Meal planning · organization · Thanksgiving

Early Preparations For Thanksgiving

Slow and steady wins the race, right? What are we racing towards?

Thanksgiving!

Yes, it’s true. Five weeks from tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! (Didn’t we just celebrate Labor Day?!) Well, maybe so, but it’s true – we have five weeks to plan and prepare for this special holiday! That may sound like a lot of time, but considering how much there is to do if you’re hosting, the weeks will fly by! If you want to enjoy, rather than endure the holiday, planning and working ahead of time is your best friend!

I’ll be hosting this year, so I am trying to get my ducks turkeys in a row! No, I don’t have an outside job, but my life stays very busy. It would be easy to push things back and let the holiday slip up on me, but I am praying that the Lord will give me wisdom to prepare in such a way that I will be able to smile and embrace the day and each of my guests when Thanksgiving arrives!

So, what am I doing? Well, first of all, I’m doing what works best for me, and that’s making lists! I am using my phone for some jobs that need attention before my guests arrive. Here’s a peek at the list I’m adding to each day…

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I made that on “Reminders.” I like having that on my phone, because if I’m out and I need to remember what I needed to buy for the table, it’s right there at my fingertips. I will make a detailed list of the menu and food prep in my Happy Planner.

It’s amazing what tasks can be accomplished in short spans of time! Yesterday when I had 15 minutes while supper was finishing in the oven, I grabbed my large tablecloth and got my Thanksgiving Tablecloth ironed!

When I was finished, I hung it on a hanger and hung it in the front closet.

That’s one task completed!

Little time spans are useful to accomplish small tasks. Look for those five or ten minute windows when you’re on hold on the phone, when you’re ready to leave for work or church but have a few minutes to spare. Look for ways to use those minutes wisely so you can smile when Thanksgiving arrives, rather than panic!

This week I read in Luke 10 about Mary and Martha and was reminded that I often get my priorities out of whack when I’m having guests over. I am asking the Lord for a worshipful heart like Mary. If some things on my list don’t get accomplished, I don’t want to be in a flurry. I want to be fervent instead – fervent in pointing my family and guests to the Lord, Who so graciously blesses us every single day with an abundance of reasons to celebrate this day…with a smile.

Will you be hosting Thanksgiving this year? What are you doing now to prepare ahead?
If you’re going to be a guest, why not ask your hostess what you can do for her even now?

Refresh Thanksgiving by making early preparations!

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!”