As this time of year rolls around, I always look forward to a day devoted to giving thanks. I guess it started back when I was a kid in school–I always looked forward to the break from hard work, from the daily grind. We always had relaxing Thanksgiving holidays at our house. My grandma would come over, help my mom cook, and then spend the night. While she was there, she’d let us do “Show and Tell” for hours.
As I got older, I took advantage of the time to update my photo album, and I’d often spend the entire day sticking prints into a book and making up clever comments. In recent years, I’d always have a big, stressful conference the week before Thanksgiving, so it was always a relief to collapse on the couch for a few days… and eat.
Oh, yes, eating… my parents have always fixed a feast that would feed many. My mom had her menu planned out by mid-October. Mom and Dad would spend several days in the kitchen, and amazing food was the results. Moist, tender turkey, dressing that was a delicacy in itself, fresh canned green beans from the garden, rolls, mashed potatoes, and whatever other dishes they dreamed up. Then there were the pies. We usually had 2 or 3, including my mom’s pumpkin, my dad’s mom recipe for Chess pie, and another random selection. Mom would prepare homemade crusts (and usually let me form the wavy tops). PIE!!!
But the thing I liked the most about Thanksgiving is that it is a day focused on being grateful. I always tried to honor this by writing about what I was grateful for and meditating on it all day long. We’d have great fun as a family. It was on Thanksgiving nearly a decade ago that I shared with my family that I’d been healed of chronic sinus infections that had plagued me my whole life.
This has been an extremely hard year for me personally. I tear up when I think about it. Truthfully, I will be glad to see a new year and new beginning coming in 2009. However, even with the loss of Mom this year and the many physical ailments that have attacked my body, I am still grateful.
God has been too good to me to feel any other way. I am still blessed. I am married to an awesome man. My family is still a great joy to me. Friends have shown up through the difficulties. I have been able to start a new career. The Lord is still providing for us. And, most importantly, Jesus makes every day new, with new hope, new faith, and new goals.
I am grateful.