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Thanksgiving Blessings

Upland, CA

I once heard a pastor say, if you stop and count all your blessings and all the good things happening in your life, you will think twice before you start to complain.  Although our world seems to be in chaos, when we look around there are still many things we can pause and be grateful for.  As my grandmother used to say whenever you wake up above ground you have the opportunity to do something new or different with your life.  Over the last several years all of us have experienced people we love pass away.  Sometimes from natural causes and sometimes due to external circumstances.  The fact that I am still here lets me know God has a purpose for me to fulfill. I want to encourage all of us to look at the upside of our lives and count our blessings this Thanksgiving.

As I reflect over this year so many things happened that could cause me to question what is going to happen next.  However, when I pause and look at the blessings right in my own family my eyes fill with tears of joy.  This year my son and his family had my fourth grandchild and my daughter got married to the love of her life.  We welcomed two new people into our family just this year.  There is nothing that can compare or replace the love and blessings of family.  When is the last time you stopped and showed gratitude towards your loved ones and let them know how much you appreciate them?  If you have not done so in a while, now is a good time to tell them how they bless your life.  Oftentimes the ones we can count on being in our corner are the last ones we express our gratitude. We can change that right now by showing our gratitude today.

Besides our family and loved ones, there is so much more we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  While many struggle with basics such as housing, food shortage, and lack of employment, many of us reading this article are currently not faced with such struggles.  If we are blessed, we must also find ways to be a blessing to those in need, especially during this season.  This is a time of sacrifice, unselfish giving, and showing compassion towards our fellow brothers and sisters in need.  Now is the time to look around and see how and where you can make a difference in the life of an individual or sow into an organization that is touching lives on a regular basis.  If you do not know where to help, reach out to your church, nonprofit organizations, or the paper you are reading right now, they all will have ways to share on how you can help.  Giving Tuesday is right around the corner and there are many nonprofits looking for your support.  You can also donate to forgivingforliving.org, we always welcome the help of others.

As we begin the beautiful days of all the holidays and we gather with family and loved ones over a table full of delicious food, let us not forget those that may be lonely, sad, out of work, or could just use a kind word of encouragement.  It is easy to pull up an extra chair to the table and welcome them with a warm smile and the fragrance of friendship and hospitality.  Remember, it really is not about the food, it is about the fellowship and showing others the blessings of Thanksgiving. 

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