Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November...A Season to Give Thanks

Wow, I can hardly believe it, November is here.  When I think of November, the first thought that usually comes to mind for many of us is the Thanksgiving holiday.  As you know, another major holiday that is celebrated in November is Veteran’s Day.  I think it is completely wonderful to be able to celebrate these two holidays in the same month, because we are all blessed with freedom and liberties in our lives, thanks to those who serve and protect our country.

Veteran’s Day has been established as a day of celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.  All of these sacrifices are made for all of us so that we may continue to enjoy a life that is filled with opportunities to live in a world where we are able to get an education, join the workforce, and have a life filled with family and friends.  We are blessed with the opportunity and freedom to pursue our dreams. 

Wendell Gesme,
WWII Utilityman,
US Merchant Marines
Both of my grandfathers were Veterans.  My mom’s father, Wendell, served in World War II, as a Utilityman in the US Merchant Marines.  His duties were onboard a supply ship in the Pacific Ocean.  My dad’s father, Walter, served in the US Army during the Korean War.  Although they have both passed on, I am honored and thankful for their service.  I am grateful to all military veterans and for those currently serving in the military, so that we may enjoy our freedoms. It was wonderful to see so many schools in Minnesota and across the nation celebrating with Veteran’s Day programs. 

Celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday gives us another opportunity to give thanks for our bountiful lives.  We are not only blessed with freedom, but we are blessed by the grace of God with what comes with that freedom.  On Thanksgiving Day many of us “go home” to gather with family and friends to celebrate with intentional gratitude for our lives. We have amazing meals of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and all the fixings. It is a celebration of harvest, and to celebrate the bounty that nature has given us after our summer labors.  We get and give warm hugs, have lots of laughs, and maybe shed a tear for memories of those no longer present with us.   We are wrapped up in the magic of this special holiday, and all of its blessings. It is a time of peace. 

There are truly very few days each year as meaningful as Veteran’s Day or as wonderful as Thanksgiving Day.  But what if we took time more often in addition to these two special days to be grateful for our blessings and be and more intentional in our thankfulness?   What if we made time more often in this month, or this season to give thanks to God and show gratitude?  I think it’s possible we would find a life that is filled with more joy and happiness.  I think it’s possible that by giving thanks and showing gratitude, our lives will be richer and full of more peace.

I am going to make this month into a season filled with more times of giving thanks and showing gratitude.  I will thank God more often for my many blessings.  I will thank others and show my gratitude for service.  I will let my friends and family know how grateful I am to have them in my life.  Will you join me in making this a season of giving thanks? 

In closing, I want to say thank you for being the wonderful FFA members and Agricultural Education students you are.  I am truly blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the Minnesota FFA Association, and this amazing organization.  I wish each and every one of you a very blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful season of giving thanks.

Stationed by the Flag,
Madison Taylor

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