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 The one thing that I have always loved about Nebraska is that you experience all four of the seasons.  The beautiful flowers of spring, the hot days of summer, the glorious leaves of fall, and yes, even the cold snowy days of winter. 

November is a gentle reminder that the beauty of the earth is now going to hibernate as it gathers energy to come back in the spring to gift us with the beautiful foliage, shade, and colors.  That is a gift, my friend, and for that I am thankful.

Now, I will be the devil’s advocate: Are we truly thankful, or do we take things for granted such as the beautiful sunsets, the colorful leaves, food on the table, running water, and homes where we live?  It’s time to “fess” up.  Yes, we take ALL of those gifts for granted.  Sure, we give thanks, but is it with a grateful heart? Perhaps, we can show our gratefulness year round by:        

  • Walking to your destination and leaving your car at home, Riding the bus.  By reducing our carbon imprint, we will enjoy the beautiful sunsets.        
  • Planting a tree.  When the leaves fall, let them turn back into the earth. It’s nature’s healthy  way of recycling.
  • Growing a garden. No space? Put your plants in clay pots by the backdoor.  Have extra produce? Share it with your friends. Support local farmer’s markets.
  • Reducing Water use:  Use only what you need. Catch your rainwater to water your gardens.  Use appliances that are water and energy efficient.
  • Making our homes a welcoming place.  Sit down at the dinner table with family and friends for a meal and share the day.

My challenge to you is to give thanks just not for now but all the time! Henry Smith’s lyrics from the song “Give Thanks” states it plain and simple:

                                                                        “Give thanks with a grateful heart.”

That, my friends, is a great way to start the day.

Happy “Gratefulness,” “Happy “Taking Care of the Earth,” Happy “Cherishing your Family and Friends,” and finally, Happy Thanksgiving!

Becky Jones
Worship and Music Coordinator
Holy Cross Lutheran Church