Mindful of the many joys and sorrows of life – both big and small – we asked the EMU community to share what they are thankful for at this time of year. Perhaps the following Thanksgiving reflections will encourage you to reflect on your blessings today. Enjoy!
Thoughts of Thanksgiving
I am thankful for [fellow residents on] my community hall who care for one another as if we knew each other our whole lives. These girls have become my family on campus since I live so far away from home and don’t get to see my biological family often. I am thankful for family getting together at Thanksgiving and sharing the special day with one another. God has brought many blessings upon me this year that I am fortunate to have.
—Katherine Graber, first-year student
I am thankful that I never wake up dreading work because my coworkers at EMS are truly special people.
—Linda Alley, director of the congregational resource center at the seminary
I am thankful for the chance to start anew each morning.
I am thankful for the ability – mentally, financially, and physically – to receive an education at EMU.
I am thankful for seasons: warm days, cool nights.
I am thankful for a strong cup of coffee on a cold November morning.
I am thankful for a body that lets me run, a mind that thinks with clarity, and a soul that embraces the Spirit.
I am thankful for my senses of hearing, smell, taste, sight, and touch.
I am thankful for Mother Nature and the beauty of creation.
—Everett Brubaker, sophomore
I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand with 21 EMU students, Loren and Pat Swartzendruber and approx. 30 others. St. Margaret’s College’s chef here in Dunedin is super keen to accommodate our requests. Turkey is not a typical dish here. However, we will have turkey and lamb with pumpkin pie that “does not have all that sugar” in it.
—Kathy Yoder, EMU alumna currently on cross-cultural in New Zealand with husband and faculty member Jim Yoder and their sons
Good health, a new granddaughter (our first), meaningful employment, the daily presence of the Holy Spirit.
—Dave King’76, director of EMU athletics
I am thankful that my daughter, Rebekah York, is a student at EMU and has found her “home away from home.” We are missionaries in Romania and it does my heart good to know that she has found friends and a loving community there.
—Kris York, parent
The beauty of Harrisonburg and EMU’s campus. The colorful leaves, the peaceful sky, and the clean air.
—Nicole Groff, junior
For the fellow students I have in CJP. They add to my learning greater than I imagined.
—Patrick Campbell, graduate student at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP)
Baby smiles, sunshine, rare moments of quiet, the kindness of strangers…
—Linda Burkholder, assistant to cross-cultural programs
My week-old niece that I get to see for the first time on Thanksgiving break :)
—Cody Walker, senior
I’m thankful to have good health and energy to tackle my work each day. EMU is a diverse and complex community. Yes, we are stressed at times as we juggle high expectations with limited resources. But I am grateful for a job that is meaningful and colleagues with whom I can walk this journey. Hearing student and alumni stories about the ways that EMU has shaped their lives makes it all worthwhile.
—Andrea Wenger ’86, director of marketing and communications
Living in our nation’s capital, I am thankful for daily opportunities to struggle with what it means to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
—Sheldon Good, assistant director of Washington Community Scholars’ Center
This year I am thankful for my many families and all their love – the Nussbaum’s, Miller’s, Beeker’s, my EMU, Camp Friedenswald and Guatemalan families!!
—Erin Nussbaum, senior nursing major
It’s challenging to be thankful in a culture that promotes individualism and success. I sometimes forget how fortunate I am in light of others who are struggling throughout the world. With that in mind, I’m most thankful for a supportive community that I find in the Mennonite church, a loving family, and opportunities to challenge myself academically here at EMU. I’m thankful for stability. I’m thankful that people care about me. I’m thankful to have enough.
—Charles Good, first-year student
I am thankful for all of the new people I have met this year who have helped to change my perceptions of life and faith. My beliefs [as one of the 45% of Mennonite undergrads] have been challenged more at [this] Mennonite college than they ever were at my diverse public high school. I am thankful that God is never far from each of us and that he puts people and events in our lives that encourage us to think and grow.
—Erin Rheinheimer, sophomore