For example, America was founded on the Providence of God and Judeo-Christian principles, more than 400 years ago. After the Pilgrims settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they established Harvard Divinity School in 1636 to honor the God:
“After God had carried us safe to New England and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship, and settled the civil government: One of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” (http://www.hds.harvard.edu/about/history-and-mission)
Harvard Divinity School became America’s first university: Harvard University.
On Thanksgiving Day, I especially thank God for my Mom and Dad. I have done this countless other times. When I was a professor for 15 years, every time I was in a classroom observing student teachers, I also observed their students – and thanked God for my Mom and Dad, because my sisters and me never went to school hungry, or sleepy because we stayed up too late, or without our homework being done.
On Saturday, I will again thank God for my Mom and Dad while I’m facilitating an Assertiveness Training Workshop, where I will help parents stop acting submissively or reacting aggressively when their children misbehave, and begin interacting assertively with them – like Mom and Dad did with their three children.
In my Spiritual Memoir, I included poems I wrote to Mom and Dad, to thank them and to thank God for them. And, acknowledge the significant impact they each had in my life.
I wrote the poem to Mom three days before she passed away:
In Memory of Cecilia Gray
(A farewell poem to our Mom -- from Bill, Sue & Vivian)
With you, we each felt equally important as a person.
Without you, there would have been sibling rivalry.
With you, we learned to love each other unconditionally.
Without you, we’d not be this loving as kids or adults.
With you, we have been sustained by your constant praying for us.
Without you, none of us would have made it here on our own.
With you, we looked forward to coming home to you.
Without you, our house would not have been a home.
With you, our needs were always met because you sacrificed for us.
Without you, we would not have received such high priority.
With you, we gained a firm and true foundation for life.
Without you, we’d be spinning our wheels on shifting sand.
With you, we learned patience and trust in the Lord.
Without you, we’d have trusted only in ourselves.
With you, we each learned right from wrong.
Without you, there is no telling where we might have fallen down.
With you, we learned to forgive and move forward with a positive spirit.
Without you, we would have clung to hurts and bitterness.
With you, we learned to dream, achieve and succeed.
Without you, life would be less passionate and worth living.
With you, we have renewed hope as your Savior takes you Home.
Without you, this last meeting would be depressing – not renewing.
I wrote the poem to my Dad to commemorate his 95th Birthday:
Happy 95th Birthday, Dad
With you as provider for our family, our needs were always met.
Without your self-sacrificing for us, we would not have gotten a good start in life.
With you, we learned honesty and integrity, and developed these in our character.
Without your example, we would not have developed such good character.
With you, we learned to work hard and do our best in all we do.
Without your role model, who could we emulate?
With you, we learned to finish what we started.
Without you, our accomplishments would be fewer.
With you, we saw a consistent standard of right from wrong.
Without you, we would not know the difference.
With you, we learned “one’s word is his bond.”
Without you, we would not trust one another’s “word.”
With you, there was no favoritism towards any of your three children.
Without you, we would have always fought because of sibling rivalry.
With you, there was gentle enforcement of parental expectations and rules.
Without you, we would not know how to provide this for our children.
With you, we learned to pitch in and do household chores and duties.
Without you, our spouses would have to nag us to do these things.
With you, we learned the discipline needed to form good habits.
Without you, our lives would be much less successful.