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A Time to Give Thanks

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Nov. 25, 2014

Thanksgiving has become a holiday that gets passed over by the Christmas decorations, songs, and festivities that seem to make their appearance earlier and earlier each year. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Christmas fan, and have caught myself enjoying all things Christmas before Thanksgiving as well. Since leaving home and living on campus, however, Thanksgiving has grown in importance to me. 

The dictionary definition of “thankful”, “glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.”, doesn’t seem to capture the fullness of what it means to be thankful. I didn’t know or understand what it meant to be thankful until coming to college, especially in terms of celebrating Thanksgiving Day.

Before college, I thought thankful meant saying “thanks” and expressing gratitude for something someone did for me. Since, I’ve learned more about the true meaning of being thankful. I think that to feel the extreme gratitude and thankfulness of something or someone, you have to realize what it would be like without that something or someone. While living at my home with my family, I did not realize how good I had it. I took many things for granted - simple things like home cooked meals and groceries and bigger things like time with family and people caring for me.

Going to college, away from my family, made me realize how truly blessed I am to have my family and their love. College has also given me the opportunity to meet many different people from many different backgrounds. Hearing about other’s struggles puts my life into perspective, and reminds me not to take my blessings for granted.

As my understanding of the word “thankful” has deepened, I may finally know what this word means. Being thankful means to truly know what you have, know that it is a gift, and appreciate it for all that it is.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for a family that loves me unconditionally and deeply. I am thankful for friends that feel like family. I am thankful for Jesus, and His presence in my life. It is important that I remind myself often of how blessed I am, and that it is only by God’s doing and nothing of my own.

This Thanksgiving, amidst the parades and turkeys, remember the reason for gathering. Contemplate what it means to be truly, deeply, passionately thankful for your blessings. 

You may find yourself overwhelmed with gratitude.

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