A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


November 27, 2014

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

    You may view this post as too sentimental and emotional.  But, as our nation, and the world, seems to be embroiled in chaos, violence, and instability, I think it is important that we observe this Thanksgiving Day with true and humble hearts.  I really want to ignore everything that takes my eye off the good, desirable, and treasured things in my life. I don't know about you, but I really need a day to concentrate on all that I'm grateful for.  Won't you join me?
     Let's just sit back, and breathe in all that composes our lives -- both the ordinary, and the exceptional.  First, take a good look at each member of your family that is gathered around your Thanksgiving table.  Concentrate on what makes them unique; what do they offer you that no one else can?  Is it their smile?  The way they always listen closely to what you have to say?  Is it that you can always count on them to help you in any situation?  Do they make you laugh?  Do they forgive you when you're not at your best?  Do they give the best hugs ever?  How much would you miss them if they weren't a part of your life?  How do they make you a better person?
     Next, consider your health.  If you're like me, you have more aches and pains this Thanksgiving than you did the last one.  But, I receive each new twinge or pain with an appreciation for what I can still physically do.  I may not be able to exercise as energetically as I did 10 years ago, but I'm still in there swinging, and that muscle soreness means that I haven't ceased to challenge myself.  The soreness is a welcome friend; and proof that I'm still a competitor.
     If you are suffering from a serious health issue, it may be more difficult to express gratitude.  I do not profess to know what it is like to walk in your shoes.  But I would be willing to bet that you have people praying for you.  And picture those prayers before the throne of your Father in Heaven, and Him tenderly clutching them to His breast.
     Each of us are living in a deteriorating body; some more diseased than others.  But each day we are left in this world, is a day to feel God's sun, wind or rain on these host bodies; to experience the loving touch of someone dear; to share a part of yourself with another human being, enriching both your lives.  And as trite as it may sound, failing health is an opportunity for you to get closer to the One who created you.  That is a blessing that far outweighs the affliction.
     On another subject, I have to admit that there are many things that I am displeased with when it comes to our country.  But on this day, I am still thankful that I was born in America -- the benefits have far surpassed the problems.  As a woman, I have more opportunities and freedoms than anywhere else in the world.  My husband and I have had the opportunity to pursue a business and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  There has been no ceiling on what we can accomplish, if it is our desire.  We have food for nourishment, shelter over our heads, and live in relative safety; many in the world are not so fortunate.
     I am thankful that I live in a free country, and I am grateful for the men and women who preserve my liberties.  I am thankful that the Founders of this nation took such great efforts to leave us with a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.  I feel the foundation cracking and swaying, but so far, Thank God, it is still holding.
     All these things I have described are probably common blessings for each of you.  And we share a common awareness of our blessings with the first celebrants of this American holiday.  If you Google the "true history" of Thanksgiving, you will get a wide array of fantastical stories; everything from our childhood narrative of Squanto, to a tragic massacre of native Indians by a land-hungry bunch of European invaders.
     But the truth of what this holiday means can be found in the simple story of Pilgrims fighting to survive through rough and arduous conditions; of struggling to survive illnesses, starvation and an uncertain future.  By sheer determination, they beat the odds and persist, and are able to celebrate the bounty of their harvest.  Being a devout and faithful people, they attribute their success to the guidance and inspiration of their God.  And perhaps, most importantly, they are grateful for the hope that He provides in sustaining and prospering them.
     Shouldn't that be our story today?  I am sincerely grateful for all that God has provided; for His protection, His provision, and the hope He offers that more blessings will follow.  I am thankful that He has given me this platform to speak of His Sovereignty and to allow us to converse together.  And it is my prayer that this day finds you equally blessed.  I wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100:4      "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!"


   
   

2 comments:

  1. Blessings to you and your family Belle on this Thanksgiving day. Thanks for all that you do.

    Your friend,
    Lisa

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  2. Lisa, it has definitely been a blessing to get to know you, and know that you and I have a special friendship. God Bless you and your family today and in the coming year!

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