Remembering Why We Should Be Thankful

imageThere was a time when I felt like things always had to be equal or fair. There was a time when I stepped forth to exercise my rights, when I felt they were being trampled. During the time period, several years ago, when I was still in that mindset, I wrote this about Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving day was great! First of all, I went to see a friend in the hospital. He was recovering from a hernia. I boycotted dinner at moms. I know that sounds bad, but it was necessary. It was a matter of self-respect. Every year at either Easter, Thanksgiving, Xmas or New Years…at one of these I ask if I can invite a guest. There is always an excuse, justification or reason as to why I can’t. When I want to invite someone, it’s always, “We just want our family to be there,” or they come up with some other reason why I can’t invite the person; like, “I don’t want to be uncomfortable with someone I don’t know.”

However, if my brother wants to invite someone, it is always ok, even when it was already stated that it would just be our family. Every year I have complained about this discrepancy in treatment, but they have talked me into coming to dinner anyways. This time, I asked after being told that my brother’s friend who was depressed, and my brother had invited, had gone to his wife’s (they were separated). So my mom was already expecting my brother’s friend and it was OK, and then we found out he wasn’t coming after all. So I asked about my friend, who, to my knowledge at the time, had no family here and nowhere to go. All this I told my mother. At first my mom said yes after much prodding from me, then an hour later, she calls and leaves a message saying for me to tell my friend no. She just didn’t feel like making the “extra effort.”

I decided that I needed to make a stand…to make a statement, because I was tired of being disrespected in this manner by both of them. So I boycotted the dinner…sending a text message to my brother about 2 hours prior to the time I was supposed to be there. I told him that it was not a family occasion when respect and consideration was only being extended to some and not to all.

I didn’t go to the house again until Sat., and moms attempted to say it was a misunderstanding, and that it wasn’t fair of me to say that they never allowed me to bring a guest. She cited one occasion with my bf on thanksgiving. I didn’t recall that as being a thanksgiving dinner, just a dinner. Neither did my bf, but I gave her that one. But that was like…ten years ago. She tried to claim some other guy I had invited, but that never happened. Then she tried to claim my ex…well, hello…I married the guy! But again…I let it go. I let her say her piece and only stated firmly that they never let me invite anyone, and that my bf was the one exception to that rule.

Now granted, I was right about this, if I do say so myself. But, what wouldn’t I give to have my brother still here to celebrate with on this holiday? My point is, that although the situation seemed unfair to me at the time, and actually was unfair to me; I never thought about the possibility of getting together for the Thanksgiving holiday, with some family member or loved one missing from the equation.

Had I thought about the situation from that point of view, I would have realized what was truly important, and would not have taken that particular thanksgiving holiday that I could have spent with my brother and mom, for granted. You just don’t know what will happen. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, and there are more important things in life to focus on outside of simply our disappointments.

This has been the worse election year of my lifetime. The nation is split down the middle, because we have had two very imperfect people running for the highest office in the land. How did we get to a place like that in this country where people of so little moral fiber are our main candidates in a presidential election? Why do I feel like we will have hardened criminals or mafia types, or worse, more immoral Hollywood celeb types running next? Anyways, the point is, what the heck happened to the process, whereby people like these two even had a shot?

Now that the election is done and over with, there is still a trail of self-righteousness, snobbery, indignant anger, shame and disgust, and rebellious rage.

In all of the chaos of this year’s elections, there is a fraction who feel very thankful, and a fraction who feel there is nothing to be thankful for. As an Independent, I see both sides of the coin. I understand the jubilation of one side versus the disappointment of the other. But in all of this, there needs to be some thought and consideration.


Republicans like this (pictured) are the reason why. Just another alleged Christian who misses the point completely. First of all, I don’t worship or revere the pope. He’s not a part of my faith. However, I just want to say to people like Franks, “Do you actually read your bible?”

Mine clearly demonstrates that Jesus did not come for the rich and the powerful. He cursed Pharisees like this guy. He called them vipers. Don’t get me wrong. Jesus did not call them out specifically because of their wealth. It’s not against God’s law for people to be wealthy. It was the attitude of their hearts that was the issue. It was the fact that they’d trample their own mother if it meant that they could keep the majority underfoot and in need, so they could rule over them. They were self-centered instead of other-centered, so they served only their own self-interests at the cost of everyone else.

Mark 14:7 You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me.

Jesus said we would always have the poor with us, not because everyone is viewed as shiftless and lazy due to guys like this setting the system up to create failure for the disenfranchised. It was because the attitudes of people like Franks is one of people who oppress more than they truly help. I also think this was a reference to the poor in spirit, more than an issue of lack of wealth. Being poor in spirit is also not a reference to lack of wealth.

Its about value, not price. The greatest wealth is not found in the things you possess, but in what you can do without. If you require a lot of material things to make you feel important or valuable, there is a great spiritual deficit in your life. But if you are happy and content no matter what your condition, you have the greatest wealth of all…peace.

Jesus was correcting the disciples for chastising the woman who had anointed His head with oil, because they were complaining about money that could have been gained instead of seeing the spiritual issue and the value of her actions in serving.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Despite the fact that Mark 14:7 sounds like it is not a mandate to do what is good for the poor, kindness is a product of the Spirit. Jesus talked continually about considering others before yourself. Which means that you aren’t setting things up so that only you and your old boys network succeed, but you are enabling everyone to succeed.

It is this verse about the fruits of the Spirit that we should all bear in mind. While some are waiting for justice, be patient and demonstrate meekness. God is faithful, and if you have faith in Him, you needn’t worry. He will fight your battles, and bring justice to the unjust, even if you never get to witness it personally. So be at peace. And to those who have power and authority, show goodness and kindness. Be temperate and slow to condemn in your judgments of others.

Regardless of how anyone feels now, in a few hours, this too will be part of the past. You don’t need to focus on the past, but push on and move forward towards the future. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Therefore it behooves us all to stop focusing on unmet expectations and disappointments, because the biggest disappointment would be not being here to share yourself with the world, or be able to spend time with those you love and cherish. That is far more important than any disappointment. Keep your focus. Think on these things, be thankful, and enjoy those people who you’ve been blessed to have in your life.