It has been almost two weeks since the U.S. Thanksgiving but I am still thinking about my thankfulness this year. I’m still thankful for those things close, my day-to-day world. I have a wonderful family with lots of grandchildren and even four great-grandchildren, two who are celebrating their first birthdays. I’m so thankful for the joy each and every one of them brings to my life. I’m thankful that Jim and I made good decisions in our earlier years, living below our means as our incomes increased so we could build our retirement funds. I’m thankful that we can afford to have a comfortable lifestyle while still able to help children and grandchildren as they need it. I’m grateful for our gathering last week-end to celebrate Lona’s first birthday, for the great food presented by daughter-in-law Natalia. I’m grateful that Jim and I are still relatively healthy in our mid-seventies and anticipate with great joy the coming together of our children, and their children, and a fourth generation child on Christmas Eve. I’m thankful for the friends of our children who will join us so that we have the blended chorus of phrases spoken in both English and Russian, and laughter that binds people together across cultures and ages.
Yes, I am thankful for the people who are a part of my life story, the people who make up my personal world. But this isn’t what I’ve been thinking about as I have been moving from Thanksgiving Day into the season of Advent. I can feel my mind and soul working hard to grapple with my emotional turmoil, to prepare my heart, mind and soul for the coming of the Christ Child, struggling to gain a greater understanding of what the Advent of the Christ Child means for how I live my life.
I’m in the 50% to 60% of the people who believe that our country, our democracy, is in great peril. This is a frightening time for me and I feel a responsibility to keep abreast of the daily news. What I am thankful for, from the bottom of my heart and with all my mind, are journalist. Even though they are verbally assaulted and receive death threats on a regular basis, they still go after the story. They are diligent in making sure their information is verified by multiple sources, sources they have nurtured by being honest and trustworthy with the sources. I am thankful for professional organizations and news outlets that take truth in reporting very seriously and sanction those who don’t abide by the ethical standards of journalism. Consequently, journalists take the responsibility to relay truth and be honest about their own bias very seriously as they report information (we all have them and must all be aware of our bias when evaluating information). And they persevere in searching for the truth, raking through the muck, sorting through the messiness of conspiracy theories and fake news. When I have to take a news break I wonder how they persevere.
Yes that is what I’m thankful for, but what does it mean as I move through Advent? If I am to celebrate Advent with integrity, it seems like I should explore what it means to believe in the coming of the Christ Child, to believe, trust, and live by what I have learned from the story of Jesus’ life on earth.
As I sit here struggling for words that heal and guide me, all I feel is deep anger… no rage – in response to the lying and the bullying that has taken place in our government over the past week, the past three years. I want to fight back. I want to write in such a way that my words make a difference. I want my words to land on ears that are open to hearing so my words touch hearts and change behavior. I want to scream Elijah Cummings words, “We are better than this.”
8 thoughts on “Thinking of Thanksgiving and Advent”
We are better than this. Please keep writing!
Pat, I am so grateful for your words and photos, and I know something of how challenging it is for you to speak. Thank you.
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Pat, I do not know whether our society is better than this. I suspect this is business as usual, only more brazen. That said, I join you in being grateful to journalists and others who remind us that the emperor is immensely violent and has no clothes.
You are right – there have always been a good number of people who have been full of hate and who don’t choose to play fair. Do you think we can shame them back under their rock?
We can only hope that those in government will soon live up to the pledge they made to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
You are much nicer than my thoughts right now. I just want them to get their heads out of their… 🙂
It may not feel like it, but your words do make a difference. And, as long as we keep speaking out and standing up for what’s right, justice will prevail. As you and Rep. Cummings say, “We are better than this.” I have to believe time will prove that true. Thanks for continuing to voice your integrity.
Thanks, Donna. I haven’t lost hope because I really do believe justice will prevail and we will come out of this stronger as a nation. It is just so hard to be in the middle of history without knowing when or how. Thanks for supporting my mini-rant – I really needed it and appreciate your words. 🙂
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