I’ve kind of hesitated to participate in the #givethanks challenge. Mostly because I hate doing whatever the crowd is doing, and I don’t want to be trite in my gratitude. I’ve been thinking about what I could share that’s not shallow.
In the early days of the pandemic and shut down, when the store shelves were really bare of everything, I was quite worried how to feed my family. With moving two years before, a broken foot, and then my husband and I both losing a parent in a short time period, I just had let our pantry and food storage get really low. Week after week there was no bread in our store and I was starting panic. With a food allergy kid anything that comes from a commercial bakery is going to be unsafe to eat. There are two kinds of commercially produced bread Kroger sells that my son can eat. I was also down to my very last bag of flour and half-jar of yeast, so even baking bread was going to be problematic.
I feel like this year has been a slog thru the trenches of life for me and my family. One of the things that has helped me this year as I have navigated some pretty big trials is to be grateful and to show gratitude is hand writing thank you notes. I bought a big box of thank you cards in the spring when I was recovering from a broken foot and spent time each day writing thank you notes to people that had come into our home to serve me and my family. It felt good to hand write a card, to stick a stamp on it and wait for the mailman to take it away. I love a well written thank you note. Its something we need to bring back, don’t you think? (The only answer is yes here).
Sister Bonnie D Parkin, former Relief Soceity General President said of gratitude,
“Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. “Live in thanksgiving daily,” said Amulek, “for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.”
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to concentrate on gratitude in our family — even more than I already make my kids do — they roll their eyes most days, because I won’t let them complain until they’ve told me three unique things they are thankful for. Usually by the time they get to the second thing, their gripe is dampened, or gone altogether. I hope you will join me and my family in our daily thanksgiving, and comment here on my posts as I make them. I’m inviting you to reach deep inside and think and ponder on the things you are thankful for. I’m also inviting you to share that gratitude with those in your circle — and beyond just social media, which is fine, but let’s take it to the next level which is connecting with people. Reach out to the people in your life and share the spirit of gratitude with them I feel like if we can be grateful ourselves and encourage others to also be grateful, we might be successful in diffusing some of the angst in our respective circles, with the hope that we might all be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the process.
The first recorded evidence of a Jewish presence in England were the Jews of Normandy, who came with William the Conquerer, in 1066 AD. The Jews in England flourished and dispersed themselves into the towns of medieval England. The English communities which had a large Jewish population, large enough to sustain a synagogue were: Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Colchister, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Lincoln, London, Northhampton,Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Stamford, Winchester, Worcester and York.
Unfortunately peace for the English Jews was short-lived; beginning in 1189, massacres and anti-Jewish riots began. In 1290, the Jews were expelled from England. Elizabeth Hirschman in When Scotland was Jewish proposes many of the Jews emigrated to Scotland where they joined Scottish Jews who had already established a presence a few centuries earlier. Thus the Jews in Scotland and few remaining Jews in England learned a valuable lesson which was to assimilate as a protective measure against losing their fortunes and their very lives.