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Thanksgiving Lessons

November 28, 2014

I’m reblogging again.  It’s Thanksgiving leftovers.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving has not always been a day of thankfulness to me.  Busy, overworked and hot; those are my usual Thanksgiving adjectives.  We do not live near our extended family so at Thanksgiving there is no sharing in meal preparation.  I have friends who bring the potatoes or just a fruit salad to their Thanksgiving gatherings, but I make it ‘all’ every year.

I’m sure many of you moms fall into the ‘all’ category, especially those with young children.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of help around. So on a day dedicated to the emotion and act of thankfulness you may just feel a little more cranky and a little less thankful.

I was reading the Pilgrim story the other day to my children.  I was amazed at a number of facts.  First, the Pilgrims were setting time aside to be thankful after a year that was filled with death.  Half of all the Pilgrims died that first winter, yet they did not focus on that.  Instead of holding a memorial to remember all that had died, they held a feast to thank God.

Mankind too easily dwells on the negative.  I think our minds more easily gravitate toward what is wrong than what is right.  For many Thanksgivings in my past, I was more aggravated that I had to cook all that food instead of being abundantly grateful that I had food to cook.

Secondly, after a year of starvation; they were willing to feast.  They were not hoarding what they had; fearful of what the next winter might bring them.  Their attitude of thankfulness far outweighed any lack of trust they might have had.  But I don’t believe the Pilgrims struggled with a lack of trust.

And finally, how do you think the Pilgrims felt when 90 guests arrived for dinner?  Not only were they taking a step of faith to feast when needing to store supplies for the winter, but then here comes 90 extra hungry braves.  My guess is that they could probably eat quite a bit.  Were they filled with fear?  Were the women resentful that now they had to cook for a massive crowd?  I do not know what feelings went through the hearts of those faithful Pilgrims.

They were men and women of great character.  They left their country to follow God.  They left Holland to maintain their culture and language.  They headed over a vast ocean at the beginning of winter to a wilderness.  Their loved ones died in great numbers.  I doubt a little extra company threw them.

A lifestyle that focuses on tasks and activities, shortchanges us in the area of character.  Oh that I was like the Pilgrims, so focused on the right things that I live with a heart of thankfulness and an attitude of servant hood.

This Thursday as I start my cooking ritual early in the morning, I am going to attempt a different mindset.  I will focus on nothing except that which I am thankful for.  I admit it will be a challenge but the blessing at the end will be beyond measure.

We are all the result of what the Pilgrims did.  This country exists because of their convictions, faithfulness and perseverance.  What will be a result of YOU 300 years from now?  It is something to ponder this Thanksgiving Day.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathy McDermott permalink
    November 21, 2011 9:34 am

    I am sure your family enjoys all of the trimmings. I wish I could be here for once for that day. But I need to remember the reason we leave our home and go away. We will be getting together with my mothers family , usually around 75 plus. It can be a blessing of a day if I chose to. So thank you for reminding me how I need to be thankful for family.

  2. November 21, 2011 10:52 pm

    Our older kids have other plans I have to work around this year. I’m thankful I still get to see ALL of them.~


  3. November 21, 2012 6:19 am

    Aside from missing your writings these last few months, I am particularly stricken by your refreshing self-awareness at a time when we are taught to talk nice and be thankful. Sometimes life at these times is in fact not that way. As we experience this whole new thing in Africa, I find myself letting go of those stressors that somehow morphed nice things into unlovely things. We are on the same page with you today, and whether I find a turkey or fresh cranberries, I know we’ll have an beautiful thankful celebration. It is pure Joy to have food before us and time together. I appreciate this today. Asante sana (squashed banana). ~Cynthia

  4. Dale Moore permalink
    November 29, 2012 9:00 pm

    Hey Debbie. We sure are made from the same cloth, as they (who ever they are) say. I am glad to know that I am not alone in my appreciation of the things that most would not appreciate. I don’t even mind the huge hole in my living room floor, for I am thankful to have a roof over my head ( and some floor left). Too many people take things for granted, so incase you are not aware, I want you to know how much I love you. You’re a great big sister. Glad to see you are writing again.

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