Newness for a New Year

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Being Thankful

I was in Macey's grocery store last night, and I couldn't help but feel excited for this time of year. People were buying turkey, pumpkin, spices, and egg nog. There was a sense of excitement as people were getting ready to spend time with family and to relax a little. I can hardly believe this week is Thanksgiving, but I am excited nonetheless.

I couldn't let this week pass without expressing how thankful I am for so much that has happened to me this past year. I never expected that 2007 would bring such joy and pain. I also realize there is still much to experience in 2007, so I withhold the right to add when needed.

I am most thankful for my knowledge and faith in God. Even when everything seems to be crumbling, His love is stable and ever-flowing to those who seek Him. His grace is truly sufficient.

I am also deeply grateful for my family and friends. I could never have made it through this year without you. I have relied on your strength and your support through all my challenges, and I have loved sharing my joys with you as well.

I am thankful that 2007 has taught me a lot about love. I have felt more love in my life this year than I ever have. I have also learned that real love doesn't end when you stop seeing someone, or someone moves to a different state, or you fall out of contact with someone. It continues on and even grows stronger at times.

I am thankful for experiencing the kind of love that exhibits itself in deep and solid relationships. Elder Maxwell said, "All of us should strive, therefore, to have some friendships that are deep and solid--so solid, for instance, that if they were interrupted, the unfinished conversation could be resumed months later almost in mid-sentence, just as if we had never been apart." I have renewed many such friendships this year, and I have worked to build new relationships that will be as deep and solid.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to see so many of the beauties of the earth. I traveled quite a bit this year, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to stand before the Nike of Samothrace in the Louvre, but I am also thankful for discovering beauty in Utah by climbing to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. I believe that you can travel the world for beauty, but not at the expense of discovering beauty in your everyday life.

I am thankful for beauty. Not only in the outward displays of such, but also in the expressions of the soul. I am thankful for the times in our lives when we can wrap ourselves in the beauty of life and of learning. We experience joy, pain, more joy, and probably more pain. But, in the end we become better people. Our capacity to love and to give expands and we begin to become useful to God and his purposes. I am also thankful for forgiveness and the ability to change.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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