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Twenty-First Century Thanksgiving
How Do We Connect Today With Yesterday?
We must first reconnect with our childhood and the innocence of the world we find there.
Research in Positive Psychology has shown that expressing gratitude and appreciation to the special people and relationships in your life can significantly increase levels of happiness and life satisfaction. So being thankful for, and expressing that thanks to, the people you care about, to your friends and family, and to the special people who have made a difference in your life, is a great way to build and spread happiness.
This expression is also a great beginning in the lessons of finding and holding onto that wonder of joy in the simplest gifts of our daily lives.
Eugenia S. Hunt's Work Is Copyrighted
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No one has permission to copy or use this article other than for presentation on this Squidoo Website.
Back To The Beginning
Rediscovering Innocent Joy
As you wake, the first thing you hear is your mother moving quietly around in the kitchen. And then the smell of Thanksgiving begins to enter your conscious mind. Mingled with the lingering scents of the various pies that were prepared the previous day, floats the aroma of the turkey slowly browning to perfection in the oven.
Dressing quickly, you race to the door, as other family members begin to enter the home. You find yourself enveloped in hugs from grandparents, aunts and uncles, all on hand to celebrate the day's events together.
Everyone is chattering happily, sharing stories of family and their lives. Soon the topic turns to Thanksgivings past, forming a family history for the young to hold onto, coupled with the memories of today.
It seems as though time has come to a standstill as you wait for the meal to be ready and the table set with your mother's best dishes.
As the family sits down together, your father carves the turkey, placing the platter full of the rich, juicy meat in the center of the table.
Everyone is seated and heads are bowed first to give thanks to the Lord for all that has come to them during the year and to ask His blessing on the year to come.
Then, in a frenzy of noise and dishes full of tasty delights being passed, the meal is shared with enthusiasm.
After the meal, the family remains around the table to share stories with one another well into the afternoon.
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you are tired and weary, because it means you have made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.
My Thankful Heart
Where Does It Lead Me?
With the holidays fast approaching, it is easy to get lost in all the hype and commercialism of life in the twenty-first century.
This time of year, we find ourselves running around "like a chicken with its head chopped off," trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list during the Thanksgiving sales. We strive desperately to make the money that we have to stretch so we can afford to get the gifts we want to give. Yet, we still must be able to have some left over for little things like food and rent and electricity.
It is easy to lose sight of the real reason for the season.
This is the time of year when we are supposed to think about all the things we are thankful for and all of the people who have played an important role in our lives. So, with this in mind, I will journalize my list to organize Thanksgiving, striving to bring us back to its original purpose.
I am so thankful for the gift of life, for without it, all the rest would have no meaning.
I am thankful for my health, that I am still in there kicking and fighting to continue striving forward to whatever God has in store for me around the corner. I am thankful for my God given fortitude for, without it, I would not have made it this far.
I am thankful for the parents who raised me to be the person that I am today. They taught me discipline, though I fought it most of the way, and they taught me that working hard has its own reward that reaches far beyond the paycheck. They provided me with shelter and the things I needed to not only survive but so that I would not need to struggle in the process. They taught me to know my own strength and have confidence enough in myself to be successful.
I am thankful for my sister and the rekindled relationship we have found together this year.
I am thankful for my husband who has always supplied everything I need as well as things I enjoy. I am thankful that he has always encouraged me to be myself, standing behind the decisions I make in my own life in the midst of our walk together.
I am thankful for my children. They are healthy and smart, though sometimes they were too smart, teaching me resourcefulness I didn't know I possessed. I am thankful for their individual success as strong adults and the success and pride I measure in myself when I see their accomplishments. I am thankful for every child whom I have loved and who has loved me in return.
I am thankful for the ability to hear a baby's giggle and my own joyful laughter I find in it.
I am thankful for my many friends, both those who have been lifelong, as well as my newfound friends of today. I am thankful for their support and love and acceptance of whom I am, faults and all.
I am thankful for the world God chose for me to live in. I marvel at the wonder of the landscape of rolling hills, the changing weather patterns, the aroma of plants to entice my senses, and the precious animals I have shared my life and love with.
I am thankful for the Freedom I have enjoyed my entire life, having been born in America. I am thankful that I am constantly reminded not to take these freedoms for granted. I am thankful for the Armed Forces who have, all the years of my life, as today, strived to keep us safe, sometimes giving their own lives to accomplish this.
