Thursday, November 26, 2015

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes that is actually my Thanksgiving "Tom" Turkey! :-) I do love to celebrate and this is a little tradition passed down to me by my Dad's Mom, Anna Kalis. We never sat down to Thanksgiving dinner without the bird being "dressed" with buttons down his chest (cranberries on toothpicks) and wax paper booties on his feet, parsley all around. I have no idea where she got the idea from but as you can see it has stuck with ME! While most people laugh pretty hard at this tradition, it does make a rather pretty picture, don't ya think? :-)

Any one who knows me a bit knows how much I love to celebrate anything and everything, but especially the holidays! On Thanksgiving, my hubby and I used to don some type of "pilgrim" attire to remember our founding fathers the pilgrims who thanked the Lord with a feast after losing many loved ones on the voyage here aboard the Mayflower and then throughout the hard cold winter. In spite of their grief and hardships they celebrated.
There's a little saying, "If you'll think, you'll thank." Stop and think of happy memories you share with your siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grand parents, etc. No one else loves us, knows us, gets us, and yes maybe annoys us, like our own family! Joy is a choice and its up to us to choose it. We can choose to go on as "poor me victims", "blame mongers", "woe is me", absent ourselves, or we can choose to focus on the blessings. I'm not suggesting we deny our pain but rather that we face it. Face it, embrace it, release it. You will enjoy your family and they will enjoy you. If you knew it was the last time you'd ever be able to celebrate together, your words would be tender and gentle, you'd listen carefully and intently to one another, you'd laugh heartily at family humor and you'd come away comforted rather than depressed and oppressed.

I pray that no matter what is going on in your heart and life, you will celebrate a Joy filled Thanksgiving. I know the pain of celebrating after brokenness and loss of loved ones. I've allowed Jesus to heal my wounds and I've chosen JOY. You can too. 
When I was a girl Thanksgiving looked like this:
Mom got up early put the turkey in the oven
We all got up and dressed for church
Thanksgiving Service was a big deal - well attended - anyone who came was permitted to share whatever they were thankful for (we had to participate too) - no preaching - special music.
Then home for a feast with relatives and friends and oh joy it was not a Sunday so we could go out to play and when we were older even watch some TV!
Grand mom Kalis dressed the turkey before we sat down to eat it. :-)
At the table we had place cards with our names on them and Bible verses my Mom had written out by hand that had the word Thanksgiving or thanks in it, which we all had to read aloud and then say what we were most thankful for. Someone prayed a long prayer before we ate.
Unfortunately it was all ruined by the heaps of dishes to wash up and put away!
Today Thanksgiving looks like this:
I get up and put the turkey in the oven
We watch the Macy's Day Parade, of course!
Then I cook a lot more food than we can eat
There are a lot less relatives to cook for - many are already in heaven.
We still take a turn and thank the Lord for our many blessings.
We sit and talk a lot longer than when we were kids.
We all help clean up.
Hubby watches football.
I like to end the day by watching "Miracle on 34th Street"

Psalms 89:15: "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." Whatever or however you do it, CHOOSE JOY and have a truly Happy Thanksgiving!
#thanksgiving #givethanks #livetheword #thewordworks

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