Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Festival of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

I'm in charge of a group of people from my church who are taking part in a city-wide Interfaith Festival of Gratitude taking place tonight at a well-known theatre space in my town.  There is a pastor who organizes the entire night - he works with area religious groups to put together a free festival.  The program consists of many different types of worship - from simply explaining tenants of faith, to prayer, to sermons, to leading a group meditation in thankfulness, to chanting, to singing and playing instruments... this will be my third year in charge of my church's contribution and my fourth year taking part.  
I remember the first time I went, my mom basically had to drag me because the ward choir was in need of more voices, but this interfaith thing sounded boring and, quite frankly, was the last thing I wanted to do with my holiday.

I was so wrong.  I've never felt so filled with interest and excitement for religion in general.  I remember thinking what a wonderful country we live in that allows us to practice our religious freedoms without fear.  And how much I truly take that for granted.  It was truly eye-opening to hear from so many different groups with so many different backgrounds and experience just a tiny bit of what they believe and how they worship.  I loved feeling connected to everyone in thankfulness - for no matter how different we seemed in our doctrine and principles, we were there for one reason.

To show gratitude to power beyond ourselves.  Gratitude for our blessings, our freedoms, our lives, our families.  Gratitude for BEING.  For song and dance and happiness.  I'm especially grateful for the opportunity I have to share these feelings with everyone who attends, so I can focus on them.  My littles are joining us for the first time tonight, and I love to hear them sing.

It makes me wonder why I don't host my own "festival of gratitude" more often.  Why does it take this pastor and this specific experience on this one night for me to keep my thankfulness in the forefront?  While I'm usually good at recognizing my very blessed life, why don't I focus on celebrating it more often?

Here are some free printables I made up for last minute decor.  Do you need last minute decor, like I do?  There has to be someone out there who procrastinates almost as badly...

In other news, it is almost that time of year when I annually drop off the blogging face of the planet in an attempt to finish (i.e. START) all the homemade presents on my list.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen completely, but if it does, you'll know where I am.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

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