Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving!

God Is Not Dead, Nor Doth He Sleep


Thanksgiving. As Christmas conjures up thoughts of sugar plums, so Thankgiving conjures up thoughts of pumpkin pie, homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, golden brown turkey and family togetherness.

At least, Hallmark and Norman Rockwell tell us that's what we should think about Thanksgiving. Now, heaven knows I love a good relish tray, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, "wonton-thingys" and other homemade treats that come with the fourth Thursday in November.




At least, I hope Heaven knows. But is that really what Thanksgiving is all about?As I think about my blessings, I can't help but evaluate the way I express my gratitude to the Great Giver. Sometimes my prayers are less like the overflowing of a grateful heart and much more like a Christmas wish list.

"I'd really like a husband, a Mini Cooper, don't let any of my appliances break down, don't let anything happen to my little niece and nephew, take care of my mom and dad who are far away from me, please stretch my money as far as possible, please don't let my eggs run out before I can use them to have kids, help me find a great sale on shoes…" You get the point. Instead of saying "Amen" I should be blowing out the candles on my birthday cake!


When we do focus on how blessed we are, instead of how much we may lack, we put ourselves in a position to give to others. We recognize more easily that all we have is gifted and we don't want anyone to go without. When we're ungrateful, our self-focus keeps us from seeing anything but our own needs. It's interesting to me that Thanksgiving is the (or used to be before Christmas music started playing the day after Halloween! What is up with that???) beginning of the "holiday season". In November, we recognize how much we have, get all filled up with gratitude and love for the Giver and then turn outward to give to others. What a beautiful plan. But certainly there are times when things are just hard. We may find ourselves uttering the prayer, "Hope ya know I'm having a hard time." I strongly believe that God does know when we're having a hard time. And I believe He has plenty of comfort and blessing to go around; if we'll just ask Him, He'll give. Even when times are hard, we can be grateful for possibilities and promised blessings. Even the hope of a new day is truly a blessing. I remember being overwhelmed by a prayer my dear friend offered. "We thank Thee for the blessings of this day and for future promised blessings. We pray Thou wilt accept our gratitude." Hardly a holiday or family gathering goes by before this lovely woman will say, "Aren't we blessed?" And she is right. For me, Thanksgiving is inseparably connected with Christmas and Easter. All of the blessings I'm most grateful for have their root in these holidays – or rather – the true meaning of these holidays. Even in my most difficult moments, the promised blessings those holidays represent bring me great peace. I remember walking around the edge of the lake searching for the bodies of my sister and brother-in-law the morning after they had drowned in a boating accident. It is all still very surreal… And although I can vividly remember the cold wind, the sound of the water, the wet grass, my freezing toes, the heartache, I remember most of all the calm feeling that came when I offered the sincerely grateful prayer for my faith in eternity. In eternal families. In the reality and miracle of the Resurrection. For me, Thanksgiving is truly about Christmas which is truly about Easter. All related. All miraculous and Blessed. So this week (and always) look for the blessings. Find the miracles. And then give credit where credit is due: to those you love, those who love you, and mostly especially the Great Giver of All Blessings – our Heavenly Father. I promise that will make us all – including God – So Happy.

Amy Springer

6 comments:

Queenie Jeannie said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa said...

Reading this was a great way to start off my Thanksgiving! Thank you Amy!

Cheryl said...

You have such a way of reminding us of what is most important in life. I love your example of faith and gratitude. You're the best and I love you tons!

Fig said...

Beautiful.

yoyis said...

WOW Amy, you are so good!!! I love to read what you think... always uplifting.

Katie said...

What an awesome post! We all need to be a little more thankful and this post sure helps motivate me! I loved it! Thanks for sharing.