I can’t believe it’s November already but the leaves glowing from the trees make it all worth it. As the season of gratitude looms ahead, I’m just grateful to have survived a busy Halloween! October has always been my favorite month; but that makes the end of the year bittersweet for me.
This past week my oldest child left for two years to serve a mission for our church. Although he wasn’t called to the wilds of Africa or the hills of Europe, I am terribly taken with the idea of his potential for growth. My son will spend two years living with a companion, proselytizing and serving his assigned communities in Boise, Idaho. What better way for a young adult to discover what he truly believes in. There won’t be any family distractions. He’ll have to learn to get along with complete strangers of all different varieties and in all kinds of situations. I’m almost envious. Hard work? Yes. But in the end I expect he will be leaps and bounds beyond where I was at his age.
I am currently gathering scores for the first round of the New Voices writing competition for young writers. These kids who believe in themselves enough to share their work with complete strangers for critique amaze me. I can feel the enthusiasm in their words. You can read the hope. Each one believes he or she has something to say.
Maybe there is more to gratitude than just being appreciative. Maybe it involves moving forward with who you are; trying new things. Hope. Faith. Endurance. Times may not seem the brightest when we look around at the world, but young people still believe. I see it around me every day and that more than anything else this month, makes me feel grateful.