Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Thanks

Every Thanksgiving for as many years as I can remember, my mother had a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner. After my father prayed over the food, my mother asked each of us to name one thing that had happened in the last year that we were thankful for. As I got older, knowing that I would have to state what I was grateful for, I started thinking about the year a couple of weeks in advance of the holiday, and I found that even in difficult years, I had a lot to be thankful for. My mother's tradition, which she continues to this day, has helped me to really think about the meaning of Thanksgiving each year.

It seems almost inconceivable that it has been an entire year since I last wrote my Thanksgiving post.  When I wrote the post for 2013, the world looked bleak--in fact I had to really think about what I was grateful for after such a tough year. 2014 has been a much better year.  I am living in a city where I wanted to live since I was eighteen years old and and working with a great group of people.  Frontier 2000 Media Group is now four and half years old, has published a dozen titles and is launching new projects next year.  And I see real hope for our country.  So in that spirit, I record a few things that we can be thankful for this year.

1.  The Tea Party is alive and well (along with the desire for freedom and liberty that gave birth to it.)  In August I was able to attend the Americans for Prosperity national conference here in Dallas.  When I saw the enthusiasm of the three thousand Americans of all ages, races and ethnicities, many of whom had traveled a long distance to attend this event (some from as far away as Alaska), I was genuinely encouraged.

Although the media has long tried to pretend that the Tea Party is nothing more than a phony "astro-turf" movement, the mid-term elections show something quite different.  Americans who care about the size and growth of government are making their voices heard and we are making a difference.

2.  We are getting the message out!  Last year I wrote about my initial disappointment when Jim DeMint announced he was leaving the Senate to take over the Heritage Foundation.  He explained that we had lost in 2012 because as conservatives we had failed to communicate our message effectively--the message that small government and individual liberty and responsibility provide a better way of life for all Americans.  But two years later, the hard work of communicating that message, through blogs, through new media outlets, social media and face to face interactions, is paying off.  Heritage played a part, as did Breitbart, The Right Scoop, Bill Whittle, and countless others who worked tirelessly to tell Americans the truth about government.  Our very own Liberty Project grew this year from just a few hundred likes on Facebook to over 6000.  Together all of us are sharing our message and Americans are starting to listen.

3. We now have the Senate and with that prize we have the opportunity to bring some real "hope and change" to our government.  The 2014 elections represented a huge opportunity for conservatives to bring our ideas to the table and implement them.  We cannot take this victory or the opportunity and responsibility it affords lightly.  We MUST demonstrate leadership and positive change over the next two years.  We MUST be willing to override the president and stand up to his ever-growing abuses of power.  If we fail, we won't get another chance.  We have a huge job ahead of us and part of that job includes holding our elected representatives responsible for doing the job we have entrusted to them.  We must shrink government and empower the private sector.  We must stop persecuting business. And we must encourage Americans to get back into the workforce (after we create a climate where there is actually a workforce to get back in

4. Wherever we are in this country and in our lives, we are still alive, and we are not alone! "Don't worry about things--food, drink and clothes. For you already have life and a body--and they are more important than what to eat and what to wear. Look at the birds! They don't worry about what to eat--they don't need to sow or reap or store up food--for your heavenly Father feeds them...And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don't worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you....So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time." (Matthew 6: 25-34 TLB)

Now that's something we can be thankful for every day! Happy Thanksgiving.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.