I know Thanksgiving has come and gone and for some this post may feel a little late, but there is a reason for that. I don’t know about you but growing up my family had a tradition that as we gathered around the dinner table on Thanksgiving one of my parents would attempt to get us kids to acknowledge things that we were grateful for in our lives. If I am being perfectly honest, I always hated it. I don’t like being put on the spot, and it always felt cheesy to have to say something too serious so, invariably, I would say something completely mundane that would satisfy the requirements and let me slip through the conversation without revealing too many emotions. If I am being even more honest, I still hate it, and for many of the same reasons. Please don’t judge me too harshly.
That being said, I would like to take a completely unsolicited moment here and now to acknowledge some things in my life that I am grateful for (emotions or no).
I realize that this word can mean many things to many people. For me it carries with it some classic definitions such as: safety, love, and peace. It also stirs to mind words like: laughter, embarrassing, creative, supportive, melodramatic, and yes, occasionally infuriating. I would not be who I am today if not for the family I grew up with. Even more than them though, I am grateful for my wife. It is hard to sum up my wife into simple words. The more that I picture her, the more words come to mind and yet none do her justice. If I had to pick just one though, I think that it would be this: kind. I have never met a more benevolent, caring, and loving person than my wife. She is always aware of the needs of those around her and actively looking for ways to care for them. She is always my inspiration, and without her I would have no hope of becoming the man I one day hope to be.
This should come as no surprise: I am grateful for stories. For the ones that I read, and for the ability to write my own. I find much joy and solace in the simple act of putting pen to paper and just letting go. In that moment I feel a stillness and a closeness to God as in a very small way I too, create. It’s a concept that Tolkien expressed in his essay “ON FAIRY-STORIES” and one that resonates with me. He said, “Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.” And that brings me to my final point of gratitude.
I am grateful for my faith. Whether happy or sad, lost or found, I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven. I am grateful for the talents and opportunities in life that They have given me. For the direction, inspiration, and hope They give me in my everyday life. There is a lot going on in the world today that can feel overwhelming, confusing, and scary, but in Them there is peace, hope, and love. It seems a common occurrence in the world today for people to lose their faith and attempt to find solace in the empty arms of a bitter world. Rather, I believe that now is time to hold tighter to our faith and acknowledge Them in all we do; trusting that darkness and confusion will always give way to Light and Truth.
Thank you for allowing my to share some points of gratitude with you. I hope it wasn’t too sappy.
Until next time,
“Personally, I am grateful when people acknowledge me for the creative genius that I am, and for sharing all my great ideas so that they have something to write about … I’m still waiting.”