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Women Are Infinitely Powerful

By Megan Wilcox Goates

I’d like to talk about what it means to be a woman. But first, let me tell you about a recent day when autism reared its feral head and flashed its jagged teeth at me, from two different children. In the morning, Youngest Boy didn’t want to comb his hair or pick up his dirty …

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Kicking this year in the teeth, one gratitude at a time

By Terresa Wellborn

Raise your hand if you’d like to kick this past year in the teeth. Sure, I’d like to know what Trump eats for breakfast, motives for the Las Vegas mass shooter, why so-and-so is getting a divorce, and other ugly truths hidden under digital sofa cushions online, but the more I step away, the more …

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Conscious of Our Treasures

By Catherine Arveseth

On Thanksgiving Eve we wrote gratitude lists, counted gifts, filled paper to the edges then taped our thanks to the kitchen wall.

This special November Thursday has become a favorite at our house.

Come morning, Doug is stirring the filling for his grandmother’s no bake pumpkin pie on the stove. Our children are watching the Rockettes kick in perfect unison at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on NBC. And I am about to begin my grandmother’s recipe for turkey dressing.

I ran the icy streets this morning before sun-up. Grateful for gloves, a fleece hat, and a healthy body.

Run alone and you notice so much. The sound of your breath, the way your elbows glide past your ribs, branches bent to the earth under the weight of snow, the crunch of crystalline tire tread underfoot.

And I smelled the most wonderful smells. Apples mingled with cinnamon on Naniloa Drive. Pancakes and bacon at the bottom of the swell on Wander. The scent of an outdoor world, crisped in white, so subtle it barely smelled at all.

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“All these things shall give thee experience”

By Dalene Rowley

Yesterday, as my dear mother-in-law, Barbara, and I worked in the kitchen while most of the men and the children (yea, even the adult children) caravanned on the traditional drive through the mountains of the Uintah Basin to count deer and elk, I recalled the Thanksgiving before. Some forty of us had gathered last year to break bread and give thanks together in the hogan family room my father-in-law built on to their home long before I joined the family.

I looked at Barbara, who is still dealing with the ill effects of breast cancer treatment from last year (no one tells you of the way lymphedema will affect the rest of your life, because they are just trying to get you to survive the chemo and radiation required to beat back the cancer). I thought, “What were we thinking, descending upon her last year like that while she was still trying to regain her strength and regrow her hair and reclaim her life?”

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Haiku for the Holidays

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Wanting some time of revery and zen this holiday season? Try some 17 syllable therapy and write haiku! This ancient creative poetry form of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, and five in the last is a satisfying way to distill the sights, scents, moods, memories and mischief of life. …

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Thanks(giving) for the Memories

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Our typical Thanksgiving dinner

On a recent flight, my daughter sat next to an actress affiliated with a Chicago based comedy troupe. The actress needed some ideas for an upcoming Thanksgiving sketch routine and asked my daughter if she had any funny family holiday meal stories. The story my daughter shared was one my husband and I have no memory of. She insists we were there. Clearly the scene made a vivid impression on her.

She was a teenager, and we were enjoying a delicious feast with my sister’s reserved family when for no reason my daughter could fathom, my husband started talking about beef testicles – their size, texture, cultures that eat them and how they’re prepared.

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Come, Ye Thankful People, Come!

By Michelle Lehnardt

Only the comforting drip of water disturbs the silence of this sleeping house. It is Thanksgiving morning and everyone is counting their blessings with an extra hour (or two) in bed. I imagine that my sister is awake upstairs reading her scriptures and whispering to her husband before he departs for his rounds at the hospital; the little girls may be dressing dolls or turning the pages of their fairy books. But the boys, the boys with their wrestling and jumping from bed to bed are most certainly still asleep.

I love this holiday where we pull up the covers to relish in our blessings rather than leap out of bed to get something new. I intend to savor every moment of this day with my family.

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Peruvian Thanksgiving

By Melissa McQuarrie

November 21st, 1984. I’d been on my mission for fourteen months. I was working in Puno, high up on the Altiplano at 12,500 feet on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Besides Elder Moore—a culture shocked, baby-faced elder straight from the States whose sunburned nose was blistering in the altitude and whose stomach was in constant upheaval at its strange new diet—I was one of few North American missionaries in the area. I was training a greenie from Lima, Hermana Francia, who kept hijacking the discussion when it was my turn to teach and who balked at the chuno in our soup. We spent our days traipsing up and down steep dirt hills and stepping over sewage running down the muddy streets; and teaching impoverished families in one-room adobe huts with dirt floors, guinea pigs squealing under the beds and chickens wandering in and out. At night we wore thermals under our pajamas, as well as gloves, socks, and hats, and we curled under piles of blankets and listened to the thunderstorms raging over the hills. In the mornings the water in our tap was so cold that it left ice crystals in our hair when we washed it.

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Praise to the Lord from Whom All Blessings Flow

By Michelle Lehnardt

Life isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that God created this full, beautiful earth and sent us here to love, laugh, learn, work play; to ache, mourn, fail, to go astray. And it isn’t fair that God sent His Only Begotten to be whipped and scorned and crucified for our sins. Thanks be to God for …

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Home for the Holidays: The Good Times Abound

By Melissa McQuarrie

featurepics-539AA725-44FD-432E-A6FB-FDE4EE828D1DI have a *friend* who, although she loves her family dearly, finds her stomach tightening and her left eye twitching when holidays and family gatherings approach. Perhaps it’s the added pressure of having to dust all those high shelves and wipe those fingerprints off of the walls (and cabinets and doors and chairs and floors). Perhaps it’s because even when she does clean the house until it’s spotless and she puts fresh towels on her mother’s bed and mints on the pillow, her mother will invariably mention that the guest bathroom has no soap or that there’s a shortage of cheese in the fridge (don’t ask). Perhaps it’s the thought of having to *entertain* family members in the dead of winter, after the actual holiday is over, when there’s nothing to do except shop at T.J. Maxx and watch football. Or perhaps it’s the knowledge that when family comes to town, there will inevitably be some tension. Unresolved issues. Elephants in the room, taking up all the chairs. And this *friend* will often have to bite her tongue as she slips into the age-old roles of daughter, sister, daughter-in-law (now that one’s a doozy), trying to balance these roles with her current ones as wife and matriarch, finding herself mother and child at once.

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