This week here in America we will be celebrating what's known as "Thanksgiving." As I sit to write this article, I am also preparing to go to Belize with a group of people who through their "thanks" are "giving" back to women and children in that part of the world. For those of you that are not aware, I have a non-profit 501 (c ) 3 called "Forgiving For Living, Inc., www.forgivingforliving.com
that focuses on helping women and girls with rebuilding their lives who struggle with issues of abuse, abandonment, shame and low self esteem. Although most of our work is based around Southern California, this trip allows me to help fulfill my mission across borders.
As I thought and read about the many traditions and events that surround our Thanksgiving season, it is interesting that in the autumn of 1621 it did not start out as a holiday, but rather just a gathering by the pilgrims and the Indians for a good harvest that year. According to most history records, it would not be looked at as a holiday until 1863 when President Lincoln declared "Thanksgiving Day" a holiday. Over time most people have also turned it into a long holiday weekend taking Wednesday mid-day until Sunday as "Thanksgiving Weekend."
Thanksgiving is known for families getting together, as a matter of fact it is declared to be the busiest travel weekend in the entire year (yes even more than Christmas). The food known to surround this gathering are the likes of Turkey, Dressing, Potatoes, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Pecan Pies, with all of the extras...however, feel free to come up with a menu that fits your family and their palate. In our home traditionally we've had most of the above, but we like to add some Greens, Banana Pudding, and now Katherine's German Chocolate Cake.
For many this week will also include watching football games or parades. For some it will also start their Christmas shopping excursions and enjoying the decorations that will go up bringing in Christmas. Whatever you do, please pause for a moment and think about all of the blessings in your life, no matter what this year may have brought in your life. I know for me it is a transition, my daughter Courtney graduated from college a couple of years ago and now lives in New York and my son Freddy moved out and started college this year, (as a matter of fact as I write this article, both of my children are in Lima Peru for Thanksgiving helping less fortunate children. My daughter emailed me yesterday and told me she was teaching little children how to brush their teeth and basic hygiene). Our family also experienced the loss of a precious loved one and partners went their separate ways, but through it all, we've learned to give thanks and grow from each experience. I encourage each of you to stop and look at what you've been able to come through, and if you're still in the storm, be still and know that it will stop raining soon. After the rain, you too will have a harvest and hopefully give thanks.
Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company. Visit www.personalservicesplus.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .