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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Thanksgiving Means To Me

Well, since the kiddos are off from school starting tomorrow for their Thanksgiving Break, I decided that I too, will be taking a break and enjoy spending some quality time with my family over the holiday.

So, before I take my little vacay from the blogosphere, my last post until Monday (that's right, no Friday's Finds this week) will be about gratitude.

Really, what is the true meaning of thanksgiving?  Not the day, but the word.  The dictionary defines it as:

\thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌ\

1 : the act of giving thanks

2 : a prayer expressing gratitude

3 : a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness

The words that most caught my attention were "divine goodness".  Hmmmm... I don't know about you, but when I hear the word divine, I think of our Lord.  Although Thanksgiving, like most of our holidays, has been de-Christianized (for lack of a better word), the root core of what we are celebrating is thanksgiving to God for all his many blessings.  It is a time to reflect on the hardships we have endured and to be thankful that we have come out on the other side of it, maybe a little worn and tattered, but still whole.  Had not the Pilgrims endured terrible times before the feast of plenty?  Can you even begin to imagine what they went through that first year?  They had endured a long voyage, the hard work of establishing a colony, sickness and death throughout the previous winter and spring...  But the following autumn, they were so very thankful to the Lord for seeing them through it all and blessing them with the fruit of their labors.

So, this year at Thanksgiving, take a moment amid all the hustle and bustle to truly appreciate and to be grateful for everything that you have to be thankful for.  Take time to reflect on this past year and count your many blessings.  Thank the Lord for the good times and the bad.  It is the hard times that teach us to appreciate the good most of all.  Would the Pilgrims have been so thankful if they had not withstood the worst?  No, they wouldn't have.  Hard times teach us to be grateful.  It is impossible to truly be content, if we have not known adversity.

I think as mothers and the preparers of the feast, we get so wrapped up in the preparations that we don't take the time to really grasp the meaning of the day.  Let me give you a hint:

1.  Its not about a perfectly browned turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes, or the exact consistency of gravy.

2.  Its not about the candles, pumpkins, flowers, ribbons, and nuts you've used in your centerpieces.

3.  Its not about the place settings with the perfect chargers and antique silverware.

What is it truly about?

1.  Its about thankfulness and gratitude for our blessings.

So, if you burn the turkey (or like my Dad did on the last Thanksgiving we were all together undercook the deep-fried turkey)...

If your mashed potatoes are starchy and your gravy is lumpy...

If your table doesn't look just right...

Remember.  Its not about that.  Not by a long shot. 

It is gratitude for the love that our Father in heaven has for us and the Son he sent to save us.  It is about taking the day to appreciate the dear faces that are gathered around our table and fill our homes.  Its about the smiles and laughter that we share with each other. But its also about the hard times we have known, rested in our Lord's arms, and still stood again as stronger, better people.  Just as the Pilgrims did so many, many years ago.  For me, that's what Thanksgiving is all about.  A time to reflect.  A time to remember.  And a time to be thankful for it all.


From our family to yours

Happy Thanksgiving!


Spotted Horse Textiles said...

Well said, so here's to an undercooked or burnt turkey, starchy potatoes and lumpy gravy because if we're with our loved ones, I couldn'y ask for anything more!!

Shannon@FoxHollowCottage said...

We could eat Taco Bell at my house. It's all about getting together. We eat, laugh, enjoy stories (we have all heard before, lol), play games and exchange names for Xmas.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Laura =)))