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November 23, 2010 ~ Preparing My Heart For Thanksgiving

November 23, 2010

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.   ~ Psalms 106:1

I was thinking about the Pilgrims, and then the Colonialists, and then even my grandparents’ generation and their traditions of Thanksgiving.  Compared to all we have now (I’m talking possessions here, not the things of real, true worth), their lives were spartan, tougher, and richer in some ways because they knew that their source was God.  Sometimes, and all too often, our generation thinks our source is ourselves.

Imagine that.  If our only true source was simply ourselves.  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d be feeling that my source was mighty puny compared to what I face daily. 

My maternal grandparents were farmers on the South Dakota plains.  They had acres of land to plow and seed to sow and crops to harvest – and one day when I was young I went out with my grandfather to a beautiful field of blooming alfalfa and I asked him how much of that land was his, and I’ll never forget his answer.  He said, “As far as your eyes can see.”  That’s impressive when you’re a little girl!  Of course, I now know that his land went beyond my limited vision, because there were still cattle and horse fields, land set aside for the honey harvest (we were always sent home with a quart jar of their precious gold honey with honeycomb still oozing its delicious nectar.)  There was also all the land around their little wood frame house where the barn and windmill stood, where corrals held animals that needed tending, there were pig pens, and Grandma’s strawberry patch, a hand pump with a metal cup hanging there for a cool drink of water and, yes, even the old outhouse.  It was a lot, truly a lot, to care for.  But care for it they did, and without any modern irrigation or fancy equipment. other than a very old red tractor that my brother loved to drive.  No, it was just the two of them, Grandma and Grandpa, trusting God for the right amount of rain and sun to bring in a crop or make the fields lush for their animals’ wellbeing.  In droughts or floods there were lean times, and when the mix was just-right, there was greater abundance though they were far from wealthy.  And they were thankful,  exceedingly thankful, for all that God blessed them with.

Our lives are easier.  We may not own “land as far as the eye can see,”  but we have other things of worth – giant screen televisions, the latest computer or phone, a game system that’s the envy of all our kid’s friends, cars that can practically drive themselves and tell us when we’ve taken a wrong turn, and homes that seem to pretend they’re more than they are, sitting squarely on a postage-stamp sized lot.  And many who are doing well, accumulating all the precious “stuff” of modern life, think they are self-made.

Almost laughable isn’t it?  How far we’ve drifted! 

Open your heart to the idea, even the wonder!, that you aren’t all there is.  You aren’t self-made.  There is a greater, grander, purpose to your life.  You were created, after all, in God’s very own image.  He’s poured blessings into your hands, granted desires that your heart birthed, and loved you when you were unloveable. He saw in you, His purpose completed – when you placed your life in His trustworthy hands.  He gave you good seed to plant, in your own life and in the lives of others, and He showered that seed with the right amount of rain and the right amount of sun to cause it to flourish.

Each life, whether young or old, whether seeking high fortune, or content in a country rocker overlooking the fields they’ve planted, is precious to God.  And on Thanksgiving, as on every other day, we should give thanks – not scrimpy, stunted, begrudging thanks, but abundant thanks that flows out of a heart overflowing with gratitude for the precious gift of life He’s given to us.

 This Thanksgiving I’m grateful – so full of thanks – for the life God has given me, for the love He’s blanketed me with, and for the people, those that have crossed the finish line and are cheering me on, and those whose hands I hold, whose arms enfold me in their embrace, and who will share punkin pie with me on Thursday, our official day of Thanksgiving.

Are you preparing your heart for Thanksgiving?  It’s more than turkey and dressing, you know.  Whether your meal is meager or bountiful, it’s the gratitude that matters.  Thanksgiving is, after all, and above all, a heart-thing.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 11:54 am

    Those same thoughts have been on my heart also. So thankful to a God who loves me and cares for me and about me, individually. We do serve a great and mighty God!
    Love you!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
    ‘Lena

    • November 23, 2010 1:07 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too, sweetie. Love you!

  2. November 23, 2010 12:03 pm

    Amen.

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