It is that time of year when we pause to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. We also give thanks for the early settlers and their peace with Native Americans, those that were already on the land.

It’s an interesting reminder that we are actually celebrating peace between invaders and natives. It seems that this memory gets lost in our current interpretations of Thanksgiving as a prelude to the commercial season of “give and spend”. Or, in my family’s case, the beginning of Advent and the joy of Christmas.

Still, it is important to remember what we are thankful for before the greed overtakes everyone.

I’m most thankful for my family. My 10 year old son has transformed my life in ways I could never have imagined and I’m so blessed to have him. I’m also thankful for my spouse, my Dad (and his moderately good health), my in-laws and my incredible extended family who are so dear to me.

I’m thankful for my church home and the freedom to practice my faith and to be a part of a faith community that believes every single individual deserves to be welcomed.

I’m thankful that I live in a democracy – a land where I have the freedom to choose my leaders. I’m thankful for the onslaught of elections coming that allow us to exercise one of the most privileged symbols of freedom in the world – the right to vote.

I’m thankful for the soldiers who protect and fight for our freedoms every day, especially those in foreign lands where “Thanksgiving” is an anomaly.

And, I’m thankful to live in Houston, Texas where it should be a perfect 72 degree Thanksgiving and where I can go for a peaceful walk after a big meal, without wearing a sweater.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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