And, most of all, I am thankful for God's blessings on my life. I am thankful for the wonderful things he has given me. But I am also thankful for the hard lessons He has allowed me to learn and for the knowledge of His hand in mine every step of the way. I am thankful in knowing that when this life is ended, I have a home in Heaven to go to and His arms waiting for me there.
by Henry Smith
Give Thanks, with a grateful heart,
Give Thanks to the Holy One,
Give Thanks because He's given Jesus Christ,
And, now, let the weak say, "I am strong,"
Let the poor say, "I am rich,"
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give Thanks, with a grateful heart,
Give Thanks to the Holy One,
Give Thanks because He's given Jesus Christ,
From The Golden Rule
A Paragraph Of Old Fashioned Values
How different with the thankful heart! What a gift it is to be born with an outlook toward the bright side of things! And if not so by nature, what a triumph of grace to be made thankful through a renewed heart! It is so much more comfortable and rational to see what we have to be thankful for and to rejoice accordingly, than to have our vision forever filled with our lacks and our needs. Happy are they who possess this gift! Blessings may fail and fortunes vary, but the thankful heart remains. The happy past, at least is secure...and Heaven is ahead.
Your Personal Thanksgiving
Make this a great Thanksgiving holiday for yourself. It should be a time to give thanks for everything you have, literally. I would be willing to bet that, at least, one of these things I have listed applies to you.
This year is difficult for everyone with unemployment skyrocketing and the cost of living so high. However, look around you, really look around you, and see the simple gifts of your life. These are the gifts which money cannot buy and the lack of it cannot take away. Focus on these things and watch the smile begin to turn up the corners of your lips into the smile of your childhood when Thanksgiving was about family, good smells, love and truly being thankful.
Wherever your emotions take you on this Thanksgiving 2010, take a minute to think about the journey, a child's laughter, the memory of loved ones, the rain...and be glad!
"WE CAN ONLY BE SAID TO BE ALIVE IN THOSE MOMENTS WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE CONSCIOUS OF OUR TREASURES." by Thornton Wilder
Come And Share With Me
As Thanksgiving gives way to thoughts of Christmas, I move ahead to remember what Christmas means to me this year. Please come now, as I reminiscence, with renewed insite, gathering memories of years gone by and uniting them with the memories yet to be made of Christmas 2010.
Who Is Mom To The Zoo?
Born in the small town of Pendleton, South Carolina, in 1950, I was the oldest of two, five years my sister's senior. It was a wonderful place to grow up where the entire town raised its children. I was always surrounded by people who loved and looked out for me. I graduated from High School with the same people who were in my kindergarten class. At 58, my childhood friends are still my friends. I feel so fortunate to have known such a childhood.
After college, I worked at Clemson University until May 1972. At that time, I married and lived in Glyfada, 22 miles from Athens, Greece for two years...via USAF. We then moved to North Dakota for another two years before returning to South Carolina.
We divorced after 16 years and two children. I married my best friend two years later and moved to Florida in 1988 and together we have raised my husband's son and daughter and my son and daughter...one federal officer, one pastor's wife, one sixth grade school teacher, and the other, after working for Florida Power and Light since age 19, is now with AT&T. In 1996, I adopted my step daughter. We are blessed with four grandsons and one granddaughter.
In 1999, we became foster parents with the Children's Home Society and had a number of children under our roof in the next 5 years. In 2001, we adopted a 13 year old girl, whom we first met at the age of 11, and is now 21. I also have spent more time in a courtroom than I care to think about, fighting for the rights of the children in our care. In 2004, I turned in my license so that I could be a full time Mom to our special needs daughter and keep our infant granddaughter five days a week while her mother was teaching.
Bill, my husband, is a retired USAF Air Traffic Controller. He is now working out of the country, on Ascension Island, with Computer Science Raytheon, as their chief controller, contracted out of Patrick AFB, Florida. This enables him to continue to do the job he loves, air traffic, and aid the military. He flies in and out on furlough and I handle things here at home. I jokingly call myself a Single Married Woman.
Actually, I am a retired Accountant/Credit Manager, now a housewife, where I enjoy writing, singing, piano, and sewing. I have had numerous poems and short stories published and have sung in churches and for church organizations for years, as well as weddings, a couple of variety shows, and even at my daughter's, and later my son's, weddings, one of the hardest things I have EVER done. We are members of a Baptist church where I am a soloist and sing in the choir. I am also a member of the Women's Bible Study Group and work on the Mission's Committee.
And, last but not least, we have two singing dogs. Raven is a thirteen year old Skipperkee/Chow with bucked teeth and attitude and Whisper, our nine pound poodle, who thinks himself a Doberman.
I have been Mom To The Zoo since the morning after our wedding. My friend, Lee, who was staying with our four children and two dogs answered the phone from a sound sleep, "Hunt Zoo, Zookeeper Speaking."
My life has involved many changes and avenues that I would never have dreamed of and has given me challenges that I never thought I was equal to. But, I have found that God has a plan and, if you follow His lead, you can handle anything he puts in your hands. However, you have to first learn to listen to Him. No matter what we want from life, it must come in His time. He has given my husband and me more than we could have began to imagine back in high school and we have found that what we thought was so important for our futures back then was nothing to what we have done so far. At 58, I have learned from our foster children, to look forward to the future and the next challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. If they can trust and love us after what the world has dealt them, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease. Life is a series of learning experiences and I continue to find life to be both a challenge and a joy which grows with each passing year. I learn more and more about myself with each passing day!