What I’ve Learned about Thanksgiving

My Idahoan sister is getting the troupes together for Thanksgiving this year, here in California. I picked her up at the airport today. Three of my cousins and spouses with some of their grown children, my brother and his grown kids and their significant others, my folks, and my sister and her grown kids and son-in-law, and my other sister’s son, my nephew from Oregon and his family are all coming. It will be over thirty in number. I’m bringing the homemade pumpkin pie, homemade applesauce, a slow-baked ham, and who knows what else. Maybe a pecan pie. We’ll have lots of good food.

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Thanksgiving dinner at my house last year. We’re ready to pray.

The festivities are going to be at my folk’s house. It’s on a knoll out in the country, west of the Sacramento River. Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta are visible on a clear day. It is scenic and wonderful. We will eat around 2:00 but everyone will come an hour earlier to help out. I’ll bring Mother from the care home where she is living now. Tables will be connected and tablecloths and china will be set out. After the leisurely meal is  done, we will clear the plates and do the dishes. Dessert will wait for later.

What I Learned from My Grandparents, Parents, & Children

I am thankful for family.

My Parents, late Grandparents, and my children mean the world to me. I am a blessed woman. My grandparents and parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings collectively contributed to my life. You know when you are given a lot. I am in that category. Both sets of grandparents lived modest lives and they had similar values.

Family values are lived daily.

Ours was a family where you never heard a swear word, the adults rarely raised their voices, and alcohol and cigarettes were not part of the scene, neither was immodest dress or heavy make-up. Even greater than the outward expression of Christian beliefs and its matching lifestyle was the way the adults in my family lived out what they valued in the practical part of life. We were taught by example by all the key players in our lives. What they gave us was quality stuff.

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy (Moody Publishers, 2011)

Just in time for Thanksgiving! This lovely book offers practical advice for getting on the bright side. The author encourages the reader with many short true stories of people who faced difficult circumstances but found a way to be grateful anyway. The very act of gratitude is life transforming. It is like putting a smile on instead of the frown you’ve been wearing. This book was recommended to me by a friend who was deeply touched by its message. After four decades of marriage, she was left by her husband. It was devastating. She did an Amazon search and found Choosing Gratitude. It was like a life-line. Soon she found herself anchoring her thoughts in gratitude. It took a lot of prayer and effort but when the dark thoughts came or the pity-party started, gratitude became her resource to chase the gloom and doom away. Gratitude is a choice. This is a spiritual book.

I’m Thankful for Friends

A Close Friend

I’m so thankful for friends. I’ve had some very good friends. Some friendships have been defined by trust and goodwill. I think of David and Jonathan. Theirs was a remarkable friendship especially considering Saul’s envy-turned-to-hatred of David. Jonathan was loyal in a remarkable way, doing all he could to protect his friend. Read 1 Samuel 20. That’s how it is with the best of friends.

Thank you, dear God, for the gift of good friends.