Day 688: Thanksgiving Transformation

Today is the big day.

We celebrate… uhhhhhhh, what are we celebrating?

Oh yes! That some very kind Native Americans took some very naive Pilgrims under their wing and helped them to survive. And then, because they survived, they had a feast!

And I think about what those pilgrims were thinking when they looked at their empty wood-carved bowl before the feasting began.

I see one of them in my mind’s eye.

I think that he saw in that empty bowl the terror of the voyage across the ocean. Then of the tragedy as he watched his family die away as they sat and shivered in the docked ship. Then of the fear once he finally disembarked only to discover an unruly and untamed wilderness.

But then the young Pilgrim might look up from that empty bowl and see the faces of his remaining family members and friends. He might see his friend and savior Squanto mingling among the crowd. He would remember the first time he saw the seeds of corn popping up from the ground and remember the elation and hope. He might smell one of the fowl or deer cooking and recall having meat again after having been so desperately malnourished.

And then. Then he would hold out his empty bowl of heartache and disappointment and fear and his friend Squanto would fill his bowl with hope and strength and empowerment.

And my friend the Pilgrim wouldn’t just celebrate having a lot of food.

He would celebrate having overcome.

So today, take a moment before you fill your bowl with food. Take a moment to remember what you have overcome this year- even if it is simply the victory of staying alive through it.

Food issues.
Job struggles.
Family conflicts.
Health decline.
Financial losses.

And then as you fill your plate, remember the hope and strength and empowerment that your Savior can pour into you. Think of how amazingly well this next year is going to be because you have a guide. A helper. A friend.

And He knows just how to get around in this world that is a New World to you.

And He’s ready to help you do more than survive.

He’s ready to help you thrive.

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Day 685: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving is upon us.

And so are the blog posts.

My email inbox has been inundated with all kinds of recipes that could meet any, and I mean, ANY dietary need. Gluten-free, low-carb, fat-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers. You name it, someone’s made a Thanksgiving recipe to go with it.

{And really, I do understand why a lot of people need and want those recipes.}

Right now, though, I am not thinking about recipes, or ingredients, or calories, or weight.

But I am thinking about Thanksgiving.

And what I’m thinking about doesn’t really fit into a recipe. And it isn’t really diet advice. And it isn’t even really about food at all.

I’m thinking about what Thanksgiving really is.

And I’m thinking that I need to celebrate. You see, I looked up the word Thanksgiving at dictionary.com just cause I was curious. I mean, I remember in elementary school there was all the talk about the Pilgrims and the Indians and there was a big deal to do with like, I dunno, corn or something (which I always find funny because I can’t think of a single Thanksgiving during which my family ate corn). Anyway, the definition said, Thanksgiving: a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.

It doesn’t say anything about food. It’s just a celebration. And as I’ve learned over the past 685 days of this covenant…

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A celebration does not have to be about food.

I can celebrate God’s favor by running around with my little kids in the leaves making a point to play so hard I come back into the house looking like I raked the yard with my hair.

I can celebrate God’s kindness by asking my mother to tell me a few stories that she recalls about my Mamaw being kind as we mourn her absence and yet celebrate that she has gotten to spent the past year in heaven.

I can celebrate all that God has done for me by cleaning the dishes for my Aunt Martha who is going to get to host our family Thanksgiving for the first time in ages!

I can celebrate all the kind words God has written on my heart by sharing a kind word of encouragement with each of my family members. My mother for defending my happiness all my life. My father for teaching me how to laugh at myself and the world around me. My brother for teaching me that there is only one place where the bible is wrong: there truly isn’t a friend that is closer than a brother. My husband for always, always, always allowing me to dream and plan and think and imagine even when my dreams and plans and thoughts and imaginations are not feasible.

And I can celebrate the freedom and forgiveness that Christ has given me, both eternally and here on earth, by focusing on blessing those around me this Thursday instead of focusing on the food around me.

I can look for as many ways as possible to BE the celebration instead of thinking about GOING to a celebration.

See?

Even just thinking of these things and I’m already SO looking forward to Thanksgiving, but my thoughts have nothing to do with sweet potato pie, or green bean casserole, or even that huge bird.

In fact, all of that seems so very insignificant compared to the kind of Thanksgiving I’m now planning.

Because I am planning on spending this Thanksgiving focusing on acknowledging the divine favor and kindness of my God and my Savior.

For He is truly my Thanksgiving.

 

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