Have you ever gotten past a “big” holiday only to realize that you missed it? Oh, you celebrated with the food, the decorations and the flare, but you got so caught up in all the trappings that you didn’t really celebrate the true holiday. I think we’ve all been there a time or two (or twenty)!
In order to help us not regret “missing Thanksgiving,” I think it’s important to do some thinking and planning NOW to ensure that the holiday will be celebrated in a way that is a blessing to all who gather because we focused on what was really, truly important. That would not mean the lumpy gravy, the squashed rolls or the dry turkey, but on giving thanks. It’s just so easy to sit down to a bountiful table, everyone starving and ready to dive in, have the blessing for the meal, finish with dessert and football and totally overlook stopping for worship and givng of thanks to our great God for ALL His blessings.
Let me make a couple suggestions to help you plan for this time – no matter the size of the group that gathers.
If you’re married, talk to your husband about how you could incorporate a time of giving thanks into your day. Ask for his input and depend on him to help implement this (if possible).
Consider the food. If the meal is hot and on the table, the time of the blessing might not be the best time to also go around and have everyone share the things for which they’re thankful. That’s spoken from the hostess side who wants the food to be hot! Perhaps during the meal or afterwards would be better.
Let everyone that’s coming know that they need to be thinking about the blessings they could share. Being prepared is helpful for everyone.
Reading a portion of Scripture after dinner would be a great tradition. Psalm 34, 44:4-8, 92, 95, 100, 111, or 138 would all be good choices.
Sing a hymn together. If your family isn’t musical, use Alexa to play it and join in singing!
Spend time praying for one another.
My family has had what we call “Puff Moments” for many years on Thanksgiving Day. We gather in the living room after supper and share our blessings from the past year. There are inevitably many tears shed as we rehearse the ways God has answered prayer or helped in trials. The Puffs get passed around the room! What a sweet time it always is.
Plan ahead and prepare your own heart and that of your guests so you won’t miss out on giving thanks this Thanksgiving.
Share one blessing from this past year. I have my Puff ready!
adjective 1. easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable: a conspicuous error. 2. attracting special attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities:
In Philippians 1:20, 21 Paul wrote –
For me to live is Christ.
Paul lived out his love for the Lord in a way that was conspicuous. It was noticeable.
I’ve been dwelling on how I might be more conspicuous in my love for my Savior. Our love for Him connects to everything we do and every relationship that we share. Is Christ’s love conspicuous in every area of my life?
Today I’ve been wondering specifically how conspicuous my Christ-like love is displayed to my husband. If God gave him to me, shouldn’t I be demonstrating Christ’s love in my marriage? Of course! But if we’re honest, our husband is often swept up into the dustpan like the crumbs from last night’s dinner. All neatly place out of our way, we can now storm proceed to the next thing or person on our list.
“I fixed him dinner!” we might cry. Or we may wrongfully assume, “He’s watching football – he doesn’t need me!” But if we desire to show Christ-like love, we need to be conspicuous about it. Whether or not he knows you love and respect him, you need to be saying it and demonstrating it in a way that it is also obvious to others that are watching you. And oh, others are watching – especially if you have children! They are listening when you think they don’t hear your response to their daddy. They are watching when you think they are absorbed in play, and they are learning from your example. That can be a scary thought, or it can be a good reminder – it really all just depends on how conspicuous your love and respect are being demonstrated to that guy you married. Think back to before you were dating; remember how your heart skipped a beat when you knew he was near…even in the same building?! Perhaps you tried to be inconspicuous about your feelings at that time, but now you can, no should make it obvious that you’re crazy about him!
Find a way today to make your love for your husband “easily seen and noticed!” Pick an idea below and let your love and respect “attract some special attention!”
Draw a Love and Respect Tree on a mirror using dry erase markers. Add leaves (made out of scrapbooking paper) each day with reasons written on them why you respect and love your husband.
Write him a Thanksgiving card and send it in the mail telling him why you love him, then send it to his workplace.
Buy him his favorite treat ~ just because ~ and present it to him as a small token of your love.
Tell him thank you for the little things he does. Does he lock the doors at night, take out the trash, make your morning coffee, open the car door for you, bring home a pay check, pick up his dirty clothes? Find something and say “thank you” eyeball to eyeball. End it with “I respect you for that!”
Be demonstrative of your affection. Hold his hand or arm, give him a wink from across the table, and for sure, give an affectionate kiss when one of you leaves home!
Spoil him. Give him the first, the biggest, the best of whatever. In the south we call that “specializing” on him!
The love of Christ should manifest itself in your marriage in such a way that no one could miss that fact that you two are still in love! What will you do today to make your love for your husband conspicuous?
