Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
I stopped today to remember the many things in my life that I am thankful for. God has blessed me abundantly. He caused my life to be open wide and then poured in all these things, and really, I do not deserve anything. Although I have to admit that I do not always take the time to thank God, still I am thankful that He takes time to notice me. I'm surely not worthy of any good gift, much less any perfect gift which I have received. I am thankful.
I remember as a child the wonderful gatherings that took place at the home of my grandparents, when all of my relatives would gather in for a wonderful time of fellowship and feasting. I miss those days a lot and I wish I had them back. The men folk would gather in the living room and the kids would be playing around. The women would all be gathered in the kitchen helping to prepare the meal, and, oh the aroma of the turkey sitting on the table ready to be eaten! The green beans and corn cooking on the stove. The pumpkin pie cooling off on the dessert table. The sweet smell of homemade bread coming from the oven. I remember the great anticipation that would sweep over me as I waited for someone to say, COME AND GET IT! I can vividly recall the joy, the laughter and all of the million other precious moments that was always present inside that home at 601 Hopkins Street. Now, I realize just how precious those times were.
I have always had a really nice, beautiful, loving, everlasting obsession with DUMPLINGS! Legend has it when I was 2-years-old, there was a huge feast at the radio station. While waiting for everyone to arrive, I went AWOL. They found me in Studio B, where a long table sat holding this tremendous feast. I was sitting there, all alone, in front of a big bowl of DUMPLINGS! with a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other. Allegedly, I repeated that same ritual at many other family gatherings, and I am often reminded of those early days as a child when my one and only purpose for showing up at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners was for the DUMPLINGS! Ah, who am I kidding....I'm still that way. I still can be found at the table, before anyone else sits down, with a spoon in one hand and a fork in another. Okay, maybe not really, but what a nice thought! Just typing this makes me crave them. The only difference is now I know how important the fellowship is at those gatherings.
The Thanksgiving Day tradition that I remember growing up ended when my grandparents passed away. Whenever I pass by the old homeplace, it always causes me to reflect back on those family gatherings. I would love to be able to go back there just one more time to see their faces, to laugh with them once again and to hug them all. I come from a Christian family, and someone always gave thanks before every meal, and on Thanksgiving Day, we gave thanks to the good Lord for all that he had given us. We always knew what Thanksgiving was about.
Today, as I look around at everything going on in our nation, I can't help but wonder if the true meaning of Thanksgiving has gotten lost. The first Thanksgiving was the Pilgrims giving thanks to God for the blessing of a successful harvest, and then sharing their blessing with others; a symbol of gratitude, generosity, fellowship and more. Where have we gotten to today? Is Thanksgiving Day just a day off from work, or a time to eat? Is it more about an After Thanksgiving Day Sale rather than spending time with loved ones? All of us have so much to be thankful for, if for nothing but the gift of life. On January 1, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed in his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation that,
"…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…"I am thankful that I am a Christian and that, only by God's grace, I am an American. I am thankful for my Church and my Pastor and for my beautiful children and unconditional love. I am thankful for parents who made sure I was in Church every time the doors were open, and that I had a roof over my head and food (DUMPLINGS!) to eat. I am thankful for a military that protects me, my rights and my freedom. I suffered heart failure a few years ago and praise God, I beat it. So, I am thankful to God for allowing me to enjoy my children a little longer. I am thankful to God for watching over my children when the are away from me.
And, lastly, I am thankful for you, my readers, for encouragement which allows me to continue to do what I love to do - write stories. Thank YOU!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!