We ended up coloring enough popsicle sticks for everyday until Thanksgiving with markers to add color. It was something that Sam and Elijah could both do. I threw together a turkey head and feet and attatched them to a small teracota pot with hot glue. He's a bit of a funny lookign turkey, but you get the idea. The idea is that each day we will take out a "feather" and then write something we are thankful for on it and place it in a jar near by. There are also additional blank sticks in the jar for additional thankful notes.
Tonight Elijah picked the first feather and said "I am thankful for my SELF." So Elijah's name went down on a stick. Then Sam wanted in on the action and we put his name on a stick too. (That crazy kid can't say his name but he recognizes many letters and can SPELL his name, it seems a little backwards if you ask me.) Anyway, I'm excited for the opprotunity to share what we are grateful for as a family throughout the month. We truly have a lot to be grateful for.
I put a stick in tonight too. Mine said I was grateful for testimonies. Every first Sunday of the month members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opprotunity to share what they know about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today's meeting was particularly moving. Strong witnesses were born, I felt the Spirit, and my own testimony was strengthened. There were a few children that bore their testimonies. It's kind of a Mormon joke that the kids always get up and say "I know this church is true, I love my mom and dad, I love my brother's and sisters... etc." But today it hit me differently. Last week I read an article by Elder Oaks of the Twelve Apostles titled "Testimony." He talks about how it is that we can KNOW.
"What do we mean when we testify and say that we know the gospel is true? Contrast that kind of knowledge with “I know it is cold outside” or “I know I love my wife.” These are three different kinds of knowledge, each learned in a different way. Knowledge of outside temperature can be verified by scientific proof. Knowledge that we love our spouse is personal and subjective. While not capable of scientific proof, it is still important. The idea that all important knowledge is based on scientific evidence is simply untrue."
Anyway, the talk goes into some good detail, but I was struck today by the simple connection of the love for our family and the love of our Heavenly Father. That we can come to know of our Heavenly Father's love and feel it- like and through the love of our earthly family.
There are many things that I do not know, but I DO know that there is a God and that he is my Heavenly Father, I am his daughter. He loves me, he knows me and he has provided a way for me to return to live with Him again. I know that Jesus Christ lives, that He is my Savior. The Atonement is real. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has His priesthood authority on the earth today. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I love my family and know that we can be together forever. And for this knowledge I am daily grateful.