Just a few things I am thankful for.
I am so thankful for Dan. I am not always perfect at showing it, but I cannot express how much he means to me in words. He works hard and is very good to me and our children. I could not ask for a better husband. I know it sounds corny, but he really does complete me.
I am thankful for my children and for the personalities and experiences they bring into my life. I am not always perfect at showing them either, but I am very thankful for them. Even the challenges that teenagers and special needs bring. It helps me grow in understanding.
I am thankful for good friends and family. There is no way that Dan and I could have made it through some of our trials without them. Some of our friends we have known so long and have been there for us no matter what, that they have become like family to us. Some of you will never consider yourselves to be the influences for good that you have been in our lives, but you are and many continue to be.
Believe it or not, I am thankful for the health and physical challenges that I have faced in the past few years. While I do not want to continue experiencing them, I have learned to see some of the doors and opportunities that have opened up for us because of them. I have been forced to create a new me. I don't believe that the old me was bad, just needed a little bit of encouragement and experience to see who I could be. Not there yet, but working towards it every day.
Finally, I am very thankful for the land we live in. I am thankful that I can choose my religion and I can vote for whomever I feel is right, that I can sit here and ramble on on this blog, and someone will actually read it and reply, and for all of the other freedoms I enjoy.
As I read over Dan's last two blogs, I can't help but notice that I have a somewhat different opinion on some things. While I agree that Christmas has turned into a commercial holiday and it seems that it has lost it's true meaning, I think that some festivity is good. We have, in the past, been the family on the street that looks like our home is a "Winter Wonderland". We still do have plenty of lights up this year, but have toned it down tremendously. I think that some of the toning down this year is due to the economy and lack of disposable $$ to do it, not to mention much of the decorating was done by me in the past and since I got sick 2 years ago, I can't do many of the things I used to do. While it seems that this turn of events is somewhat sad, or discouraging, we have chosen to try something new this year to see if we can bring the true spirit of Christmas back to our home. Dan really has, in the past, been the one so excited for Christmas he couldn't wait.
I was reading in the December Ensign earlier today and was really struck by the first two talks given. The Presidency Message was by President Monson, and I can't remember right now who the other was. They really caught my attention tonight.
For those of you who might not be LDS, this is a good thing to think about anyway, just so happens that it came from our Prophet this time.
The first on is about how in order to gain the true "Spirit of Christmas", we must serve others. That giving is better than receiving. That giving does not necessarily mean that we give a gift, but that maybe it means giving of ourselves. This means that we need to be looking for those who are in need of help from us. Not worrying so much about what we might possibly receive. I have had many good examples of this in my life. Just to mention of few, Dan is one of the most giving people I have ever met. I have seen him serve in so many different ways, sometimes exhausting himself, just because he has the desire to help those who need it. Sometimes it's something as simple as holding the door open, or holding someones baby while they do something. Another person is my dad. Much like Dan(or I guess vice versa) he works tirelessly, especially for his wife and family. Right down to the great-grandchildren. I watched my father work 20 hour days during a lot of my childhood because he loved his family and his church and simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. My dad is 71 years old and still works a full time job and does everything he can to make sure my mom is happy and taken care of. There are many others that I know and could mention, but for the sake of those of you reading this, I won't. Service has been a fundamental teaching in the lives of both Dan and I, and we are striving to teach our children now.
This year, my sister decided that our parents had cooked and planned for Thanksgiving dinner for most of our lives, and that it was our turn to return the favor. She purchased most of the food and supplies, and we all had an assignment. I was very touched by the thoughtfullness and desire to let our parents know that we had learned by example. They did not have to do anything for Thanksgiving this year. We gave them the year off. They didn't know what to do with themselves. They are workers at heart. This sitting down and being served was a wierd experience for them.
This brings me to the explaination of what we are going to try to do this year. During the month of December, we are going to be looking for opportunities to serve the people in our own neighborhood. It may be something like hanging Christmas lights, to something simple like wrapping presents, or cooking them dinner. I believe as our family, our children as well as Dan and I, learn to serve together and spend this kind of quality time together, we will grow closer and be able to feel the true spirit of Christmas. Which truly is the best gift we could receive.
I am sure I will write again before Christmas, but I hope you all enjoy the holiday season.
A wonder mission!
3 years ago