Thanksgiving was first observed by the Pilgrims in 1621 where a feast was given to give thanks to God for their arrival in a new land and their successful harvest.  I wish I knew their individual stories, their joys and pain.  How was it to come to a new country and have to make friends with the native Indians to survive?  I mean they left all of the comforts they knew to find religious freedom in an unknown land.  I admire their actions of faith, and wish I knew the Pilgrim story better.

I have sincerely loved learning the stories of my heritage.  As I have studied my ancestry I feel like I have gotten to know myself and my family members better.  I have a greater appreciation for the blessing I experience because of the sacrifice and determination of my ancestors.  I feel like this is a gift I want to give children an understanding of their family and how they have blessed their life.

So when I met Julie Nielson I loved her idea of teaching her heritage to her children through her own drawings.  What a personal way to display something so unique to your family!  “It depicts multiple generations and how certain key figures from my ancestry have influenced who I am today. I think in American culture too often a family is thought of as only your immediate parents and siblings, while many other cultures are much more connected to and have a greater appreciation for the generations who came before them. This project was a reminder to me that ALL of our family contributes in making us who we are, and that family is crucial part of personal identity.”Family Line- Sharing my ancestry

My challenge to you is to find a way to teach your children their heritage using your own talents.  Sit and do some story telling, act it out in a short skit, sew a quilt that brings together their different ancestry.  Most of all remind them of the many blessings their family has given them.

This is a trailer of a movie that someone made about my great, great, great grandpa.  I often think of him and admire his actions.  He was an extremely generous and faithful man.  I first watched this 2 years ago on Thanksgiving and my heart was full of deep appreciation for my family.