When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of a time of giving thanks. Then I wonder if I have a life of Thanksgiving like I could have. I really know that there is a lot of room for growth in this area.
I wonder what a lifetime of Thanksgiving would actually look like? I was struck by a picture at school that was colored and hung on the wall as part of their Thanksgiving decorations. It said, “Thanksgiving is an attitude of gratitude that becomes an expression of the heart.”
This is what I want.
No one (or at least I am not) is naturally full of gratitude.
There is one person I know who has been through more pain than a human could ever say and more surgeries than I can count and that person is probably the one who stands out to me as the one expressing more gratitude than anyone else I know.
Then there are those you know before you even say hello that they will have a negative remark about it. No matter how beautiful the day is or how many blessings they have, the things that go wrong in their lives splatter on others who traverse their lives.
Now think about it, no one on earth can make us the people we will be in a year from now, grateful or ungrateful. It is difficult to understand.
As my thoughts flash to those who I think are living the toughest lives and still wear bright expressions, I know that Christ within is the only way through the dangers life throws at us. How can I be anchored deep enough that there is no way I will be overtaken? I am reminded of someone more mature than me, who shared with me the power to simply be aware of every thought that comes to mind.
If it’s a thought that doesn’t uplift me, it needs to be replaced in that moment with something that will lead me in the direction I want to go. At first it was too simple to grasp how profound it was. Over time, it becomes a new habit that fills my heart with joy. In times of extreme sadness and anxiety at missing my dear Daniel, I allow my thoughts to be drawn to God and His promise to give all that is needed to those who trust in Him.
In time these truths begin to sink into my heart and I find relief and even peace too gentle to describe. Thank you God! Suddenly all I can do is thank God because if I couldn’t trust Him completely, life would be a total disaster.
Children, too, are empowered when they express gratitude, even when they don’t feel like it. It’s interesting when they express what they’re grateful for. At school, Julia was given the task of writing down 100 things she is grateful for and writing everything on a poster that she designed and decorated.
This year, Daniel’s family plans to come to our house for Thanksgiving. Julia and the two cousins who are closest to their age will write little notes ahead of time with things like, “Say something about the person to your left that you’re grateful for, start your favorite song, or share something you’ve learned from Daniels.” Death, tell about something you are most grateful for.” Then a slip of paper is placed under each plate, and then we go around the circle and do what our slip says.
Someone asked seems to have everyone here except Daniel. You know it would look so much funnier with Daniel but I know in my heart that God is the source of all true joy and He can create rainbows from showers of tears.
Now I’m curious to know what you all like to eat for Thanksgiving? We have the traditional mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, salad, cake and the like. And let me tell you about the caramelized baked apples!
Hope you enjoy these caramelized baked apples as much as we do and remember that you are not alone as you mourn the holidays and tell God through your tears for the hundredth time that you accept his plan for your life. May God be with you.
Caramelized baked apples
• 4-5 apples
• ½ cup) sugar
• 1 tablespoon flour
• ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ½ cup of water
• 1 teaspoon of butter
•Peel and core the apples, slice and place in a 9″ x 9″ pan.
• Put the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
•Simmer a few minutes until thickened.
•Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until apples are tender.
• Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.