Wednesday, November 21, 2007

THANKFUL

I love Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. First of all, while living in Canada, certain dates became a sense of pride to me. Memorial Day and Independence Day and Thanksgiving were just another day to Canadians. Sure, TV was different because over half of what’s on in Canada is the American major broadcast and cable stations, but little else reminded me of the State-side celebrations. School was in session; people worked and just carried on like any other day. Canadians have different holidays. Victoria Day in May, Canada Day in July, Canadian Thanksgiving in October. Their biggest shopping day of the year and equivalent to Black Friday (day after our Tgiving) is Boxing Day – December 26th. Stores take no returns that day due to it being such a large SHOPPING day. It is a national holiday in addition to Christmas Day. Anyway, of all these lost American holidays, I missed Thanksgiving the most. Perhaps because Victoria Day and Canada were so close in proximity to the American counterparts of Memorial Day and Independence Day. Also, they involved cookouts, get-togethers and fireworks much like our holidays. However, Thanksgiving in November just came and went. One of our two years in Canada, Brian even traveled over the American Thanksgiving holiday. The next year, he took off early, and we watched football and lounged around as you are supposed to do on such a holiday. However, it never felt like the Christmas season officially started and it never felt quite right. I missed Thanksgiving and I am really looking forward to celebrating it with my family again this year.

Another reason I love Thanksgiving is it is a no-rush, no-hassle, no-expectation holiday. It is the way God intended for holidays if God would have created holidays. It is a time to just BE. It is a time to spend with our family/friends without gifts and material things clouding what it is about. We have been trying to teach the kids why Thanksgiving started – Pilgrims coming over hundreds of years ago and making peace with Natives – trying to share the land and harvest. We talk about it at dinner and they usually start playing under the table when the topic comes up. Not interested. I just don’t want them losing why we started this holiday the same way I don’t want them losing that Christmas is about JESUS’ BIRTH; not about Santa and not about presents. I don’t get quite as upset if they don’t quite get what Thanksgiving is about versus Christmas. I can’t let them lose that. (I often wonder why we still do the whole Santa thing based on the focus getting skewed, but we do, so I will blame myself – gives me blog fodder) Back to Thanksgiving: I love that we get to have 4 days off work and school without any expectations. The kids don’t even care about the meal. Gavin’s librarian dismissed the kids the other day to start checking out the books in this order: “If your favorite part about Thanksgiving is watching football, you can look for your book. (a couple boys got up) If you favorite part about Thanksgiving is Turkey, you can get your book. (a few got up) If your favorite part about Thanksgiving is the vegetables, you can get your book. (a few more got up) If you favorite part about Thanksgiving is the pumpkin pie, you can get your book (the rest got up except Gavin, mostly because they are Kindegarteners and just wanted to be the first to get the Princess I Spy book)” Gavin, being quite honest, just sat there waiting to hear something he likes. She said, “All right Gavin what is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?” To which he replied, “HOT DOGS.” She didn’t want to let him get up. Good thing I volunteer so I could assure her that he is exactly right: he doesn’t care about any of the others, and he probably WILL eat a hot dog.

One more reason I love Thanksgiving is I love being reminded to be thankful. I try to be thankful all the time, and we start each boy’s prayers at night with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving before asking for our own requests and forgiveness. But I love being reminded in new ways to thank the Lord. Last Sunday, at church, we had our Thanksgiving message. We were reminded by Pastor Cal to be thankful even when in ‘deep weeds’ through the story of Jonah. Jonah, after complete disobedience to God and finding himself in the belly of a big fish realized the importance to start faithfully praying in Thanksgiving to the Lord, BEFORE BEING DELIVERED. WOW! (Check out their website if you want to listen to or download the message) I would say that Brian’s diagnosis of a Grade IV brain tumor (I still LOATE that word) could be related to being in the belly of a big fish. However, staying focused on our Source and not our circumstances can help us to remember to be thankful. Circumstances are always changing and faltering, while our Source is constant. Circumstances don’t define our outcome or us; our Source does. We can be reminded and assured that with faith and obedience in our Maker, we WILL live all the days on this earth that He has for us to fulfill His purpose in our lives, and He will take us when that is through. I can’t comprehend that His purpose for Brian would be anything but seeing his children grow up and being there for them guiding them, leading them, directing them, etc. It is important (and AMAZINGLY DIFFICULT, I might add) to practice and live a life of faith and thanksgiving BEFORE we receive deliverance and relief. So, I choose to pray in Thanksgiving for the awesome power of my God and for his faithfulness to us even when we are in the belly of a whale.

I hope this Thanksgiving holiday you can be reminded of your blessings – all you have to be thankful for. Moreover, I hope you can find a few moments to reflect on those things and shoot God some thanks and praise for his faithfulness in your life.

KEEP BELIEVING
PS. I will be at my parents this Thanksgiving Holiday for several days. Since I think they are the last two remaining breathing humans with dial up service, I choose NOT to post blogs from their house. I choose to just BE - with my family, with my kids, with nature and with whipped cream topped pecan pie.

4 comments:

  1. Happy thanksgiving :). i love you!

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  2. Angie, you are very wise for such a young person. I pray for you and your family every single day.

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  3. Well... I read Wednesday's and then decided to just "BE" as well. I wish that I would have read Thursday's because we were in St. Louis over this Thanksgiving Holiday. We were in town visiting my parents and sister up until Saturday evening and then we drove back to South Carolina. I do hope to see you guys soon. Talk soon.

    Jason

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