December 1, 2014

thanksgiving 2014

I have so much to be thankful for. This year has been really challenging for me (and for a lot of other people I love), but even with all the hard things, I have blessings too numerous to count. I am so ungrateful sometimes and I feel ashamed to admit that, but the theme for me this Thanksgiving was from the beautiful hymn, "Because I have been given much, I too must give".
I've been thinking about this talk (i.e. sermon) a lot since I heard it during General Conference. I know I've often wondered how I can "do my part" to help others. When I heard this, I was immediately humbled because I've had these exact uncharitable thoughts: "For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn't that why this compassionate ruler asks, 'Are we not all beggars?' Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us."

I'm so glad that we have Thanksgiving before Christmas. It's such a great reminder to concentrate on all of our blessings before we get into the gift giving and receiving part of the holidays. We have this day to really focus on all the things that we've been blessed with and then look for ways to move into a season of giving service to others. I'm going to really try to focus less on material gifts this year and instead, try to focus on giving service and love. I'm super excited about JustServe (no one asked me to post this FYI - I just heard about yesterday and I think it's pretty great) that allows you to search for service opportunities in your area (almost like a job search website like Each service organization is vetted and you can sign up for a slot in whichever organization or position you want (assuming it's not filled). What a great way to start the holiday season! I know that I'm always meaning to serve during the Christmas season in particular, but have never known where to start. I'd love to hear how you're helping your fellow man this holiday season!
We had a Thanksgiving full of delicious food, family and fun (the three best F's!). David's parents and sisters flew here from California and stayed until Saturday and we all had a great time. It was my first time hosting Thanksgiving and it went well, even though I wasn't great at taking pictures of everyone together. William loved making paper chain garlands for Christmas and finger painting with Gramma, and Fritz was in heaven stealing all the chocolate from Gramma's purse. Whenever they come to visit, or we visit them, she loves to hide these little Lindt chocolate bears for them to find. It's a cute tradition and I'm pretty sure that Fritz thinks that their names are "Gramma and Grampa Chocolate". If you even say the word "Grampa", Fritz's little ears perk up and he tilts his head and says, "Chok-it?" I love it.
The morning after Thanksgiving, we woke up to snow! I was like a kid on Christmas morning! I woke up before anyone else and almost ran outside in my underwear because I was so excited! I took some pictures and then the boys woke up and I took pictures of them with Louisa in one arm (hence the quality) while they had a snow ball fight with David. They were in HEAVEN! Then, we picked up David's family from their hotel down the road and drove to Snoqualmie Falls. It was really cold and the mist from the falls was creating all these little icicles on everything. It was really beautiful and William particularly thought it was the coolest thing ever.

1 comment:

  1. That centerpiece, Liz! It's perfect. I showed this post to Zane and he freaked out about the snow. Of course now everyone is asking when we get to come visit :) Can't wait!!!


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