Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year! Always has been and always will be. That I am sure of. I was blessed to grow up in a large extended family. On my mom’s side of the family I have 29 first cousins and on dad’s side there are 6 and I am proud to say, that even today, a large portion of us remain very close. Our relationships were forged in large part to the holiday celebrations/dinners that we would have each and every year for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And still do!

My Grandfather and my Grandmother knew the value of family and passed that on to not only their children but to their grandchildren and great grandchildren alike. Truman and Ruby were their names and although they have passed on physically, they remain with me today just as strong as ever before, especially during the holiday season. Their kids; Uncle Allen, and Aunts, Catherine, Carolyn, Kate, Diane along with my mom have all continued to pass this gift on to their kids and Grandkids! 
So imagine Thanksgiving day, and there are 29 kids, at least 14 adults gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Obviously, the food was always and remains incredible, but what I remember most about those days was the love that everyone had and showed for one another. And no doubt, there were probably always some trials and tribulations going on through the years but it NEVER trumped the Love! 
Those Thursdays were some of the best days of my life!! And as time goes by I treasure them more and more! Today, as my cousins and I have grown and are in the process of raising our own families, we have always held tight to the love of our families. Just like other families we have not been immune to the trials of this life; and conversely, we have experienced times of overwhelming joy! And no matter the ups and downs that this life brings, the Love has always been constant.
The love is what strengthens the family. My Grandfather knew this and as great as his love was for his family, it was his second love; for his greatest love was Jesus. His testimony was his life and it was there for all to see! A perfect man he was not but if you knew nothing else about him, you knew he loved his Savior and you knew he loved his family. And the amazing thing is that even though he has been gone for some time now, his testimony is as strong today as it ever was!! Just look at his family.
Yes, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because no matter what is going on in my life, it always manages to bring me home – to family and to Love!! And has great as my family is, please know and understand that I belong to an even greater family and that’s God’s family. And His desire is to see you “come home” to Him. He has given to you a gift of Love – in Jesus – He has given this to all of us. You only need to accept Him.
Peace and thanks for reading!

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