"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths".
Celebrate Thanksgiving by celebrating your......
Proverbs 3: 5-6 was my Dad's favorite Bible verse. He loved the Lord, his family and he loved agriculture. Farming gave my dad a platform to help his children see and experience God daily in the miracle of His creation. He saw farming as an important way of life to be understood and appreciated. The more you understand agriculture, the more you are in awe of the Creator of it all.
Yet sometimes when the wind is blowing and humidity is at 90%, I can understand why our new state slogan is, "Nebraska, honestly it's not for everyone".
But it's for me.
And I am thankful.
My Dad along with my brother's Mother-in-law have gone to be with the Lord.
This year we will reflect around the Thanksgiving table celebrating with memories, food and thankfulness to God for our Christian heritage and for the generations who have come before us. Maybe you are just starting out in life together as a newly wed couple, maybe you are a young family, or maybe you get together with friends. In any case it's not too late to start the tradition of remembering. What is important is that you just start.
"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children."..
Here are some practical ways to bring your heritage to the table:
1). Gather around the table before the meal and read a Thanksgiving devotional.
2). Read about the struggles and people of the first Thanksgiving. I love the book called, "Thanksgiving, A Time to Remember" by Barbara Rainey. It also comes with a CD that provides great background music during your gathering. It's available on Amazon.
3). Take time for reflection. Allow people to share something they are thankful for. If you are concerned that you might hear crickets chirping, delegate two or three people ahead of time to participate.
4). Think about something your loved ones have created and showcase it at the table. Over the years, we have had everyone write down what they were thankful for. I put my Dad's list inside this glass cylinder, (from Walmart- $5.00) lined it with the corn from harvest, and put a candle in it. This memory idea can make a great conversation piece for your table. You could use an old handwritten favorite recipe, your children's art work, old family photos, a page from an old journal, a map of where your ancestors came from....The sky's the limit. Get creative.
5.) Bake and serve old recipes that your mom, sister, aunt or cousin were famous for and bring it to the table. But I don't know. Every year one of my sister's ask the question, "Should we bring Grandma Baker's mincemeat pie?" "Eehhhhh"....is about as far as we've ever gotten. I mean, can't we think of something else?
6). At some point during the day we have a contest. The winner usually receives the book I mentioned, or an apron or a turkey something. But I just had a thought: In the spirit of celebrating our heritage, wouldn't it be fun to give away a DNA kit from ancestry.com? I have no idea how much they cost, but it would be a great giveaway. You could reveal and talk about your findings during next year's Thanksgiving. Mmmmmm.... I might have to look into this idea.
7.) Sing the great hymns around the table that stand the test of time. Some of our favorites are: "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "How Great Thou Art" and "Come Ye Thankful People Come".
I hope this helps you get your creative juices running.
Next Up: The letter "A"
See you tomorrow.
P.S. In honor of my Dad I am posting this Classic Hallmark Christmas ad. If you want a glimpse of my dad, this portrayal comes close. Oh, and I have a sister named Sarah.