Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving by Nina Keegan

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, we can tend to panic a bit. There's always so much to do! We of course have to plan everything for the huge, wear your fat pants to dinner kind of meal that leaves you in a pitiful food coma on the sofa for the rest of the day. We shop for the endless groceries, lug home that prized turkey and thaw it out for days. We run back to the store for what seems like, at the very least, another one hundred trips for the item you went to the store for and forgot to get in the first place. We endlessly prepare our homes for our house guests. There are usually a few trips back and forth to the airport to schlep in and out our family members. We cannot leave out the constant cooking after making several calls to the 1-800-Butterball Turkey hotline. Of course after all that cooking, we are left with a massive clean up effort in a kitchen that now resembles a high school cafeteria after a food fight. Then finally It's time for Thanksgiving dinner where everyone delightfully wolfs down days of cooking in just 10 minutes only to be followed by TV channel flipping affording you the opportunity to watch 3 football games at once! Yes, thanksgiving...the one time of year when pigging out and watching football seems to be our patriotic duty!

I am of course joking, at least a little..

In spite of all of my playful holiday sarcasm, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday!! I love everything about it! For starters I love to cook, it makes me happy to cook all of the old family favorites that everyone looks so forward to. Everyone gathers in the kitchen trying to sneak in a bite here and there before dinner without getting caught. I so enjoy having a noisy, messy, fun filled, house again because my boys are back at home. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with Christmas right around the corner, it's a wonderfully magical time of year. I love all these things about this day but what I love most is that we can all be together for no other reason than to just give God a glorious shout out of thanks and praise for ALL He does for us!

I know that I am very blessed and I am ever so thankful when I am able to gather my family around my table and as I look at them seated around me, I could not be more joyful, more grateful than at that very moment.

Turkeys and football aside, we should always remember we are gathering to give our heart felt thanks for life's little blessings, for it is in these moments that our life becomes so enriched. Giving thanks is acknowledging God's divine favor in our lives and celebrating Him for our infinite blessings.

We should remain ever mindful of the very meaning of Thanksgiving and give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father who is the amazing benefactor and provider of all we have. We should take a few moments and do nothing other than simply count our blessings, numbering each and every one while praising the Lord simultaneously for His love, protection and kindness in our lives and in those lives we deeply cherish.

Psalm 107:1
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (NIV)

Why do we need to wait for a chilly Thursday in November to express our gratitude for all we have? On the contrary, we should begin each and every glorious morning with a prayer of thanksgiving! When we are thankful for what we have God will bless us with what we don't have. 

I know this sounds a bit cliché but literally stop and smell the proverbial roses. Look around you as if you are seeing your surroundings for the first time, put on your rose colored glasses and see God's magesty everywhere! Trust me when you do this you will be so moved by what God has done for you. You need only to open your eyes to a new day to realize we have so much to be thankful for....

Psalms 50.14
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay your vows unto the most High.

Being grateful turns all we have into all we need. There is so much lack and suffering in this world. When we can look at this vast need and still complain about ridiculous and petty things; something is very wrong. Every new day is a new beginning not to be wasted or ever taken for granted or missed.

God needs to hear your sincere thanks and feel your deep appreciation for all He does for you and your family. He desires us to be close to Him and I believe that when we etch out time in all of our busy days just to thank Him, we will grow in our faith because during these moments of thanksgiving, we are continually reminding ourselves of his divinity, His righteousness, his splendor, grace and His everlasting love for us all. We begin to see things differently and we appreciate all we are and all we have when we are reminded of how blessed we are. No matter what is going on in your life right now there is always something that you can be grateful for. There is always something good about every day even if every day is not good.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

When the scriptures repeatedly tell us to be thankful, to offer up praise and thanksgiving, and to be ever grateful to God; then if we do not follow these simple instructions, we are being disobedient. Disobedience separates us from God and we veer off of our appointed paths. When we tend to get too proud and haughty and act like we ourselves are responsible for the good things we have in our lives is when we lose our way and stray from God's unspeakable joy and his merciful kindness.

Let's pause and take the time to let God know we love Him and thank Him for everything! Let's reflect a bit and bask in His love! Let's enjoy every moment of our wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and every day to the fullest with our hearts overflowing in immense gratitude. Lets measure our thanksgiving not by our blessings themselves but how well we use them. So enjoy your Thanksgiving feasting on turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberries, but whatever you do, thank God abundantly first, and save room for pumpkin pie!!!!

Psalm 95:1-6
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for everything you do for us. We are grateful for every blessing and every new day. Help us to appreciate and love each other the way you love us. Protect us and keep us safe this Holiday season. We praise you in Jesus name!!

1 comment:

  1. Beauitful, truthful post! Over the years I've come to love Thanksgiving more and more, eating and football! What can get better than that?! Unfortunately, I'm not one who loves to cook (maybe because I'm not real good at it haha), but I'm working on it since I'll be a wife and mom one day. Anywayyy, I love how you said that when we aren't thankful we are being disobedient. It's so true...we should be thankful 24/7! Thank you for the reminder! Be blessed :) <3