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Doorway Into Thanks

By Catherine Arveseth

It’s Thanksgiving morning and I woke to an unexpected skiff of snow across our backyard. I opened the front door and could hear an audible sparkling in the air, a soft pattering noise, as tiny tufts of white dropped listlessly to the ground from nearby pines. It is a beautiful thing to examine the natural world and hold it close.

I know feelings have been varied this week as followers of our prophet have posted on their various social media outlets handfuls of photos and words to #give thanks. Personally, I have loved finding my feed full of gratitude and little else. I have also loved seeing people who don’t regularly post, pop up on my feed, unveiling the things that bring them meaning and joy. 

For some, however, I understand that the constant flashing of everyone’s “gratitude” across their screens has made them feel sharply aware of their own losses or less-thans. A marriage that didn’t last, a parent who was in fact, not great, a job they did not get, children they could not have, experiences in which they have not been able to share.

That is the double-edged sword of social media. It does such a great job of linking us together, but at other times can hurt and only increase the isolation we feel. So I have chosen in this post to only mention things for which I #givethanks that you and I have in common here at Segullah.

I give thanks for our Mother Earth, who opens her palms to us daily with treasures and gifts. I give thanks for a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who love us, who purposefully placed divine pieces of themselves inside each of us, and together, they are at work always, for our saving. And I give thanks for Their beloved Son, whose pure and holy sacrifice can find us in the darkest of places, individually rescue us, and make us whole.

Christ with the Lepers by J. Kirk Richards

I think it is wise to know ourselves well enough to know when it’s okay to pull away from our devices for a while and practice gratitude in a more quiet and personal space. No matter how we express our gratitude, I was reminded last week by President Nelson that there is a necessary purpose in not just posting, but praying to our Heavenly Father. And often. So we can connect rather than compare. 

For me, divine connection has been the key to peace during this difficult year.

I thought you would find this short poem by my favorite, Mary Oliver, rather appropriate today.

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

— Mary Oliver, Thirst, 2006

Just a simple string of phrases, patched together, is enough to open the doorway into thanks. And in the silence of listening, we can hear the divine voice of God reaching back for us, whispering His own unembellished message.

Happy Thanksgiving. May your prayers race past the rooftops today. And may your hearts find connection in your sweet and silent communions.

All our love,

Your Segullah Sisters

About Catherine Arveseth

Catherine Arveseth is mother to five children, including two sets of twins. She is an exercise physiologist by profession, writer by passion, loves hiking with her family, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and the edge of an ocean. She and her husband, Doug, began their family in Virginia but now live in Salt Lake City, Utah. She blogs at wildnprecious.com.

1 thought on “Doorway Into Thanks”

  1. Thank you, Katherine, for this inspiring post. Divine connection this year has also been my portal of peace. As I spend today alone, I give thanks for all you’ve detailed here. Life is good, no matter what.

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