Time with family is priceless. The moments we spend together creating memories are ones that will never be forgotten. 

As a young girl, I can remember my family preparing for the Thanksgiving meal and what each person would bring. I remember the laughs, the smell of sweet potato pie and the occasional pop on the hand for trying to sneak food before it was time to eat.

The sound of all the children running around, going in and out of the house and smiling the biggest smiles. The strong aroma of Memaw’s famous chicken and dumplings, and the overwhelming feeling of love that comforted each and every person that walked through the door.

For our family, music was such a central part of every family gathering. You didn’t have to wonder if we were going to sit around and sing and play instruments, you knew we were. We would sing old hymns and listen as my Poppy and others would play every instrument you could think of. We never wanted to leave, and there didn’t seem to be enough time to do it all in one day. 

As we have all gotten older and some have gone on to be with our heavenly father, our lives seem to have gotten busier and we haven’t been able to be together as much as we used to. The children have grown up, gotten married, some have moved away, and all have had children of their own. 

This year will be different, almost all of us will be together again. We will plan the big meal and all the ladies will work together to prepare all the fixings, while the men cook the meat. We will sit at the table together and thank God for his many blessings on our family and then we will worship together singing hymns. I can’t wait!

When you're young, you think life will last forever. You think your parents and grandparents are indestructible. You catch moments like butterflies and then let them fly away, thinking they will always return. 

Then you grow up and you realize that life is short. You realize that all the extra stuff we add to our day doesn’t really matter. You start to wish you could go back to the days of sitting for hours and laughing together as a family. You start to wish that every day was like Thanksgiving Day.

We are not promised the next second of our lives. I challenge you as I challenge myself: Put down the phone, hug your family tight, and take time to enjoy the smallest of things. Be silly, play outside with the kids, sing another song, share another story and listen to all of the advice from your grandparents. 

God has blessed us with so many wonderful things, and He gives us blessings even in the midst of the hardest trials we face. Start each day with a heart of gratitude! Make every day a day of thanksgiving!

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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