Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’
Today is going to be a hard day for my family and myself. My mother in law, Charlotte, passed away on November 24th after a long battle with Breast Cancer. I lead off my Thanksgiving Day post with this as it is a reason I am thankful to God. Why? Because he took her in his arms and relieved her of the pain. Relieved her of the needles. Relieved her of the visits to the hospital and healed her. She is in heaven with God and is very happy. While I miss her and I always liked spending time with her on holidays such as Thanksgiving, it would be very selfish of me to want to keep her in this world. Thank you God for taking Charlotte to be one of your Angels.
Next, I am thankful for my wonderful family. My wife and my son are the two most important individuals to me after God. I love them both. While we may have struggles and Luke may decide he’s going to be a pain in the neck, I still love him and thankful God has let me be his Dad.
I am thankful to all of the members of Grace Ministries man council. Rob, Brian, Mike Fleming, Mike Musser, Justin, Josh and Pete. These are all men of God who aren’t perfect but definitely try to be. They are all guys I enjoy hanging out with.
I am thankful for all of my friends I work with on the web. Judie Lipsett, Dan Cohen, Amy Zunk, Carly Z, Jessica Fritsche, Travis Ehrlich, Jeff Frants, Larry Greenburg, Douglas Moran, Jason Reese, Michael Anderson and all of the writers and contributers of Gear Diary are all awesome. Past writers like Doug Goldring and others are also some of the best people I have ever worked with.
I can’t forget, Pat Davila, Linc Fessenden, Allan Metzler, Dann Washko and Dave Yates and all of the co hosts and guests of the Linux Link Tech Show. Since joining the Tech Show, I have been able to be a part of something that has been a great gift to the Linux community. These guys will do almost anything for you and for Open Source software. I am thankful I am friends with them.
I am thankful for all of the Open Source Developers out there that make the software I use. I am thankful for these guys and gals who work so tirelessly to make things better for Open Source Software end users. I wish I had half the energy of just ONE of these developers.
Lastly, I need to make a special thank you to all of those who read this little blog. I know there’s probably not many of you, but thank you anyway.
So often in our holiday preparations are we moving so fast we can’t even blink. We rush from one holiday event to another. We buy stuff. We exhaust ourselves. Well, I am going to share something that has been a McLaughlin family tradition for many years now and I will likely keep it up for many years to come.
As many married couples know, we get challenges for our families attention. We get requests to go see our in-laws and requests from our own parents. We have handled this by alternating holidays when possible. One year we have Thanksgiving in Knoxville with my folks, and one year I spend it in Columbus. Usually, when I make that trip south, we also do presents even if it’s just Thanksgiving. This kills two holidays with one trip. Granted, Mom usually doesn’t have the tree up or cookies made, but that’s not why I go. Anyway, the last two years it’s been Christmas in Knoxville. Next year, we should be doing the Thanksgiving trip. It’s a 6 hour drive. Well, since we usually leave in the evening and it is the time of year where the days are shorter, it’s usually dark when we get there. Well, we decided many years back that we would stop halfway on the way down. Get a room in a hotel and relax. This is a blessing. My brother and to a lesser extent my parents will kind of chide me for it, but I wouldn’t do it any other way. We all take time to relax together as a family. We eat at a restaurant, go swimming and watch some holiday shows on the TV. It’s a time I will always remember. It’s a time where it’s JUST me, the wife and my son. A time I would never give up for work or extended family commitments.
My advice to those who read this is to start a nice, slow relaxing holiday tradition. When you take your next family trip, try stopping overnight even if it’s normally a drive you would do in one day. Not only does it give you and your family the opportunity to take a breather from the breakneck pace of modern society, but it gives you the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. The people who we’ve met at this Ramada Inn in Lexington have been awesome. They always treat you like their guest. That’s so rare even in the hotel industry. When we walk into the in hotel restaurant, Sigee’s, they welcomed us and looked like they were really glad we were there. There was noone in the restaurant except us which was a bit weird, but they served us like we were their family. The Chef actually brought the food out to the table and chatted for a bit and it was a awesome time.
I am rambling, but my point is you never know what the Lord will bless you with. He may bless you with a great family time, or he may place you in a position where you may need to pray for the people you meet. He may give you the opportunity to make new friends. This blessing from the Lord may be passed by if you just go at a breakneck pace from one thing to another. Take a breather. Your allowed to. Don’t give in to the unreasonable expectations of others. Do what the Lord commands. For you may never know what blessings are at that hotel you pass on checking into or that dinner stop you decide to pass on.
Take it easy this Christmas. May the Lord bless you and yours with a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!