Thanksgiving has always been my least favorite holiday. I don't love the food, despise the clean-up and get repulsed by how much pie is eaten. I do love to get together with family and black Friday so I haven't totally boycotted the holiday. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect on that which I am most grateful for. This year my heart was overflowing with gratitude for the gospel and the spirit that has brought our family closer as my sister-in-law Tahna decided to get baptised.
In October Coby's family was in charge of family home evening and Tahna gave a whole lesson on Baptism. We learned she was meeting with the missionaries again, and I was impressed at what a great lesson she gave, and floored at the topic she chose to do, not being baptised herself.
The week of Thanksgiving I got the best text ever that she was getting baptised on Saturday. My mom's side of the family celebrates Thanksgiving on Saturday every year, so to me she is basically getting baptised on Thanksgiving! My Grandpa Palmer would baptize her, and then her husband Coby would confirm her on Sunday. The service was great, the room was packed with family and friends, and the spirit was strong.
I've attended lots of baptisms, and when I was Primary President I had the opportunity to attend them every month, and I grew to appreciate them even more. But I have never had someone this close to me be baptized. My heart was beating with excitement, and my eyes crying with emotions. It was such a neat thing!
I remember being home and worrying about Tahna during her difficult delivery. I had heard that she had asked for a blessing and that my Uncles were on the way to administer. We said a prayer and I felt strongly that she probably would still have to have a C-section, but hoped she would feel the spirit and be comforted. Their precious Kortin was born, and it's been amazing to see the good parents they are and the spiritual transition that has occurred in their family. They just seem happier!
What I am most thankful for is Tahna's example. I have been blessed to be raised in the church, and although I have had my own spiritual conversions, I have never had to make sacrifices and commitments in choosing to join the church. I often wonder if I wasn't raised in the church, would I be in tune with the spirit and a strong enough person to follow it's promptings? Would I be able to give up coffee, cussing, Sundays and pay tithing? I'd like to think so, but I just don't know. I know that the gospel=happiness, and I am so thankful that Tahna will have just a little more happiness in her life. I told her to not make eye contact with the bishopric as they will try to give her a calling and put her to work. After her amazing FHE lesson I realize it won't be long before her ward realizes what a gem she is and snags her up!
Tahna had an LDS best friend growing up. We heard about her often. She had given her LDS fictional books to read and church music. Sean was having friends and family sing a song at his Farewell and it all kind of surprised us when Tahna not only was willing to join in, but knew all the words because it had been on a CD that Katelyn had given her. Katelyn served a mission, Tahna got married and the two of them stayed in touch. This best friend flew in for the baptism, and it was an honor to meet the girl that had been such a good friend and example to Tahna. I'm sure she touched the lives of many people on her mission, but for selfish reasons I feel like her greatest mission success was to be such a good friend to Tahna no matter what her faith and beliefs were. I am indeed thankful for her.
But again, I'm left reflecting. Am I the kind of friend she was to my sister-in-law? Do I open myself up to lifelong friendships with those not of my faith? Do I effortlessly share the gospel to those I love? I fall so short from where I need to be, but I am thankful for this Thanksgiving and the opportunity it has given me to expect more from myself. I am so thankful for Tahna and glad she is part of my family-this holiday and baptism celebration is just giving me an excuse to express it!