Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Give Thanks

Fall Leaves by Vikki LeBlanc Yost

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1 NRS)

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving and I can’t wait! It’s my favorite holiday. It’s not as glitzy as New Years, nor as huge as Christmas, nor as romantic as Valentine’s Day, nor as sugar-overloaded as Halloween. It’s the simple holiday about sharing a meal and taking time to be thankful.

As a child we had the family tradition of going around the table and sharing what we are grateful for. There were thirteen of us at my grandparent’s home and I slowly moved up the ranks from the kiddy card table to the big table. Now my husband and I share duties from the ends of the table, the living bookends to all of the friends and family who gather in between with us. Some years it is a big gathering with a massive turkey. Other years the group and bird are much smaller. One notable year it was just me with a game hen! Regardless of the number of faces at the table, the tradition remains. What am I thankful for?

I am thankful for the many parents of special needs children who have invited me into their lives and share their children and stories with me. I am thankful for the healing that happens in community. I am thankful for God’s call for me in ministry and my encouragers who help me fulfill it. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for so many things in my life. In taking the time to be thankful, my challenges feel so much smaller and more manageable.

I’d love to hear what you are thankful for. Feel free to share in the comments below.

Gracious God, thank you. Thank you for the blessings we see and feel and touch, as well as the hidden ones that you orchestrate in the backgrounds of our lives. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all that you give. Help us reflect and share those blessings to others. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

Photo “Season of Thanks” by Vikki LeBlanc Yost

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Home for the Holidays

Thanksgiving

Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. (Psalm 100:3-4 NRSV)

My favorite holiday is just a few days away and my son is coming home.  I can’t wait! I’ve been so excited I’ve gotten a bit carried away buying or making his favorite things to eat. One person cannot possibly eat that much. His dad and I may need to help.

This is the first year that Craig has traveled to be with us, another milestone in his growing independence. When he was young, holiday travel was full of challenges. It got so complicated that we stopped going to visit others.  It turns out airplanes fly BOTH directions and if others wanted to see us for the holidays it was easier for them to come to us than for us to go to them. They were welcome to come, but often did not. “Home for the Holidays” took on a new meaning as we madeit a tradition to stay home. Our holidays were much simpler than the ones I had when I grew up, but they were just right size and fit for Craig.  In time, they became the right size and fit for me too. I used to worry he was short-changed, but in hindsight I see that the way we celebrate was less-overwhelming, less hectic, less frustrating. Smaller and simpler isn’t less, smaller and simpler is a blessing.

Embrace simplicity this holiday season. Live in the moment and treasure making memories in simple pleasures. Enjoy the many blessings God has shared with you and your family.

Gracious God, thank you for how you have blessed my family. Sometimes I get so busy that I do not notice how truly blessed I am. In this season of giving thanks, let me most of all give thanks to you for all that you are all that you have done. Your love and abundance and blessing amazes me. Amen.

Photo “Home for the Holidays” by Lorna Bradley

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What do I love about it?  It’s a holiday without a big fuss. Okay, there is a meal, but I enjoy cooking and the day really isn’t about the turkey and whether or not it’s dry. What I like is that Thanksgiving doesn’t come with expectations. If I drop a card in the mail to a friend or give a small gift to someone I am thankful for, in the month of November that is just a thoughtful gesture. Come December, the bar gets raised substantially on that whole card-sending, gift-giving thing.

Thanksgiving Day itself is about simply sharing a good meal with family and friends. It brings back childhood memories of a houseful of people at grandma’s, sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor with my cousins, putting pitted black olives from the relish tray on my fingers like little puppets and savoring the salty brine as I ate them one by one.

Mainly, Thanksgiving is about thanking God for an abundance of blessings. Thanksgiving is simple and beautiful from start to finish when I focus is on what is important.

One day of thanksgiving isn’t nearly enough. For the past several years I have celebrated Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and write down every day in the month of November something for which I am thankful . Time and again I come back to my son. I am thankful for milestones that I thought would never come.  I am thankful for the sense of acceptance for the milestones that will never be. I am thankful for a sense of hope in a future that is yet to be revealed. I am thankful to be a parent to a remarkable young man who inspires me every day.

I am also thankful for other parents on the journey with me who encouraged me when I was unsure and who allow me to encourage them when they need it too. Years ago the Apostle Paul wrote to a dearly loved church in Philippi. This small group of followers encouraged each other and lifted each other up when they needed it. Paul opens his letter to them:

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you (Philippians 1:3-4 NRSV).

These were Paul’s people, the ones who had his back when times were hard, and the ones he encouraged and guided when they needed it too. These were Paul’s people and special needs parents are my people.

My thanksgiving today, and every day, is for parents who raise remarkable children and for the communities that surround them with unconditional love and support.

God of many blessings, I thank you for parents who are strong and parents in need of strength. I thank you for those who have wisdom and those who seek it. I thank you for those filled with hope and those who struggle. Woven together, parents strengthen each other. I thank you for the gift of community. Amen.

Image “Thank You on Post It Note” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net