It’s hard to believe it’s already November and that the holidays are upon us. This week we celebrate Thanksgiving—a time to pause and reflect on our many blessings.

Giving thanks, expressing gratitude, and reflecting on blessings bestowed upon us has long been an important tradition to our nation and its citizens. Our first President, George Washington, established a day of Thanksgiving for Americans to, in his words, acknowledge “with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.’

And during the Civil War, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a single day for a nationwide Thanksgiving, to help unify a deeply divided nation.

Today, we each face our own challenges, as does our nation. But we are also blessed. Blessed to live in the United States of America and blessed to live here in Arkansas. During this time of Thanksgiving, let us take time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for: the bountiful harvests from our fields; the amazing fruits of our industry; our natural rights; civil and religious freedom; the rule of law; and, of course, the blessings of family and the love for our children.

This year, I am thankful for my wonderful family—especially my wife Anna and our son, Gabriel, and the baby boy we will welcome next month. I am thankful for each of you, who keep me in your prayers and support me as I work on behalf of Arkansans.

And, of course, let us remember all of those who serve courageously on our behalf overseas: our troops, diplomats, and intelligence officials serving around the world, and their families as well. We owe each of these brave men and women a great debt of gratitude.

Finally, we would not have any of these blessings for which to be thankful without the love of a merciful, gracious God. I am reminded of a passage scripture, of Psalm 106:1, which reads: “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Indeed, his love does endure forever, that is reason enough to give thanks.

I wish all of you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving from the entire Cotton family.