our joys are deeper, our feelings more resplendent and we grow closer to one another. It like when my children say to me each year "this was the best Christmas ever!" It is!, and it is because each year the spirit deepens the joy and the feelings of all those who were present. Thanksgiving was that way for me this year. To the rest of our friends and family,I hope that you too had a wonderful Thanksgiving!