Thanksgiving brings blessings
Memories of Thanksgiving
The first unofficial Thanksgiving in America celebrated the Pilgrims' first autumn harvest. It was a time of thanksgiving and abundant food because their Native American neighbors had taught them how to grow and gather food to survive. Thanksgiving became an official holiday in 1870. Thanksgiving has kept on being a time to celebrate what we are thankful for - our many blessings throughout the year.
I have many fond memories of the sixty-eight Thanksgivings I have experienced. How about the friendly long range planning with family and friends - deciding when, where and who brings what. To be frank, I have cooked about 50 turkeys in my life so I always hope someone else will cook the big bird. How about decorating? I always love dusting off the decorations my kids made decades ago and decorating my house. A lot of memories come with those decorations. I imagine many of you can relate. How about the day of Thanksgiving? I enjoy just having time with family and friends, with the newsy conversations, the cooking and even cleaning together, watching our kids and now grandkids have fun, football games and box games (both can get intense) and all with an attitude of thanksgiving to God. I remember, one year my husband made a zipline between our trees which our grandkids and our friends' kids enjoyed so much, it is still talked about. To be honest, the most touching moments for me are the many encouraging words shared during the season that aren't normally said. What fond memories come to your mind when the holiday of Thanksgiving is mentioned?
Memories of God's blessings
As we celebrate a day to remember our blessings, we need to remember the many blessings that God gives to us each and every day. In James 1:17, God is called the giver of every good and perfect gift. Remembering the many blessings God has given to me keeps me from dwelling on the negatives, you know the discouraging things, the trials of life. Counting my blessings one by one as the song says, certainly gives me a happier outlook instead of a poor me attitude because it makes me focus on the loving, encouraging and the miraculous things God has done for me. You too?
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Psalm 107:19-22 ESV®
How to count your blessings one by one? Here are some tangible ideas:
- On Thanksgiving or at a special dinner encourage everyone to share one thing God has blessed them with.
- Counting my blessings is a time of prayer, when I intentionally think of the blessings God has given me in the present but also in the past and then thank Him for them. To be honest, I feel I don’t do this enough and I should because I have been blessed greatly by God. Remembering what God has done for me always is a huge blessing in itself.
- I have a friend that keeps a journal on each blessing. This has always impressed me.
- Looking at the Psalms and some Christian hymns, writers throughout the ages have written songs of joy about God’s wonderful blessings. Can you write a song of thanksgiving for what God has done? I wish I had that talent.
- Read passages of scripture that talk about being thankful to God. Passages of thanksgiving always put me in a thankful and joyful mood making me want to sing praises to God. I do the joyful noise type of singing. Here are a few: Psalm 69:30, 95:1-3, 100:3-5, 147:1-11.
- Prayerfully make a list of what God has done for you and then thank Him. Sharing your list at Thanksgiving would be uplifting. A FYI: My second book I am writing is on what God has done for us – His loving actions.
Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Jeremiah 33:11b ESV®
Because of God’s many blessings, Happy Thanksgiving dear friends! Gini