Turkeys and pumpkins and Pilgrims, oh my! As you prepare for this year’s holidays, I hope you will be as fortunate as I am to gather with all your loved ones to give thanks.
I know I have so much to be thankful for this year… beautiful grandchildren, the chance to spend time reconnecting and traveling with my children, the good health and well-being of my family… that I can count myself among the extremely blessed!
And, I certainly don’t want to overlook the most amazing community ever! Thanks to you — and your support, your inspiring messages, your results-driven dedication and your eagerness for whatever message I may have — you give true meaning and purpose to my work.
As you know, a lot of what we talk about and work toward together involves overcoming obstacles, expanding our skill sets, opening our hearts and minds, creating new opportunities and exploring fresh horizons. Just like the Pilgrims did almost 400 years ago. And, I want to ask you to take just a couple of minutes today to mentally take a break from thoughts about the upcoming celebrations, all of the 60-inch HD football action, and the online shopping to really think about the Pilgrims and that very first Thanksgiving.
It’s the time of year when, we’re most definitely thankful for our family and our friends, for the home around us, and the income to provide for our needs, and the food on our table — not only on holdays, but every day — and the many things which make our lives so pleasant. But, did you ever stop to think what the Pilgrims were giving thanks for on that very first feast day?
Can you imagine leaving EVERYTHING behind you, booking passage for a dangerous voyage on a leaky boat (you could hardly put the Mayflower in the same category as anything we would call a ship) and setting off into the truly unknown for a months-long journey with the plan of never being able to return to your home?!
Wow, I don’t know about you but that would definitely give me some second thoughts! But, these Pilgrims braved — even welcomed — unthinkable risks and hardships because they believed in something BIGGER and wanted MORE for themselves and their families. Most definitely this group represented America’s FIRST 2%-ers!
With a vision of true freedom… the freedom to worship the God of their choice in the manner of their choice, the freedom to have a voice in their government and the direction of their country, the freedom from oppression for their lifestyle, their beliefs, their heritage… these pioneers made the pilgrimage into this uncertain future simply for the mere possibility of something better!
And those sacrifices for their hopes were HUGE! Many of them died, including their infants, young children, spouses, parents. Unheard of illnesses and afflictions scarred, disabled and maimed them. Starvation, harsh weather, inadequate shelter, and even internal conflicts took their toll on many of the original Plymouth Rock landing party, who were just plain ill-equipped for survival in this New World. To make it even worse, some of these casualties never even got to set foot in the New World or see the fruits of their daring!
Yet, at the end of their first year, the remaining group along with the Native American allies who could be heavily credited for any success the Pilgrims had found, came together to give thanks for their hard-won freedoms and the simple, day-to-day triumph of surviving!
Talk about putting things into perspective! This kind of makes what we consider to be our “challenges” in life, pale in comparison, right? Despite the life-changing losses and the seemingly overwhelming setbacks, let me say these people dug REALLY deep into their “gratitude wells” to find the source of their thankfulness! So maybe we can take a page from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving “playbook” to go beyond what’s on the surface when finding reasons to give thanks on this upcoming holiday.
I invite you to join me to take a moment to appreciate all the freedoms and liberty we have because of the sacrifices those people made back at the very first Thanksgiving! And please tell me below what you are most thankful for in your life and spread this “attitude of gratitude” with your friends, family, coworkers and social networks!
In great faith,
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