- - Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Like so many other families, this is the menu for our Thanksgiving meal each year. In addition to eating beyond our bodies’ ability to naturally digest food, the day typically includes football and a fun family movie.

When my grandmother was alive, we loved watching “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (still do). My sons, Matt and Alex, would turn and watch my grandmother and my mother as Clark Griswold slid down the hill on his sled. The boys knew their great-grandmother and grandmother would laugh so hard they nearly fell out of their chairs. It was a wonderful family tradition.

We share the things we are thankful for at this family gathering. This came naturally for our sons. When they were young, Tonette read a book that encouraged parents to have their children tell at least one thing they were thankful for before they went to bed each night.

It is a wonderful tradition. No matter how worked up our kids were about what happened that particular day, they still had to remember at least one thing to be thankful for. Sometimes it took a while, but we waited and, eventually, something would always come up.

The exercise was an excellent reminder of the blessings given to us by God, even on the days that they took it for granted. Thanksgiving is a good time to remember the many blessings in our lives and to remember to be thankful for them all throughout the year. It is also a good time to remind us to thank the people in our lives who provide those blessings. So let me try to do it myself.

First, I thank God for His abundant grace. No matter what the circumstances, God’s grace has always been more than enough for me. Thank you.

Second, I thank my parents, Llewelyn and Pat Walker, for not only bringing me into this world but serving as remarkable role models for how to live a Christ-centered life that seeks to serve others. Dad went home to be with the Lord last year and we miss him. Mom is still busy and continues to send notes of encouragement to so many others while sharing many of her amazing chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for the unconditional love.

My brother, David, and I grew up without much money but we had amazing parents and we had each other. Since growing up and having families of our own, my brother continues to be a constant source of support. Thanks, David.

The moment I met Tonette in the spring of 1992, I knew that I would marry her. It was God’s calling. Through more than a quarter-century together, she has been a constant rock for me. She tells it like it is. We are a super team. Thanks for your love and support, Tonette.

Of all the things we’ve done together, our very best work would be our sons, Matt and Alex. We are so proud of the fine young men that they have become over the past few years. Matt and three others run a digital marketing firm. Alex is the campaign manager for a member of Congress. Both of them are great communicators, excellent friends and supportive family members. Thanks for making us proud.

Tonette and I have also been blessed with some amazing friends. From my time growing up in Delavan, to school at Marquette University, to jobs at IBM and the American Red Cross to raising our kids in Wauwatosa to our friends in politics and government and from church; we are truly blessed to have some amazing friends.

At each of my events on election night over the years, I have always said that win or lose, God’s grace is more than enough.

It is so true. The last year is another excellent example.

So many people have reached out to ask me to be a part of some amazing projects. Balancing the budget was a big deal to me in state and county government, so working to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment is natural.

Countering the false narrative of Eric Holder on redistricting is important work. With fairly drawn districts, commonsense conservative candidates can win.

Helping protect the taxpayers at the federal level is critical to the future of our great country. Expanding that opportunity to the state level is equally as critical.

Ensuring that our positive reforms stay in Wisconsin is a labor of love. Plus, it is important for others to see that these reforms can outlast any one person in office.

Preparing to help the next generation embrace positive conservative views is like planting seeds in the field of the future. I look forward to the challenge and opportunity.

And writing a column each week is a great deal of fun. I am excited about sharing even more positive thoughts on the future of the conservative movement.

For each of these and the blessings of amazing friends, family and most importantly, an awe-inspiring God, I give thanks.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him @ScottWalker.

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