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Thanksgiving thoughts | Personal | Sarah Tapp Photography

Well, this year the holidays are going to be a little bit different for us. We’ve always lived around family and have often had to split our time between multiple families around the holidays. We are so used to being busy and enjoying lots of different traditions. But this year, we get to make our own traditions. Which is a little scary but also super exciting!

In years past, I’ve always been a little bit annoyed that Thanksgiving seems to be skipped. Christmas starts literally the day after Halloween (sometimes before) and I don’t love how materialized everything gets. And this year, I’ve really been thinking about Thanksgiving and trying to figure out why it drives me crazy that it seems to just be forgotten.

It’s because Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. And in the world we live in today, sometimes it’s hard to remember what we’re grateful for. We see others with more than we have and it’s easy to become jealous or discouraged. And that’s been me more often that I care to admit. But earlier this year, I was really frustrated and discouraged with multiple things. I confided in a friend and she encouraged me to do a gratitude challenge. You can read more about that here. And deciding to make that change from being frustrated to being thankful has set off a chain reaction in my life.

I realized that I’ve spent a few years (maybe more) just going through the motions. I’ve been doing what I thought I had to because I’m a very obedient and by the book kind of person. There were times when I chose to do certain things because of a desire I had, but mostly, I was just living. And taking the time to actually think of people and circumstances and things I was grateful for . . . changed my outlook on life. Thanksgiving to me lasts for so much more than just a month or even just a day. Thanksgiving to me should be our attitude towards life. Towards everyone and everything and every situation and struggle.

Dieter F Uchtdorf once said, ‘Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be’.

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