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Gracias. Malo. Wir danken dir.

by Kelly Ann

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d just like to express my gratitude and what the holiday means to me.  It isn’t anything profound but I hope that others will share their experiences in response.  The thought of us, our families, our communities, and ultimately our nation giving thanks simultaneously moves me …

I love Thanksgiving.  I am grateful for the people in my life – my family (the good and the bad), my friends, and the community of people here at the Exponent.  I am grateful for my job, my house, and my roommates.  I am grateful for the randomness of life itself, the way I have transformed, faith and reason, and constantly being inspired to be better.  I am grateful for the constant ability to think and reflect whether in travels or just in daily living.

For me personally, Thanksgiving itself has usually been a time of reflection to think about family, friends, and life.  As a child, the holiday was a chance to eat well and time spent bouncing between relatives and learning to appreciate my complex family.  As an undergraduate, I didn’t make the drive across Nevada but rather used the weekend as a breath near the end of many a crazy semester to sleep in and study hard before the end of the year and to think about the coming year (Christmas really being the family centered holiday).

As a graduate student, living near my sister, rather than going to friend’s families’ houses for the meal, I hosted Thanksgiving at my apartment for the first time and it became a combination of my family, friends, and personal time as well as awkward experiences cooking Turkey.  Also for those years, I participated in a couple musical Thanksgiving firesides in the Provo Tabernacle which really humbled me and made me grateful for what I had.

When I moved back five years ago to be close to my family, I enjoyed the more traditional extended family meals again.  However, not everyone makes a long pilgrimage to come.  One year I even missed it entirely while traveling in Europe which was an unique moving experience that made me think about the price of war for the first time as I walked around seeing bullet holes in churches and other monuments.  I came back extremely grateful for my freedoms.

So now when I think about Thanksgiving, it becomes a mix of all my experiences and I really just try to enjoy it and remember to say thank you.  I do often think of how I felt singing my gratitude in college and how I felt transformed singing the Mack Wilberg arrangement of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing with a 200 member choir and a large congregation as well as a brass band.  And when I read the words now, they mean even more to me.  So that is my thanksgiving I wish I share with everyone here.


Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come.

And I hope by thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.


Jesus sought me when a stranger wand’ring from the throne of God;

He to rescue me from danger interposed his precious blood.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.


O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be.

Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wand’ring heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.

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4 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    This hymn surprises me with tears almost every time I hear it. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  2. Jessawhy says:

    Kelly Ann,
    Thanks for this beautiful reminder of Thanksgiving. I love that song as well, our ward performed Wilberg’s arrangement in church last Sunday and it was very moving.

    I’m grateful to have a wonderful support system of friends and family who love me. I’m also grateful for my children who love the holidays and share their wonder and amazement with me.

  3. Caroline says:

    I too love that song. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful reflections about Thanksgiving. It’s inspiring me to go back through my years and find themes and patterns that characterize this holiday.

  4. Kelly Ann says:

    Thank you Deborah, Jessawhy, and Caroline for sharing. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

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