Sunday, November 20, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the last Thanksgiving. I love this time of the year for many reasons...Food being the major one, but I also love a time to remember to be grateful for my blessings. 

 I am looking forward to a great meal this Thursday. I have received 10+ dinner invitations. The bad thing is, they are all on the SAME day...why can't people spread those out so we can have good food over many days? I am still trying to decide where to go.  I may go to Danae's house again because they make the best pies. It is really hard to resist those. 

I can't wait to get a break from work. This semester has been crazy busy and I really need some time to rest and catch up on work and prepare for the last two weeks of the semester. It is finally winding down which is good...I have had amazing students this semester. This is party why I have been so busy. They come to ask questions all the time and even stop by to visit when they don't have questions. I will surely miss them next semester. 

I bought a Christmas's not perfect and rather cheap, but it is big...and I am super excited to get it decorated...I actually have a house to decorate! How cool is that!? I am trying to stop myself from doing a lot of shopping. I guess I don't have anyone to buy gifts for, so I might as well buy gifts for myself.

I honestly can't begin to mention how blessed and lucky I feel. Life has been treating me well for the last two years. This year has been the best so far. I got a full-job, I have a new house, and a new car. The only thing that would make this Christmas perfect is to have my family here with me.  It is hard to be away from my beloved town and my family during the holidays. I am hoping I can go home next Christmas, but we will see.

I spoke to someone last week who has given up all hope. Someone who no longer believes in anything and can't find a reason to live anymore.  As we begin to lose faith in God, we start to feel that there is no purpose in life and that no one would care if we were to die.  As much as I tried, I could not convince that person that Heavenly Father loves him and cares about him. I can only pray and hope that my friend can feel God's love and find hope and joy in life. 

I am so blessed to know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and cares about me. I know I am of great worth and my life does matter. For those out there that have given up hope, I encourage you to look up...look up towards a loving Father in Heaven who cares about you. Fall on your knees and pray and ask Him to help you feel of His love. And if you don't believe in God anymore, then get on your knees and ask Him if He is really there. He will manifest Himself to you.

I am grateful to know the purpose of life and why I am here on the earth. I am grateful for the wonderful plan of happiness that Heavenly Father has prepared for us. He wants us to be happy, and He has prepared a way for us to have joy and peace in this life. "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." Having joy is the essence of our mortal existence. We strive to become more like our father in heaven so that we may have the fullness of joy that He has. This is only possible because of the Atonement of our is achievable only if we follow Him and walk in His footsteps.

I hope each of us can focus on our blessings this holiday...after we are done cooking and spending time with our families, let us take a few minutes to kneel down and say a prayer of thanks...Don't ask for anything...just express your thanks to God for the little things you have...your home, your warm bed, clean water, safety, family, health...etc. If you have lost hope and feel you have nothing to be grateful for, here are some thoughts for you...

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.
If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.

If you have a home, you are luckier than the millions who have lost their homes in Gaza and Syria and other places...your are luckier than them...

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