P.S. Don’t have any expectations about his response. Just do it because you love Christ.
Be conspicuously in love,
If you need some help preparing for Thanksgiving, go here for favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and here for what to do ahead of time.
Forty years later I still remember my guilt at realizing months after I got married that I had forgotten to write a thank you note for a belated wedding gift. Sadly, my embarrassment kept me from writing. I’ve since learned that a late note is better than none at all! It dawned on me this week that I had not written a note to a sweet friend who had given us a gracious gift. While I know she loves me enough not to judge me for my neglect, I quickly wrote the note to remedy my lazy gratitude.
We’ve all been guilty, I’m sure, of neglecting to write a thank you note after receiving a gift. Perhaps it’s busyness or forgetfulness or perhaps it’s a third area to blame – “What do I say?” If you haven’t asked that question, I bet your child has! There are really only three components needed for a thank you note to do its job.
Say thank you for the gift That would include gratitude for remembering the occasion for which it was given. “It was so sweet of you to send the bouquet of flowers. That made my birthday so special!”
Say what you will do with the gift or why you appreciated it. “The slippers will be so cozy in the upcoming cold temperatures!”
Say something about the person who sent the gift. “I’m so glad the Lord gave me such a dear friend in my sister!”
Those three components will make the recipient know:you received the gift (if it was sent), you loved the gift, and that you appreciate them.
Have you ever realized you forgot to write a thank you note? Did you send a late one or none at all?
This year as we gather around our isolated Thanksgiving tables with fewer guests, goodies and grandeur than Thanksgivings in the past, how will we find it in our hearts to give thanks? Where will the outpouring of gratitude come from when we have experienced a year like 2020?
If you’re asking that question, I’m certain you’re not alone. While this has been a year full of Covid issues like isolation, restrictions, masks, sickness, and death, as well as such political unrest in our nation, we can find the reassurance that we can still have a heart of gratitude – and with really good reasons! The Lord opened my eyes to this Truth as I reviewed Philippians chapter 4 this week…
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When I remember that Paul was writing this from his prison cell, I look out from the “prison cell” of 2020 and choose to give thanks for the things he listed in this passage…
I will rejoice in the Lord! It’s not my circumstances, my current company or my material things in which I give thanks…it’s CHRIST. When I look at HIM and think on HIM, I can give thanks!
I will realize that HE is HERE in this “cell” of 2020. Verse 5 says, He is at hand! He has never left us during all the hardship we’ve experienced. He is here to comfort, to help, to provide, to love, to supply. My family might not be with me on Thanksgiving, but Christ is! In that I will give thanks.
I will pray and give Him the cares on my heart rather than carrying the burden myself. I can’t do anything about them, but He can. In that I will give thanks!
This passage reminds us that after we do those three things, we will have peace. It’s that peace that an unbeliever shakes his head at and wonders how we can smile and give thanks, even while we’re locked up in the cell. The key to being released from that prison is in giving thanks!!
Let’s lift our hearts in grateful praise even on Thanksgiving Day 2020. We have plenty of reasons!
With a truly grateful heart I wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!
I think I’ve shaken my head out of confusion and disbelief more in the last few months than in my entire life.
It’s centered around the Coronavirus, of course (because isn’t everything these days?).
You may not sit inside…Of course we serve inside but you may not sit outside!
Only half capacity in store…Only 7% in stadium!
Church may not meet…Half the building may be full.
Masks are required at all times by everyone…Most of the staff have masks pushed down below their nose.
No one may stay overnight at the hospital with a patient…We can make allowances for you to stay.
I could go on, but I think you get my drift. It’s not as much what we have to do, but how inconsistent all the rules are that make this a season of frustration and confusion.
This frustration made me sit recently and think about how thankful I am that my salvation is rock solid. It is all based on Christ Who never changes and on His Word that is forever true! I never have to wonder if He has changed His mind or if there have been new guidelines added as to how to get to heaven! It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Realize I’m a sinner on my way to hell.
Understand that Christ took my place on the cross to reconcile me to God.
Accept Christ as my personal Savior.
All that will never change. Why?
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
What peace that truth gives! My daily life goes on with a grateful heart. Christ lifted the rules (the law) and saves us by grace!! How blessed we are!
So in reality, I can be thankful for the inconsistencies because it makes me realize once again what a wonderful gift my salvation truly is!
I’m done ranting about the Coronavirus…until I start ranting again. Just kidding. I really am asking the Lord to help me to remember the grace-filled life I get to enjoy for ETERNITY and be thankful instead!
Maybe this reminder will give each of us something to share with others when we start to shake our head again. The world needs to know of our Savior Who is ALWAYS full of grace, and that never changes!