Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Do You Celebrate Your Thanks?

If your family has a story to share about how you share your
thankfulness for the earth please share - I would love to be inspired by
you all - I know so many of you and you already inspire me. I will be
reading the stories you send to my children this Thanksgiving.

One of our stories is below...

I'll share something very personal with you - in the past five years we
"almost" became homeless twice. It is amazing how quickly it can happen
to someone and how hard it can be to find help. I was fortunate enough,
in both circumstances to be saved - literally at the last moment - by a
blessing. However, these experiences, combined with living overseas for
16 years and seeing the face of poverty in different countries - have
made poverty issues one of my main concerns (along with the environment
and empowering people to heal themselves). We give thanks every day that
we have a home, good food, clothing, and even some extras like pets and
an Ipod. At the same time I am shocked by the state of people in America
- how easy it is for credit card companies and banks to "rob" hard
working Americans, how easy it is to lose a job and how hard it is to
earn enough to pay for all the family needs - and how easy it would be
for anyone to slip from the blessed ones who have a home and job into
the crowds of those who don't - it is very easy and can happen in an

I remember last year my son asked me "Mom, if they charge so much for
gas, why don't gas stations look like palaces? Why are they so small and
not very good?"

That statement says so much. WOW. It is symbolic of how so many big
businesses focus on earning rather than on being fair. Although there
has been a slight rise in worker owned businesses
( Every day I try to remind myself
and my children not to function like that. But it is so hard. We are
ingrained, from childhood, and trained by ads and by alluring magazines
and displays at stores to always "want more". We are trying, as a family
to think differently. We already have everything we need. Really. We
have a home, food, clothing and plenty of books and toys. Logically,
then, we should be distributing our extra instead of making Christmas
lists of "what we want". It is a hard habit to break, but I feel it is
worth the effort. If we can all try to distribute more and consume less,
I imagine that it might reduce the poverty of a great number of people -
some of these people may even be our friends and relatives. Every time I
am tempted to purchase that $5.00 "extra" at the store I think - what
could someone else do with this money?

That is why, this Thanksgiving, we will be volunteering at a homeless
shelter instead of preparing a lavish feast. Now, don't get me wrong -
if we had a large family nearby or a gathering to travel to that was
close enough to travel to - we would be there - the gathering of family
is an amazingly important event and honorable and great tradition to
hold. However, we are unable to travel this year so, it being only I and
the three children, we feel the energy and food would be better shared
with others.

A friend of mine, who is a teacher, also sent me a wonderful curriculum
plan she is using with her class. I will be adapting it to our own needs
- basically just using some ideas from it but
not all. You can find it at:

If anyone else has resources or thoughts to share on this topic I would
love to hear them.

My children and I look forward to hearing other stories on how you all
share your thankfulness. There are so many different ways!

Blessings & Health,

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