As the national chapla'in for the American Legion Auxiliary, here is a little message of gratitude and hope this Thanksgiving season.
Thanksgiving week. That brings up so many thoughts of turkey cooking, families hugging and maybe dare I mention even a little arguing. My childhood days of Thanksgiving were football and food filled glory days.
But now when thinking of this week and what it means to so many, I wonder how many of you out there get a little tickle in your heart with the first stick of butter you remove from the refrigerator? That tickle reminds me of those that have gone before me, those that sacrificed so that we could create a national holiday and loved ones that are far away.
Personally, I will have two of three daughters (and one of their boyfriends, got to remember him) and my husband with me. We will invite single sailors, 20-somethings that couldn’t make it home and basically anyone that wants some Thanksgiving home cooking. Yes, if you are around, stop on by. I will miss my 3rd daughter but, when a flight to Norway is cheaper than a flight to Hawai’i- what do you do? You go to the home of Christmas and snow.
Whether we are by ourselves or surrounded, sometimes that feeling of loneliness can start to seep in. If that happens to you, please know you are loved. I know that because I love you. The God I believe in loves you. And my fellow ALA Chaplains love you. Reach out. We are here for you and want to know what we can do for you.
For all of you, may I offer up a prayer,
Dear (I say God, because that’s my faith, but, please insert your faith’s leader here),
As we may gather together with family and friends, mindful of the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and grateful for the freedom and prosperity we enjoy. Let us remember the less fortunate among us and strive to make a positive impact in our communities. May our table be filled with love, laughter, and a spirit of generosity. Bless our troops, past and present, who have protected our nation and its values. And let us always remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving: to count our blessings, to share them with others, and to give thanks to our gracious God. Me Ke Akua. Amene.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
With Aloha & Thanksgiving,
Brister Thomas, national chaplain, American Legion Auxiliary
PUFL member of Hawai’i E-Unit 56