I’ve been making lists of late: things not to forget.

  • Ingredients from the supermarket.
  • Things to gather for the table centerpiece.
  • Little five-minute cleanup jobs to do all over the house — a list that seems to grow instead of shrink!
  • Advance food preparation tasks to keep the Day itself from labor overload.

And I’ve been checking them off, checking them off.

  • The bread is crumbled for the stuffing and stashed in the freezer,
  • the pie dough mixed.
  • The rooms are altered, furniture moved, nearly ready for their occupants.

Today I’ll even pick out all the serving dishes and label what will go in each, line them up in the off-to-the-side counter furthest from action central (and listen to Husband laugh).

Others are preparing for travel. Making lists. Of countless baby necessities, folding gadgets, diapers, special foods, things to keep kids occupied during the trip and after, all the clothes everyone will need for however the weather might turn…

But there’s one thing we might all forget if we don’t put it at the top of the list.

Thanks. giving.

The best way to prepare for Thanksgiving Day is to start giving thanks before that.

As I’m scrubbing under the kitchen sink, am I thanking God?

  • (for the sink, 
  • for the water and the soap or whatever I’m using, 
  • for the ability to get down on my knees and do the work and get back up afterwards?)

As I do the needed laundry, am I thanking God…

  • that I have some kind of machine to use instead of a washboard? 
  • for the clothes or towels or whatever is sloshing? 
  • for the nifty laundry chute Husband installed, 
  • and the big roll-out bin beneath it? 
  • for enough bedding to put on beds, and blankets enough to keep everyone warm? 
  • for the electric (or whatever) power to make the noisy contraption go?

As I’m preparing the rooms, am I expressing gratitude…

  • for each and every individual that’s coming? 
  • for the blessings God’s done in each life this year? 
  • that they can even get here, what with gas shortages, gas prices, and other hindrances?

When irritations rise because of things I loathe to do, am I thanking God

  • for the practice in patience or perseverance, 
  • for the challenges large and small, 
  • for the sense of my inadequacies and constant need for Him, 
  • for the reality of His presence…?

And on and on…?

I could make an enormous checklist, couldn’t I? We all could. It could also include hard thanks giving…

  • for the less than pleasant people “in my way,” 
  • for the door that sticks or squeals, 
  • for the phone that doesn’t work quite perfectly…

Husband just heard that many are saying there’s not much to give thanks for this year, but on the program where he heard it, one man remembered his parents during the Great Depression, how they exhibited such gratitude for so many little things we’d just measure and find lacking.

“If you want to change your attitude” (about the day, the gathering, the troublesome travel, the aches and pains, the illness, the financial trials, the inability to make the trip to see the family and the needed solitude this may provide), “start with gratitude.”

Everything else does start falling into more pleasant places as we do that, and then we’re ready, heart and spirit—even if the feast is a hot dog on a roll, or a bowl of vegetables—for a great Thanksgiving Day!

And don’t forget Whom to Thank!

~~~

Praising God this morning, BECAUSE (from Psalm 84)…

  • 557 – His “tabernacle” is lovely
  • 558 – Because He is the Lord of Hosts
  • 559 – Because He is the living God
  • 560 – Because He gives a home in His tabernacle, in Himself, where even the sparrow and the swallow can find shelter for themselves and their young
  • 561 – Because blessed are all those who “dwell in His house, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage”
  • 562 – Because as they pass through the Vale of Tears (Valley of Baca) they make it a spring
  • 563 – Because they go from strength to strength, till every one appears before God in Zion
  • 564 – Because a day in His courts is better than a thousand anywhere else
  • 565 – Because it’s better to be a doorkeeper in  His house than to dwell in luxurious tents of wickedness
  • 566 – Because He is a sun for His children
  • 567 – Because He is a shield
  • 568 – Because He gives grace
  • 569 – Because He gives glory
  • 570 – Because no good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly
  • 571 – Because blessed is everyone who trusts in Him
~~~

May your Thanksgiving be richly blessed, with things beyond what eye can see and hand can touch, with things that only the soul born of God can know!

*****

10 thoughts on “One Thing Not to Forget in Preparing for Thanksgiving

  1. A blessed Thanksgiving to you Sylvia! I just finished my list for today, typed the Romans doxology 11:33-36 into facebook and found an email saying my daughter and family will be here after all and this timely post. God bless!

  2. Wonderful! I hope you have a beautiful time together. We’re having our dinner together on Saturday instead of today, due to family logistics. So today’s agenda for me is quietly tying up final preparations and reflecting on God’s blessings. Not planning on publishing new posts till Monday. “See” you then!

  3. Perspective makes such a difference. We feel that we have so much to complain about, yet we are so blessed. I wonder what North America would be like if we chose to count our blessings instead of our so-called burdens.

  4. So beautiful, Sylvia… and speaking to my heart greatly today as so many things overwhelm me (I know you’ve been there too and I see that in your grateful list ). Blessings!

    1. You know, Pam, I think we (I!) often overburden ourselves with things beyond what God asks or wants, then everything starts looking overwhelming! That may not be the case with you, but I know it applies to me. As for the truly overwhelming burdens, I have to make a practice of releasing them to Him, letting go of my obsessive hold on them (sometimes repeatedly throughout a day, because I keep grabbing them back!) because they are such gratitude stealers and attitude spoilers.

      May God place a special blessing on your life today!

  5. THANK you for this post, Sylvie. Years ago when I was always grumbling (like God says the Israelites were) about everything that was wrong in my life, the Lord really convicted me and led me to keep a joy journal. THere I wrote not just the blessings, but dialogued with God about why I was so grateful for them. This practice, of gratitude in all things, transformed my life and my relationship with God. I haven’t done that so much lately, as trials and testings, especially for some family members, seem more than God should expect anyone to bear. But I am realizing that they seem unbearable, because I have not been so regularly asking HIm to bear them (casting my cares on Him), and then THANKING Him for doing so. And even if I don’t ask or thank Him, He IS still doing it. But gratitude just makes us so much more aware of HIs goodness and faithfulness. Thank you for this beautiful post which reminds me that there are literally too many blessings to count, but doing so brings such joy and appreciation for God. Happy Thanksgiving, Sylvie. I’m so grateful to my friend Kel for introducing us and I’m so grateful for your wisdom and the lovely ways in which you express it!
    Blessings,
    Lynn

  6. Hi Lynn,
    Likewise for me with the joy journaling. It was during the darkest time in my life that I began recording thanksgivings (and not at all near Thanksgiving Day!) And it changed my life, too. That was one of the factors that lifted me out of a black pit of depression. A second one, which preceded this, was the other thing you mention: casting my cares on Him. Amazing how the weight can lift from your whole body when you lift the worry burden up and hand it over to Him!
    I’m so glad we met this way, too, and that you shared your own experiences in this lovely comment. God bless, richly!

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