Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

The famous artist, Norman Rockwell, painted a captivating piece entitled Freedom From Want. Rockwell portrays the perfect Thanksgiving family gathering. Of course, we know it doesn’t always turn out that way, but it’s an iconic image.

The stress of the busy holiday season, or the quick temper of Uncle Fred, can create more heartburn than a double dose of Tums can tame. A Rockwell moment can easily turn into a Simpsons cartoon holiday reel when the wrong thing is said.

So, here’s my list of things I’m going to try and remember so that I don’t ruin Thanksgiving.

  1. I’m going to listen more than I talk. That’s not easy for me. Every report card I got in elementary school said, “Stevie talks too much.” I’ve asked Tricia to remind me that God gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason.
  2. I’m going to go the extra mile. That may mean doing some dishes, driving the girls to the outlets for Black Friday shopping, or giving up my leather recliner for the football game. I’m going to give a little more, be a little more patient, and go the extra mile.
  3. I’m not going to make excuses for my selfishness. I don’t like this about myself, but sometimes I just want to do what I want to do and that can quickly ruin Thanksgiving.
  4. I’m going to seek first to understand and then to be understood. Maybe the cranky aunt has stuff going on that no one knows about. It could be that the spirited nephew has had a difficult semester at school. My goal is going to be to do my best to see the world through their eyes this year.
  5. I’m going to keep the main thing the main thing. I Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” That’s the main thing.

I pray you that have a blessed Thanksgiving Day with your family. Tricia and I are grateful for the opportunity to serve you at The First Academy.