First, let me say Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a blessed day tomorrow and spent with family. I ask you a few things, that God asked me to remind you. 1. If you have a family member going through cancer treatments, please don’t get mad at them for not eating a lot, don’t tease them about not being their jolly self. Just be thankful that they feel well enough to see you and let them make the decisions about how things go. If they want to sleep in a comfy chair let them. 2. If you are parent daughters or sons in law. Please don’t make comments about how when you have grandkids, or when are you having children. Those comments are hurtful and self-centered and could send someone who is struggling into a tailspin. Be thoughtful about what you say.

Okay now that the PSA is out of the way. I want to talk about my experience with Zoos and how they are important in my life.

It’s April 2011. I had just finished chemo. It was actually the week before my birthday and my family wanted to celebrate mine, Sis, and Jman’s birthday because we have birthdays that are 3 weeks apart. Dude and Jman took off work, Mother and Papa Bear arranged for travel. We all loaded up into their Tahoe and drove to the San Francisco Zoo. It was a long day. I walked more than I had during my cancer treatments, I remember getting to the car feeling like how am I going to get in the car. We had a beautiful day where I looked at the animals, and the first time I realized that in six months I would have more zoo days.

Going to zoos are really important. For myself, It allows me to see through God’s eyes about his care for animals. Our God is an artist and you don’t get to experience it until you go to a zoo and see many animals that come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. When I read Genesis it reads like God created the sky, the seas, the birds, the fish, and then animals. But he took his time and made the animals of the world his masterpiece. He takes pride in his work. Just like he takes pride in you.

Another reason for trips to the zoo is important. Especially if you have little ones, it teaches respect to animals. I have parents who have been zoo member for as long as I can remember, Dude is a conservationist, but I have learned from going to the zoo that animals big or small are important to respect. When I hear stories about accidents at zoos like tigers attacking or children falling into gorilla habitats, it’s because someone wasn’t giving enough respect to the animals. Zoos do the best they can to make animals safe but if we are not respecting the rules then these animals do wild things.

I think zoo trips made Sis braver. I work with special needs individuals and often their world is filled with anxiety and fear. But then I look at Sis and she does have her moments of fear and anxiety creep in but when were children. Sis would come with us to the zoo. Now she may not like walking as much, but as I watched her grow the zoo became a safe place for her. She could take pictures, watch shows, walk around. There were often no people who would make life feel uncomfortable for her. It was a day where she wasn’t attached to an electronic. Sis would take pictures and walk and make conversation. She would get lost and we would find her. It would be a beautiful day. Sis has a better love for animals and is not afraid to ask questions.

Zoos do a beautiful thing, they help conserve our beautiful animals. Their programs allow animals such as the California condor, which almost went extinct in the wild, helped the populations grow and become stable. Zoos help preserve animals for the future. Their programs with other zoos help keep track of all the numbers in the world and help preserve them. It’s a beautiful thing and it is taking God’s job to Adam as the keeper of the animals to heart.

Next time you are visiting a new city or place, plan a zoo day. You won’t be disappointed. If you have kids take them and be open for the questions that come. Enjoy a day with family, even if it rains. Zoos are a wonderful place.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

TTFN and God Bless and Keep you:)

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