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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thankfulness for God’s Sustaining Love



Thanksgiving Day is a favorite holiday for many families across the United States. The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, as thousands make their way to homes of relatives or friends.

While for many it is nicknamed “Turkey Day” in reference to the main entrée served across the land, and while for many the holiday conjures up the thought of a delectable feast spread out on groaning tables, others consider it a time to reflect on all the blessings we enjoy.

The most evident blessing is, of course, the fall harvest with its bounty of foods, which may be put away for the coming winter months. In this we hearken back to the original Thanksgiving Day celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors.

In a broader sense, though, our blessings include even the comfort one finds in times of crisis and loss. Through pain and suffering, we find our way to acceptance and hope.

For example in November 11, 2005 was the day my father was buried. A couple weeks later we gathered at the home of one of his daughters who was facing breast cancer surgery in just a few weeks. Here is a photo of the simple table setting we sisters prepared. The plates were stacked on the buffet with the tasty spread.


While saddened and grieving, we drew together for encouragement and reminders to trust in Jesus Christ, our Savior.

In November 2006 we gathered at another daughter’s home, where she and I worked on having an attractive setting for the meal in her dining room -- for which she had just made new window dressings.



This time we had made it through not only our sister’s surgery in January 2006, but sudden surgery on our eldest brother to remove a brain tumor in March, and then his death just a month later. There had been many trips by air and overland as every family member traveled from up and down the east coast to hospitals in Maryland and then Pennsylvania.

These turn of events had a profound effect on our mother. While she had been a strong independent woman in her own senior citizen apartment, these family crises made her lose all ability to take care of herself. She became dependent, having to live with one of her five remaining children. During 2007, though we have been grateful for great improvements in her sense of well-being.

These two family Thanksgiving celebrations are examples of the resilience of the human spirit. Conscious that we live in a world of opposing forces – God’s good and Satan’s evil – we hold out in faith in God’s goodness, His sustaining power, and His love for each of us.


As Americans we are truly privileged for the heritage that Thanksgiving Day represents and for the enrichment this annual pause brings into our busy lives.




[Clipart from hellasmultimedia.com and from antiqueclipart.com.]

8 comments:

Wanda said...

That was so very well said. Thank you and amen.

Esther Sunday said...

Thanks for giving me food for thought on this day. Very well said. Love, Esther

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

There is nothing like a family gathered together.
Penny

Anita said...

Wonderful post!
The one most important thing my family has to be thankful for this year is that we are all STILL ALIVE, which is a true miracle in itself!!
This is my absolute favorite holiday!

marypoppins said...

wow!!compliment!!your table is very beautiful!!what that for dinner?!?!?;)Good night of Italy

Lallee said...

What a beautiful post, Carrie. God's grace allows us to be thankful through all that life bares.

The little thrift Scottie is a cutie!

Blessings,
Lallee

Tea said...

Carrie, your table setting is just beautiful! I agree, our blessings behoove us to be thankful! Thank you for a thoughtful post.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Carrie, I hope Thanksgiving 2007 is a very happy time for you and your family! You have all been through so much the past few Novembers, but you kept the faith! You will be blessed for that!

Katherine