Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Why Should We Celebrate Thanksgiving?
With Black Friday starting on Thursday, and Cyber Monday turning into Cyber Week, the time to celebrate Thanksgiving has almost been lost. Christmas decorations go up before Halloween and Christmas music begins to play shortly after.
Why should we celebrate Thanksgiving, anyway? If we got rid of that day, then the holidays wouldn't be so crunched. We could go to Halloween parties, pumpkin patches, and trick or treating in October, in store shopping, online shopping and office parties in November, and squeeze in a plethora of gift exchanges in December, without the crunch of a Thanksgiving gathering.
Too Busy to Be Thankful
Well of course, I'm being facetious. Like others, autumn is my favorite time of year. The trees turning shades of yellow, red, and orange; the smells of drying leaves and wood-burning stoves; the sounds of leaves crunching under foot and acorns dropping to the ground; there's even something about the cool bite of the autumn air early in the morning that brings a feeling of nostalgia. I must have had a wonderful childhood (Thanks Mom and Dad!).
But why must we rush through the celebration of Thanksgiving? Is it because we don't care anymore about America's history? Are we too busy to sit down with family and friends to enjoy a feast? It seems that all the holiday rush is overshadowing Thanksgiving.
Taking time to remember where America started and the hardships that our ancestors faced is important, and we should be teaching it to our children always. Taking time to gather as a family and remembering all the great things we have been blessed with is equally important. But Thanksgiving Day should be just that—a day of giving thanks.
We should be giving thanks to God our Creator, who provides all things in abundance to every one of us. If you are an American, you should be thankful for the blessings that you have received merely by your presence in this country. If you are a Christian, you should walk in a thankful spirit always, remembering the grace of God that has separated you from death to life everlasting.
Be Thankful—Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Friday, November 16, 2012
It just reminds me how quickly time is racing by, and so in retrospect, I just thought I would reflect on things I would have missed if I had not married a farmer.
I would never have known the pleasure of watching an unplanted field go through the process of fruition: seeing the hard, dry ground cut deep with sharp plows and then the rich smell of the damp, dark soil wafting up as it was being turned over and over, making clods of dirt that would soon be drilled with kernels of corn; waiting and watching for that first sign of life, that first green leaf to pop through the dry, crusted ground; and later, as the plants grew to be over six feet tall, looking across the field which would have been mistaken for a green ocean, had each row of plants not been so meticulously straight; and finally, experiencing the smells and sounds of the harvest—crisp cool air, dry crunching leaves, and corn being picked, plucked or shelled.
I would never have known the delight of seeing a calf born in the green grass of spring, of seeing a baby calf nurse for the first time, or hearing him "maaawl" when he wakes from a nap and he can't find his mama. I would never have sensed the fear of a mama protecting her baby from us when we were just trying to help them out. I would never have been able to sit on the back of a four-wheeler and look across the great span of our pasture and watch our herd of cattle happily graze on a lush paddock of sweet, green grasses.
I would never have known the joy that comes from being called "Mom", not once but nine times. Each child brought a new enjoyment, but all were pleasantly the same, too. The pleasure of that tiny, warm bundle of softness placed in my arms made my heart melt. I never went anywhere that I didn't wrap up each child so they looked like a little papoose. And it was a joy to watch them grow; we worked so hard to get them to talk, and without fail their first word was always, "da, da". Then we taught them to walk, and they began to run on their own. They all went through the terrible twos, the terrifying threes, and the turbulent teens, but (thankfully) have now seemed to emerge as reasonably normal adults.
But most importantly, if I would never have married Ron, I would never have known the gratification of being who I have become. Through our shared experiences, both good and bad, we have both learned many things. The most important lesson is that we should honor God with our lives as individuals, with our marriage as a couple, and with our family as a whole. I have learned the principle that it's greater to give than to receive, to rejoice with those who rejoice and to cry with those who are sad, and that things go better if we work towards the same goal…making me happy! J
Happy Anniversary, Honey! Here's to 36 more years, which should be all downhill from here…right?!
I thought I would just say this one thing. America has definitely changed. We have changed from a nation of "makers" to a nation of "takers". We've gained a sense of entitlement, in which we believe that everyone should have everything, without working for it. We've swallowed the lie that it is the government's responsibility to provide for us. Our nation was designed to grow by the strengths of individuals, by the individual's right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. The government's job is to protect us from foreign threats – it really was not instituted to oversee or administer in the realm of business, education, or healthcare – see Constitution.
Fifty years ago,
Americans could go to their local grocery store, clothing store, and hardware store, which were owned by local people who hired local residents. Every family had one dad and one mom and the kids belonged to both of them. Killing someone was illegal—in and out of the womb. Obscenity was illegal, dope was illegal, and both were shunned from public display. Americans went to school and then maybe to college, if they could afford it. You got a job, and then a better job, and if you couldn't get a job, you started a business and gave others a job.
But what about the next 50 years?
I'm afraid that we have swallowed the lie produced by the government. The lie that tells us that Uncle Sam will take care of us from the cradle to the grave. The government began to take care of us, and now we expect it. Most Americans (as proven in the last election) expect the government to pay for education, support everyone who loses their job, and subsidize families that aren't making as much money as they think they need. Unfortunately, the government does not make their own money. Either they have to get it from taxes, which we all end up paying, or they borrow it from a foreign country, which our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren will end up paying for.
A Voice from the Past
The prediction of Alexis de Tocqueville (a French historian from the 1800's) seems to have come true: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
That handout you're getting from Uncle Sam comes with a price that will be too high to pay back.