gratitude · Thanksgiving

How Can We Give Thanks in 2020?

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…

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

hospitality · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Tithers

It’s hard to fathom that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! My husband says I’m “in a tither” with all my plans, maybe I am, but I just know that there’s lots of stuff going on before then and I have to think through all the details! It’s not stressing me, I’m just trying to prepare ahead. I love Thanksgiving and desire that it not be overshadowed by Christmas being pushed in ahead of its time.

Who but Christians have as much to be thankful for? Our hearts overflow with gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us. Every day we see His faithful hand in our lives – providing, protecting, guiding, supplying. How can we not be filled with thanks and look for an opportunity to tell Him thank you and share with others what He has done?

George Herbert put it this way:

Thou hast given so much to me;
Give me one thing more – a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be thy praise.

The psalmist said it like this: Psalm 37:25 I was young, but now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. This is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness! I can certainly say the same thing.

What can you do to make this a Thanksgiving that will stand out from all the rest and also ease your tithers?

  • Look for someone to invite to your family dinner. A widow, a college student studying in your area, or an elderly couple who can’t travel to their family’s gathering.
  • Make some easy appetizers for folks to snack on while dinner is cooking.  
  • Prepare a basket of food to give to a needy family
  • Instead of football naps, play games together as a family after the meal!
  • When I was a child, my dad always made a “bunny ice cream treat” for Easter. It was a tradition in our home. What about making a Thanksgiving treat for your little ones that can be the traditional treat you serve every year? How about these Turkey Treats? 
    10+ Easy Turkey Treats - Cute Ideas for Turkey Treats
      Or these
    Pilgrim hats?
Pilgrim Hats Peanut Butter Cups Recipe | Hallmark Ideas & Inspiration

They’re adorable and would be yummy too!

Just thought I’d share a few ideas with you, just in case you’re “in a tither” about Thanksgiving too!

With love from my country kitchen,

Child training · Family life · Thanksgiving

Helping Children Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons, but I want to focus on three of them.

1. To spend quality time recounting my blessings from God is such a joy.

2. Time with family is wonderful.

3. The traditions we share make memories that last a lifetime.

What happens when we take those three joys and bundle them into one? We make Thanksgiving a day that honors and gives thanks to the One to Whom it is due. It’s so easy to get caught up in the food and gobbling turkeys and neglect directing our thoughts to the Lord. I think it’s so important that we include the children in each of these areas on Thanksgiving Day. It’s easy to put the children at their designated table, let Grandpa say the blessing, enjoy our adult family and idle conversation and forget to really focus on the purpose of the day. Here are a few ideas of ways you and your children can make your gratitude, family time and traditions all coincide and point to Christ.

Make a gratitude wall, chalkboard or dry erase board where family members can write down what they are thankful for during the whole week before the big day. Little ones could draw pictures of their gratitude or find magazine pictures to cut out.

Write secret notes to a family member who lives in your house and leave it for them to find. You could also tuck those notes under the plates on the day of your Thanksgiving meal.

Read Psalm 100 as a family and work on memorizing it together. Say it as a family on Thanksgiving Day.

Everyone say a sentence prayer of thanks to God before dinner. Rather than just one person praying, having each person participate makes it a special time of family worship.

Everyone share a their blessings. This a tradition my family does each year. We affectionately call it our “Puff moments.” After the meal is over, we gather in a circle in the living room and take turns sharing blessings from the past year. It always ends up on a time of happy tears. It’s a precious time together )and of course we pass the box of Puffs to dry our tears. Some people use corn kernels at each plate and drop them into a bowl as they share their blessings. I like sharing after the meal because quite frankly, the meal is hot and ready to eat! Well, the food is a huge part of the traditions! Let’s make it as memorable as we can!

These are all things that you can do with your children. Point the praise to God, spend time together doing it, and make some special memories! I pray that your upcoming Thanksgiving is a special day, and one to which you give God the glory for all He’s done for you, yes even in 2020. He has been so gracious to each of us. Give Him praise!

What one blessing could you share from 2020?

refreshment at home · Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

Prep For the Day Before Thanksgiving!

I shared with you last week that my family had an early Thanksgiving.  We celebrated last week, due to a family need.  People are the most important part of our traditions and celebrations, so putting my parents’ needs first, simply meant we would celebrate the holiday a couple weeks early with our daughters and their families.

Tday 3

You know what?  It was really great to be doing this holiday ahead of time!

 

Continue reading “Prep For the Day Before Thanksgiving!”

Side dish · Thanksgiving

Delicious Thanksgiving Sides

Is Thanksgiving about the turkey or is it really about the sides that go along with it?  After our early celebration that happened last Friday, I’m pretty sure it’s all about the SIDES!  To help with the meal, Whitney made Mac and Cheese (I’m sure she’ll share it with you!)and  Alli made Sweet potatoes – both were scrumptious!  We try to please all the men at our gatherings, so there are lots of potatoes and starches (carbs!).  I made mashed potatoes, of course, but when I tried to decide what other vegetables to make, I didn’t want to throw in something weird…you know, like brussel sprouts or roasted cabbage.  But I did want to change it up just a little. Continue reading “Delicious Thanksgiving Sides”