Where to begin? So so grateful — again, the English language — maybe any language — just fails me at times. When the heart is so full, words do not express….parents, grandparents, siblings, children (and I do include those darlings who have married our children when I use the term “children” -JUST so that is clear :), grandchildren — for their love, support, examples, friendship-both to us and between themselves, dear friends, new friends, renewing old friendships, new opportunities for service and growth, new experiences, comfort foods available across the earth, new foods, new language for both :), cold, warm clothes, holiday decorations, holiday spirit across the world, age old customs, new customs, — — the list is endless — and my dear husband who I get to share this wonderful journey called Life with! We are getting comfortable here in our darling apartment -it is feeling more like home. Soon I will be decorating for Christmas.
We had the adventure and blessing of cooking two Thanksgiving dinners this last week :). One on Thursday evening for new friends, and one on Friday with some of those who are working with us here. Shopping for food is still an adventure, altho already it is getting easier. But a couple cans did not contain what I thought when I opened them and making a quick trip to the store was not an option :). So necessity calls for experimentation and it all came out fine — the dinners were great. I was able to find almost all of our traditional holiday foods, and we were able to share some new foods with our friends. It has been a memorable holiday.
This week I had the opportunity to give a spiritual thought at a staff meeting. These are my thoughts: I started with a brief explanation of the Thanksgiving holiday story as this is an American heritage holiday, and not celebrated here.
The Pilgrims left England for the America’s in search of religious freedom-someplace they could worship God as they believed was right. It was upon this basic right that our whole country was founded. One tribe of Native American’s who were there welcomed those first early settlers and taught and helped them. Without that help, those pilgrims, pioneers of freedom, would not have survived those first couple years. They did have a feast of harvest and thanksgiving together and this was the start of the Thanksgiving Day tradition. It celebrates thanks to God, religious freedom, and good will between all peoples.
I am inspired by those in this land and across the world, who are the pilgrims and the pioneers of our day; who are joining the followers of Jesus Christ and spreading light and truth across the globe. We are asked to build Zion wherever we are, wherever we live and that is happening. In Isaiah we find some of the characteristics that accompany Zion: Isaiah 51:3. “ For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all the waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. “
As we stand for religious freedom, as we work together with people of all lands to establish Zion across the world — may we give special thanks to God for all of our blessings and especially for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I also found this link on FB that goes along so beautifully with all I’ve been thinking of this week:
Thanksgiving has come to mean a huge meal-lots of feasting, but I love the use of the words feasting and nourishment throughout the scriptures. Feasting at the feet of our Savior is where we find true life-the living waters, the bread of life. I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite scriptures: “ Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. “
May we all press forward together in thanksgiving and in the service of our God.
Kathryn & Thom