Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 15, 2010

A Heart Kind of Thing

The holiday season is already upon us and I unashamedly admit that it is one of my favorite times of year. With the first hint of bright fall color on the leaves, my thoughts eagerly turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I look forward to the cooking and baking, the decorations and lights, and even the shopping for that just right gift. But I think what makes this time of year so precious to me is not so much what we do to celebrate, but the joy of celebrating with our families and loved ones. It is a heart kind of thing.

My heart is filled with all kinds of Thanksgiving and Christmas memories. As a child I can remember awaking on Thanksgiving morning to the sounds of Mama busy in the kitchen and to the delicious smell of turkey already roasting in the oven. I can also remember my Dad and uncles gathering on Thanksgiving Day to slaughter hogs and wrap and package fresh hams and tenderloin that we would enjoy throughout the winter. As an adult, I can remember watching my own children’s excitement as they attended the annual Christmas parade held on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and then gathering with extended family on Thanksgiving Day. I also remember the first Thanksgiving after Mama died when my sister and I gathered up our families and headed to the beach, not quite ready to gather around a Thanksgiving table at home without either of our parents.

Such memories are what fuel our conversations around our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. “Do you remember when….?” We share stories, laugh together, and sometimes even shed a few tears, but what joy in spending this time together. Although our activities and celebrations may have changed over the years, there has always been this desire to be together with family and loved ones, to reconnect, remember, and reflect.

And I have discovered that I cannot reflect on all these memories without recognizing the Giver of these many blessings – our Heavenly Father. As a child I remember hearing Psalm 100 referred to as a Psalm of Thanksgiving. Well it is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise, but in my childhood mind, I thought it was written for Thanksgiving Day. While I may have misunderstood the time and authorship of this psalm, I can think of no better meditation as we enter our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing;

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting;

And His truth endures to all generations.”

(Psalm 100:1-5)

 

As I read those few words, I am reminded:

 

  • Whose I am (It is He who has made us and not we ourselves).
  • Who cares for me (We are His people and the sheep of His pasture).
  • Who deserves our praise (Be thankful to Him, and Bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting).
  • Who I can trust through all the seasons of my life (His truth endures to all generations).

 

As I look forward to my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, I realize that it will be a little different this year with the loss of one of our dear loved ones this past year. I also recognize that it may be a little bittersweet since it could be the last one we get to share for awhile with my son and daughter-in-law since they hope to go to Chile this coming year for at least a three-year mission assignment. Yet I also know that even though a seat may be empty, or good-bye’s may come, our joy can still be full because we can “know that the Lord, He is God” (Psalm 100:3a). When life gets confusing or mixed up, or when troubles come, we can know whose we are, who cares for us, who deserves our praise, and who we can trust forever – wherever we may be. And that is something to celebrate! And I’ve also heard that all hearts go home for Christmas. So we can always be together there!

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed it. Perhaps we can share a Thanksgiving meal south of the equator some day?

    We look forward to seeing you all next week! Love you!

  2. Beautiful! 🙂


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