Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Thoughts from Sarah J. McNeal



Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time this year. So much sadness, oppression, violence, and deprivation seems to be going on in the world right now. We all worry about our planet and the effects global warming is going to have on all living things here on Earth. I am war weary. It seems there is no end to war and violence. People are trying to escape to someplace where they can find peace, safety, and freedom. Just this past week, terrorists took the lives of so many innocent people in Paris, and as terrorists like to do, they threaten more senseless violence around the world. I’m not even certain if they truly have a reason for all their hatred. Who do they hate? Everybody? Why do they hate so many? I just don’t know. I am heartsick thinking about all this.


But I have hope. Hope is a powerful thing. It can make us believe there’s a light out there even in the darkest of times. It can make us believe there is good in everyone, even if it’s so far down deep inside them we can’t see it right now. I can imagine those Pilgrims so long ago escaping an oppressive land to find freedom just as the Syrians are doing today. Having hope is like having faith. In troubling times, faith can lift us up and give us the strength to persevere no matter how awful or dark our circumstances.


I’m thankful I was born and raised during happier times. Those were the Norman Rockwell kind of days. Some kids today have known nothing but war so far in their young lives. My great niece has never known a time without war, global warming, and civil unrest and violence.
Next week when I’m surrounded by loved ones preparing to eat a feast in remembrance of those stalwart Pilgrims, I’m going to keep hope in my heart and gratitude for living in a country founded on freedom and where, in times of trouble, people come together and help one another. It never fails to inspire me that, when things are at their worst, human beings are at their best.
So, here’s a little Norman Rockwell for you and a prayer that things will get better soon. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. God bless you and keep you from harm.



 Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:


Note: all pictures of Norman Rockwell art from Pinterest

10 comments:

  1. The Bible say "There will always be wars and rumors of wars. So, just like it say the poor will always be with us.
    I, too, have hope. I was born in the middle of WWII, but of course we didn't have tvs then, just radios to listen to on Sunday night--and a short bit of news at that. We did not see any suffering or hate or discordance. The only time we might see the war was on a Newsreel before a movie in the theater.
    I wonder if today we did not have the tv or radio or internet, would be feel differently? I think so--we'd be forced back into a naïve state of being, a childlike existence where we would be ignorant once again. And guess what--we'd also feel safe. I begged my Daddy to built a bomb shelter in our back yard during the Cold War, but he said nothing except. Nope. I thought maybe he didn't understand that the Russians had threatened to kill us! Maybe he didn't, because my Daddy could not read..at least he could only make out a few words. Sigh. Thanks, Sarah, for your lovely memories and the wonderful photos of the paintings. They made my heart lighter. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Celia, your dad sounds a lot like mine--stoic and no mincing of words. You may very well be right about TV and the internet with their constant bombardment of news and graphic pictures may make people more anxious about the state of the world. Like you, my childhood was spent without TV or computers because Pop didn't want us to lose our resourcefulness. The radio was the only means of news except word of mouth. Mostly, the radio was for music, Pop's Saturday opera/classic music, and programs like "The Shadow Knows".
      Although I don't want to be ignorant of what's going on in the world, I certainly don't need sensationalistic journalism to make me feel afraid and unsafe. I want to carry on, aware of possible dangers, but not deterred from my life by fear.
      I can understand your desire as a kid to want a bomb shelter. Sometimes I think I'd like to buy an old missile silo and make a safe world inside it. But that would be a lonely and anxious existence I think. Shoot, it's not like I had the power to stop these crazy barbarians from doing these horrible things anyway. I just have to have faith in God's plan.
      I'm going to keep that Norman Rockwell view of things in my heart and mind.
      Thank you for coming by and always being so supportive. I think the world of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. What a lovely post, Sarah. I, too, am a fan of Norman Rockwell and all that his art symbolizes. He was wonderful at capturing a long lecture in one painting. I hope we are all praying for peace.

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    1. His art brings to mind a more peaceful, happy time for me. I am sick of war and violence. Yes, Caroline, I am praying for peace.
      Thank you so much for coming.

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  3. Thanks for a post to remind us we've had better times in the world and maybe we'll get back to it. But in the meantime we need to be thankful for what we have, our family.

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  4. Hey there Linda. Sometimes friends serve as family, too, so I'm grateful them as well. I certainly hope we can get back to more peaceful times.
    I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and thank you for coming by and commenting.

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  5. Beautiful post, Sarah. I've always loved Norman Rockwell. I agree, we all need to focus a little bit more on the things to be thankful for this year.

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    1. Kirsten, thank you for your compliment. Sometimes I just have to skip watching the news. I've been watching the Hallmark channel's Christmas movie marathon to maintain my serenity. Thank you so much for coming.

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  6. Thank you, Sarah. It is definitely time for all of us to give thanks. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. We've gone through some sad times, but this year we are celebrating just the two of us, but know that we are thankful for what we have - our family, friends, writing, new home, even the swans that grace our river. There is beauty all around us if we take the time to notice. May you all have a grand Thanksgiving.

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  7. Paisley, a new home and swans--wow! You really do have some great things to be grateful for. The hardest time for me to feel gratitude is when the dark times come. I sometimes roll into a ball of despair and forget there are always those who have it worse.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I hope your sad time is over now and that you have a very happy Thanksgiving.

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