Iron Wil on Gratitude and Family

Thanksgiving is officially my favorite holiday! Had a wonderful time with my In-Laws and Sister’s families. It is important to express our gratitude, it helps to shape our mind and it helps to world.

iron wil

Gratitude

As today is the first day of November and Halloween is behind us, many people will do the twenty X days of thankfulness and post about the things they are thankful for. I just wonder how many of us express our gratitude during the rest of the year? I personally have been working on doing better at this for many years. It isn’t that I am not grateful, it is that I don’t express it as quickly as I should. I have a brother that is really good at doing this, for many years he has set a great example for me and our siblings.

I do look forward to the holidays each year with hope and excitement because many people seem to be filled with joy and kindness. The world seems to become a better place even for these next 2 months as the year ends with Christmas and New Year’s. These 2 months seem to rekindle our connection to each other and remind us that not only are we not alone, we are connected. Something that continues to impress me about several homeless people I have met is their gratitude for the smallest kindness or service.

I have a friend that is homeless and so I don’t see him very much, nor do I hear from him very often. Our friendship has made me more aware of the homeless community within my county and how I might be better able to help them as a group and individually. I know that it is going to get colder with fall in full swing and winter coming on soon; the homeless shelter in town recently underwent some renovations and now can sleep 78 (?). Which I have learned in a community of 110,000 people, that is not enough to help out these individuals.

In our nation today, with all the wealth and resources we have, this continues to be an issue. It is also a very complicated issue from what I have witnessed. I don’t have an answer on how to solve this problem … I don’t know if it is a problem we will ever solve in a way that truly helps our fellow citizens. I know that many of them have lost hope and their dignity. I hope one day that we can solve this problem for our nation … especially because we are better than this. We are a great nation and one that has and can do hard things.

Gratitude, such a plain and unassuming word that is filled with love and depth. May each of us allow our hearts to be turned a little more to our neighbor and reach to lift the head that hangs down and strengthen the feeble knees. May God bless our nation that we can again lead the world in goodness and hope for a brighter future.

iron wil

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. Today is a day of reflection and rejoicing.

The story of Thanksgiving in America is one built upon the founding of our country. When Pilgrims and Indians celebrated the first harvest in America in 1621. It didn’t become an actual holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln. Since then, it has grown in its scope and has become, in many ways, overshadowed by football games and Black Friday. This holiday has not changed for me. I still participate by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and what ever football game is on; however, the main focus of the day is family, food, and fun. I spend the day with my wife and boys and our extended family. We have turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, an apple cranberry crisp, green bean casserole, corn, apple pie, pumpkin pie, banana and chocolate cream pies, hors d’oeuvres, and much more. I typically call my parents on Thursday morning or on Friday. We sometimes video call so the boys can see their Mimi & Papa.

When I was a kid we played football in the morning with our church group and then came home to clean up and feast, lay around and watch holiday movies such as Holiday Inn and White Christmas (2 of my favorites). We often would have single GIs over since most of them couldn’t travel to be with their families. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it made to me to have others in our home. It wasn’t until I moved out of my parents house and that I realized how much serving others and expressing my personal thanks to them meant to me personally. I loved celebrating this day of Thanksgiving with others who were thankful that someone thought of them. My whole world changed and I grew because of the service rendered by my family to those men and women who served my country. I now miss having them in my home for the holidays.

Today there has been a movement across America to express our gratitude more and to get out and share with others. A movement to be thankful.

This Thanksgiving we are going to do something different to help us remember that it i a day of prayer and thanks giving. President George Washington said in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Please remember why we celebrate this late November and do something to memorialize it. Make it more than just food, football, and family.

iron wil

Anacharsis, Play

Play … so that you may be serious.” – Anacharsis

This quote hits home with me personally because I am a very work driven person … A “Type A Personality”.   I don’t remember when I realized that I enjoy working and putting my efforts into my job.  I started working at age 12 as a paperboy and worked off and on until I was about 17 and from then on, I held a steady job since then.  I have gone through a few periods of unemployment and during those times, I was engaged in something aside from looking for a new job.

I leaned in college, while working full-time and going to school full-time, that I needed to take a break.  The first real activity, was building a small retaining wall for an adopted grandmother.  It was hard work and it was in the Texas summer.  I suffered physically from the heat, yet the time off from school that semester did wonders for me.  I was able to go back to school for the Fall Semester renewed.  During my college days, my idea of a vacation was holing up in my apartment for the (holiday) 3 day weekend.  It was enough for me to keep my sanity.  I married in the end of my Senior year at University.

My wife and I moved to the East Coast and I learned about going to the beach for vacation.  Since my marriage, we have taken some kind of a vacation and time off from work except 2011, I did get any kind of break.  I was so stressed and worn out.  This year we are making an extra effort for me to get time off from work and spend that time with family.

In short, we need to take time and play and relax.  We need hobbies and 2nd and 3rd activities that allow us to get away from our jobs and the stress that accompanies them.  “Play … so that you may be serious”.

ironwil

Mother’s Day Poem 2010

a Mother is an angel sent by Heavenly Father
she is a healer, helper, and nurturer
she has so much love for her children
that she willing suffer to keep them safe from harm
she will face physical danger and wade deep into unsavory places

She will spend years on her knees so that her children
will accept the gospel of Jesus Christ
She will stay up late to see them safely return home

Not to mention sleepless nights to serve her infant’s needs
hours spent in teaching the most basic of things
reading, coloring, writing, self-esteem, sharing, and love
to name a scant few

She is a glory to behold in all of nature
a mother at work is like nothing else
there is no fury greater, no love stronger, no smile brighter
there is no beauty more sublime then when a mother holds her child
no wonder more great than the miracle of mother

iron wil
2010.05.08

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