I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons. I always find myself reflecting on this holiday through my childhood – the meals my grandmothers made and family gatherings.
I remember my first Thanksgiving as a wife. 🙂 My in-laws were coming to stay … we lived in a mobile home (nice one) and the oven was – ughhh – old. I scrubbed it with oven cleaner, there was no “self clean” in those days. To my surprise, when my mother-in-law opened the oven to put her turkey in (I only made the easy stuff) she proclaimed, “What a clean oven!”. Whew… all that work paid off!
Once we moved back towards home – we spent this holiday with my side of the family. My mother hosted this gathering – religiously. Years later, when she was facing the end of her life – which came much too early for us all – we gathered at her house, as usual, for a traditional Thanksgiving … it was the right thing to do. Her sisters cooked everything – a rival for any Thanksgiving past. After Mom met with the Hospice nurse, who made arrangements for her to be “comfortable” – we served the meal she loved. She only had a few bites and savored them sweetly, knowing this would be her last Thanksgiving holiday … and it was.
I remember when Hannah was getting married, Thanksgiving weekend, 2 years ago. Knowing they’d be living in New York – she asked if we could stop everything for Bear to partake in our traditional family Thanksgiving. So we did. We pretended as if nothing else was going on. We cooked and served, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the day – savoring her last Thanksgiving at home. A precious memory, indeed.
Last year Priscilla was living in Taiwan. She experienced, first hand, what it’s like to see a culture not STOP to give thanks, but trust in man’s abilities to make a way.
Our Pilgrim forefathers knew better. That’s why we stop every year to read their story as we remember what the Lord did for them. We thank the Lord, this season, for a nation that has built giving thanks into the fiber of our culture.
I enjoy looking back and reflecting on Thanksgivings past – all of it – the joys and the pain. It warms the soul, softens my heat and gives me perspective as I look ahead.
“I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt BOUNTIFULLY with me.” Psalm 13:6