Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, from White Christmas (1954) – YouTube

I have such fond memories of spending Thanksgiving at my maternal grandparents’ farm in Ionia. The day was always full of wonderful smells, dog-eared Christmas catalogs with gift wishes, and of course, various holiday movies. My cousins and I would gather around the big TV set in a wood cabinet (aging myself here, but trust me that this was a real treat) and watch all the classics like Frosty and Rudolph. As I grew older and began to understand that holidays could be complicated, though, I began to enjoy other movies with deeper meaning: It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and my favorite, White Christmas.

The video clip above is a lovely song from White Christmas entitled “Count Your Blessings”. It makes me think of how often it can be hard to set aside our worries to focus on all the things that are good in our lives. Thanksgiving- just for one day- gives us the space to concentrate on the good, on our blessings. I sincerely hope you can relax and enjoy time with loved ones this holiday weekend. It’s not always easy, especially in our 24/7 business; many of you will be spending the holiday itself at work or taking urgent calls. Please know that your service means the world to someone, even if they can’t find the words to thank you. As Maya Angelou said, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

I know that I am especially grateful this year to be part of Vista Maria, and for each of you who live out the Good Shepherd values daily. Your hands and hearts provide the healing, and your dedication to our mission helps youth and families feel hopeful for the future. Thank you, from my fearless heart to yours.

Happy Thanksgiving,