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Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
There is much to be thankful forPosted Friday, November 28, 2008, at 5:33 PM
Another Thanksgiving Day celebration has come and gone.
And Black Friday -- the frenzied day of shopping madness the day after our traditional Thanksgiving -- is now behind us.
This year -- like most -- our family gathered round the table to gorge ourselves into a near-food coma. Between the turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and the rest of the fixins', it's easy to forget the true meaning of this special holiday.
Thanksgiving is more than just a day of feasting -- it's a time to give thanks for everything in our lives.
That's every member of our family. Yes, even the ones who sometimes get under your skin and irritate you a bit -- even the ones we don't really like.
The first Thanksgiving in America, as I was told the story many years, was when the Pilgrims had a celebration with their close neighbors. They thanked God for the fact they had survived so far and had a good harvest, thanks to the help of their neighbors.
That harvest was, no doubt, of foods they had never had before their arrival in America, like squash, corn and turkey.
They experienced many other aspects of life that were far different from what they were used back in their homeland of Europe.
But they still gathered to say thanks.
The last few years our family has included a time of personal thanksgiving sharing as we gather to say our prayer before enjoying the banquet meal.
To be real honest there have been years in my adult life when I haven't been able to come up with too much to verbalize as reasons to be thankful.
That's my fault.
As I looked around the table on Thursday, there were plenty of reasons -- young and old -- to truly give thanks for -- my family.
I thank the Lord for the people who sat down to share our Thanksgiving Day together on Thursday -- Sharon, Nicole, Stacey, Jeremy, Troy, Sydney, Jaden, Xavier, Jaclyn, Merle, Madeline, Big Tom, Little Tom, Ronnie, Rita, Sondra, Darren, Laurie, Macy, and Remington.
For an adopted kid who is now in his mid-50s -- who knows nothing at all about his own biological family -- I have much to be thankful for.
I'm thankful I had loving parents who gave me a chance to make something of my life. Many times they did without so I could have things better in my own life. For that, I am always grateful and very thankful.
I am thankful I have a family who cares, loves me for what I am, and prays for me.
I am thankful I have a wife who puts up with my many faults and multiple shortcomings and still treats me like a runway model, even if the only thing I'm fit to model these days is elastic waistbands. She's my best friend and worthy of more thanks than I can ever give her.
I am thankful I have family that keeps in touch when we can and doesn't believe out of sight is out of mind.
I am thankful I have neighbors and friends who look out for each other and come together for the causes closest to all of us.
I am thankful I live in community that shares what we have to help those in need. Greene County is more than a place to live, it's a place to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It's a privilege, and a challenge, to live here, and I'm grateful for both.
I am thankful for hope. Despite anxiety and uncertainty, we live in a country where hope trumps fear, just as long as we don't forget it.
I am thankful I live in a Christian nation that was founded on Christian principles by Christian men and women, who loved and feared God.
I am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and for the brave Americans -- men and women -- who volunteer to put themselves in harms way and fight our enemies around the globe to preserve those precious freedoms.
I am thankful for the opportunity to write this column for this newspaper, and our Web site and for those of you who read it. It's an honor to be able to share my thoughts each week -- knowing that I don't always live up to your standards.
Mostly, I'm thankful for the people who make my life such a full one. From week to week, I may gripe and grumble about my many obligations, but in the big picture of things it's pretty easy to still say "thank you."
As I was pondering what words of wisdom I could leave on this Thanksgiving Day holiday, I am reminded that in every life there are storms. Some are bigger than others. However, it's important that we remember to play after every storm and to celebrate the gift of life as we have it, or else life becomes a task, rather than a gift.
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