Giving Thanks

by Rachel Crumpley

I have always loved this season; the crisp autumn air, the crunch of leaves and frost under foot.  I love the brilliant colors of the trees and the smell of smoke from the chimney tops and warm sweaters and peaceful nights.  And I love Thanksgiving.  It is, without question, my favorite holiday.  Even as a child, the magic of Christmas was exciting and scintillating, a whirl of color and music and light.  But Thanksgiving was always soft and warm and comfortable, like waking up on a cold winter morning, snug and safe beneath a pile of blankets.  Maybe it has something to do with the predictability of the feast:  turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, jello salad, hot rolls and 6 different kinds of pie.  The same every year.  Or perhaps I love Thanksgiving because I get to spend the day with my family playing games and laughing together.  Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving always feels like home to me, peaceful and safe and filled with joy.

When I was in college, my roommates and I started a tradition that I have continued every year since; we created a Thankful Wall.  Beginning on November 1st we write down a few things that we are thankful for each day and then post them on the wall.  The catch is that you can’t repeat something that anyone else has put up, so eventually you have to really think about what you are grateful for.  The little things like fuzzy socks and hair conditioner are finally seen as the blessings they truly are.  There have been many years that our Thankful Wall has continued on into the new year as we look every day for the little gifts that God pours into our lives.  It is both amusing and inspiring to see all the things that bring us peace and joy and fill our hearts with gratitude.

So, without further ado, a short list of things that I am thankful for:

Parents, who sacrificed years of ease and comfort to raise 13 children to adulthood, and who continue to spend sleepless nights worrying about them and praying for them.

A husband who treats me as if I were his Greatest Treasure; who puts up with my weaknesses and insecurities without complaint and spends his life in service to his family and his God.

Five beautiful, healthy, intelligent children.

The Ocean, geraniums, honey bees, rain at night, ice cream, warm slippers, Home, a tall glass of water, prayer, SUNSHINE, chocolate, mountain streams, fresh baked bread, Jesus Christ, peanut butter with dill pickles, laughter, sunsets, waterfalls, sandstone, the Black Hills, the smell of cinnamon, stolen kisses, visits with friends, smiles, walks in the woods, good books, hot showers, the smell of pine trees, holding hands, disposable diapers, rocking chairs, automobiles, hugs, cheesecake, forgiveness…

Friends who have shown me that whether my dream is making cheese, keeping bees, or traveling to Europe, it is possible and not just a nice idea.  The opportunity to associate with women who are kind, helpful and encouraging; who look for the good in others and reach out to lift the downhearted.  Friends who aren’t afraid to give me a hug (even though I may appear standoffish and forbidding).  Mothers who encourage and inspire my children; who spend time and energy to mentor them and model the behaviors they teach.  Good friends for my children who have high standards and who build each other up instead of tearing down.  A community of good and faithful people who support and encourage each other and stand for what they believe is right.

I am most thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who created such a beautiful world for His children; who is involved in the small details of my life as well as the great.  I am thankful for His Son, Jesus Christ and for His great atoning Sacrifice which makes all the other good things in life possible.                                                                           Happy Thanksgiving!!!