Sunday, November 13, 2016

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.

Having come through a stressful year and one of the most stressful election seasons of my life, I can look back at 2016 and be grateful for many things.  So in the annual tradition of this blog, I list here what I appreciate most at the end of the year.

1. Hillary Clinton is not now and never will be president of the United States.  I am Never Trump and have been from the beginning.  But I have long suspected that the Trump supporters were right in saying that there was a lot more support for him than the press was admitting.  Last week I voted on Tuesday in the down ballot races and I wrote in a third party candidate for President.  Here in Dallas/Fort Worth there was broad support for Trump and I knew that from talking to hundreds of people this summer.  I fully expected him to win Texas, and knowing how unhappy Americans are, I believed that he had a really good shot at winning the presidency. 

But I do have to admit that nothing could have prepared me for the happy glow I felt watching Hillary Clinton lose and knowing that after 25 years of grasping and scheming, her presidential dreams are forever gone.  Not only is she too old to repeat this debacle in four years, Hillary now has to live with the distinction of having run one of the most expensive campaigns in history, with the support of the entire elitist establishment and the mainstream media, only to lose to a man who turned the campaign for President of the United States into his own personal reality show.  There's just no coming back from that.

2. Mike Pence is Vice President.  While I did not and would not vote for Donald Trump, I do like and respect Mike Pence.  I would have absolutely voted for him at the top of the ticket.  And who knows--if he does a good job he may be at the top of the ticket in a few years.

3. Republicans have, if they will take it, a real opportunity to turn back the big government agenda of the past 8 years.  If they will make the changes they need to make they can shrink the size and scope of government from the mammoth beast it has grown into down to a manageable creature.

4. We should be able to look forward to just a little over two months of peace!  There is no lame duck session of Congress making midnight deals with Obama, there will be no last minute Supreme Court nominees, there should be nothing happening whatsoever on the political front.  And that is cause for great joy.

5. Dallas/Fort Worth has proven to be a more wonderful place to live than I could have ever imagined or hoped.  I have met wonderful people here in this amazing city. Just before Thanksgiving, all of the little communities here don themselves in their finest holiday sparkle and I am really looking forward to enjoying the holiday finery with family and friends.

6. Frontier 2000 Media Group is now 6 and a half years old as an entity, but it was 7 years ago that I went for a walk on the weekend after Thanksgiving and decided to bring the company back.  Seven years later we have accomplished more than I could have hoped.  This week we are introducing the second installment in our series, "N" and we are hoping for an additional release of a new project right at Christmas time.  It has been very exciting to see this work come together. 

7. God hears us. No matter how dire our circumstances may appear or how desperate we may feel at times, we are never alone when we know the Lord.  I went through years of extreme sadness, loss and stress and to not be in that place any more is a huge gift.  I spent so much of this year praying for the elections and it felt at times as if those prayers could not be answered.  I still don't like Donald Trump as president, and I never will.  But I trust that God has this and that He hears us when we call out to Him for help.  So I will continue to pray for America and ask Him to save this nation.  And I will continue to trust that He sees both the big circumstances facing our nation and the individual circumstances of our lives and that He cares equally about both.  "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