Earlier this week, I watched the livestream footage of the ceremony featuring President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as they officially pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey, “Cob.”
Feeling inspired, I have decided I will also pardon a turkey this year and forego the traditional poultry fare in favor of prime rib.
And while I’m very thankful for the homegrown beef on my plate, I’m even more thankful for the people I get to share a Thanksgiving meal with.
In November, the kids and I have tried to focus on practicing an attitude of gratitude. In one of our homeschool crafts, I instructed the kids to make turkeys by tracing their hands on construction paper and then writing things on each finger (feather) that they were thankful for this year.
Their responses included our family, Jesus, the ranch, our new puppy and living in America. My son added in hunting for good measure, and my daughter added her baby dolls to her list.
It was sweet to hear their thankful lists, and it inspired me to reflect on what I’m thankful for in 2020.
Without question, for many Americans and for people around the world, our burdens have been heavy and it can be hard to see the blessings during these challenging times.
However, when I look at some of the changes our family has experienced due to this pandemic, I realize that this year’s blessings include spending more time together, enjoying the great outdoors, cutting out time-wasters and activities that were draining us each week and truly enjoying each other as we work alongside each other on the ranch.
Has this been a stressful, draining rollercoaster of a year? You bet! But if we choose to seek what’s good and positive and beautiful, we will discover that there are plenty of shining lights that are balancing out the darkness we are experiencing.
One habit I’ve gotten into this year is, even on my busiest days, I force myself to pause and watch the sunset for a few minutes. I feel closer to God, closer to nature and more in tune with myself and the world around me. That might sound hokey, but that small habit has done wonders for my mental health and my feeling of purpose during a year when everything seems so uncertain.
This Thanksgiving may look a little bit different than what we are used to, but today, I urge you to find the blessings that have been brought into your life this year. It doesn’t have to be big or grandeur. Even the most humble of gifts — your health, your family, your job or just keeping it together during a really rocky time — are worth celebrating and embracing.
Happy Thanksgiving from my ranch to yours! May you feel blessed, content, safe and renewed on this day and every day!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.