Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This Thanksgiving while gathered around my parent's dining room table, our group of 20 held hands and spoke one-by-one about what each of us is thankful for. There were so many wonderful, heart-felt blessings shared. Every year I am amazed by how thoughtful each contribution is. I believe we spent about 45 minutes making it around the table.

While 45 minutes may seem a long time to talk about what we're thankful for, truly it is a short amount of time in the grand scheme of the blessings that we have been given. I suppose we could have spent the better part of the holiday weekend expressing our thanksgiving. This tradition of sharing is a beloved one to me, and I am prayerful that I will remember to daily give thanks for all of my blessings.

This year, as the circle rounded to me, I shared my thanksgiving with the table. Of course, I am thankful for my dear husband, my precious children, my sweet parents and brothers and my extended family... sometimes those are considered "givens", but I never want to leave out the special people in my life... none of us does. Family is a treasure to be thankful for, especially the tie that binds us all -- Jesus Christ.

So, having talked about my love and appreciation for my family, I had already decided that there was one attribute that I wanted to expound upon --character. Don had mentioned character in his thanksgiving right before me, which actually solidified my decision.

This calendar year the blessing of character has been overwhelming, especially where my children are concerned. My oldest, Baker, is continually commended for his politeness, positive attitude, smile, good sportsmanship and love for Christ. Of course, I am not always privy to the compliments; however, this year in particular, Don and I have repeatedly been made aware of Baker's character -- through emails from coaches and friends and in person from the same, some even strangers.

As a mother, a parent, I cannot think of a greater blessing than to have my children praised for their character -- especially when I know it is not of me but of my heavenly Father. While I have never considered that "character" would be something I would be extraordinarily thankful for, I don't know that I could have known its complete significance until it my attention was drawn to it by those that I barely know... so compelling is the gift of character, that even strangers took the time to point it out to me.

Of course, I am proud of all of my children, and each one of them receives compliments in regard to character. I pointed Baker out in particular because of his role as the eldest child. Don and I have reminded Baker that he is laying a foundation for his siblings... he is carving a path and a reputation for the Donahue name. I am so blessed by how he has "stepped up" to this calling because of his character.

We have praised Brennan, Cara and Eliza for continuing in the path of character. I believe that character connotes trust and builds relationship and thus provides endless opportunities for us to shine like bright stars in the universe. God has called us to be men and women of character.

There was and never will be anyone who exhibits the gift and quality of character like our Savior, Jesus Christ. His example is perfect. For us to follow in His path is great indeed. Graciously, when we stray from the path, His loving arms beckon us back into His love and onto the narrow road... laden with character, strength, honor, love, forgiveness, gentleness, grace, joy and all that is considered right and good in His eyes.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord... with character.

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