It came and it is gone. Thanksgiving Day arrived with the promise of great family memories and beautiful celebrations. Not to mention some great food. For many this holiday brings mixed emotions but for me it is simply my favorite time of the year. And while I know I won’t be the only one posting about the meaning of the day I would like to share my own perspective; especially as a Portuguese living in America (as a reminder, we did not have pilgrims in my country so… I can relate… as a pilgrim). Doing it a day after highlights the importance of the day.
Where Thanksgiving stands (literally and more)
Tucked in the middle of summer and winter, warm weather and freezing temperatures, Thanksgiving Day provides a balance to the second half of a year. For many of us (me included) the end of summer can be crazy with increased work trips, back-to-school realities and overall busyness. We long for the Holidays and the break it gives. Christmas brings us peace and the New Year gives us all a reset button. But then the rollercoaster of what life is seems to resume again; sometimes with different twists; always with highs and lows. That is why Thanksgiving Day is so essential. I’m reminded throughout the year of how much I need the feeling of gratitude to permeate the right attitude towards what is unfolding in front of me. In fact it makes me look at me less and look at others more.
In my own language
This month my house has been filled with Portuguese words as my mom visited us for 2 weeks. And like any grandmother (or vóvó for Portuguese), our children were showered with a love that offered lots of presents and sweet treats. As we try to teach our children to be grateful one Portuguese word stood out: Obrigado. In Portuguese that means Thank you. But this word has a much deeper meaning. The word can also be used to express debt or obliged. In many ways true thankfulness means exactly that: I’m in debt to you for all you have done for me.
This message has been written after a Thanksgiving Day filled with precious moments that highlight this reality in my life: I am blessed. As I hear the stories of Portugal my Mom carries with her I’m given a perspective that shows me how certain decisions in my journey have allowed me to experience life to the fullest. As I enjoy time with my American family I’m reminded of how they received me as one of their own and embraced my differences as something to cherish. I’m thankful to God for how He continues to shape me; not giving up on me but instead filling me with His grace and mercy. I want to be reminded of that daily and not just one day a year.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
For that I say OBRIGADO!