Thanksgiving is right around the corner and officially kicks off the holiday season. It’s a time of excitement, long “to do” lists, and family gatherings. I love Thanksgiving and the fact that it is front and center as we begin our holidays.

Many years ago, my wife proposed a “thankfulness tree” for our family. Call me a grinch, but I’m not a big fan of homemade construction paper decorations adorning our walls during the holidays or frankly any time of year. Nevertheless, the thankfulness tree idea was implemented and I had to deal with it (this should provide a life lesson for all you husbands out there).

A construction paper tree was created and pinned to our kitchen wall. It was supplemented by a pile of multicolored leaves upon which each of us needed to write things for which we were thankful and then pin them to the tree. I was more concerned about all the pinholes in the wall I’d have to spackle after Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for many things, but really wasn’t into the spirit of the whole thing.

Days went by and my wife and kids started populating the tree with leaves. They pinned up leaves that said “family”, “warm home”, “friends”, and many other wonderful things. I sat. I watched. I started to feel guilty.

It was a few days before Thanksgiving and I finally filled out my first leaf and pinned it to the tree. Do you know what happened next? A second leaf went up, then a third, and before I knew it, I was on a roll. Like the grinch, my heart began growing “three sizes” larger. I became happier with each new leaf and started to focus more on how blessed I and my family were. While still not a fan of construction paper art, I finally get it.

We are entering a season that focuses on thanking God for his blessings and sharing those with others. This year I have lots of ideas for leaves. I am thankful for Godly men and women who serve us in the state legislature and Congress. I am thankful for our Statesmen Academy that helps train new legislators on how to best integrate their faith and values into their political life. I am thankful for a loving wife, amazing kids, and even our less-than-useful German Shepherd. They are the best family I could ever ask for.

However, this year I’m also going to pin a leaf up there for you, our ministry partners. You are the foundation of everything we do. You represent North Dakotans who value life, family, religious liberty, and other biblical values. You are the source of the “biblical citizenship” to which we often refer.

You support Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota in many ways: voting, prayers, responding to our Action Alerts, and financial support. Right now, you have the ability to ensure we keep operating at full capacity here in North Dakota. Your tax-deductible gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $6,200 if you give by December 31. If you find our work important and want to help us continue to represent your values, please prayerfully consider giving by going to our website and donating. Thank you for all you do for us at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones.


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director