Giving Thanks ~ makes me feel good

vegetables-fall

So, first of all, I want to thank all my blog readers and my fiction readers. You make me feel good.

If there’s a secret sauce in my life, it would be stop analyzing and just give thanks. That’s it.

Why did that thing happen? Why did those people act that way to me? Why didn’t they appreciate me? Why couldn’t they see what they were doing was so destructive to themselves and others? I could, and I have spent weeks, no months analyzing issues such as these. At the end of that time, I’ve come up with some pretty plausible answers. Were any of them, the right answer? Maybe, maybe not. Hard to know, but they were plausible answers to those questions. Did all that analyzing solve any dilemmas? No, not really.

When I first started trying to find things to intentionally be thankful for, it felt weird, like an exercise. But once I kept at it, thanksgiving started to change things inside me. First of all, I realized the act of giving thanks is energizing. Thanksgiving is powerful.

In my life, the one I thank the most is God. I’ve been doing this long enough now that it’s actually fun to watch God move. I thank Him for what he’s doing in my life.

1 Chronicles 16:34 ~ Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever! ~ [ESV]

This is going to date me. I think Captain Kangaroo was right. Thank you is a magic word. Most people should use it more often. I should use it more often. I should say the words ‘thank you’ aloud to other people more often. Saying ‘thank you’ makes others feel good. When the people around us feel good, life is a whole lot easier for everybody. When there’s a general feeling of appreciation, there’s a lot less stress.

This thankfulness thing is really pretty simple. it’s so simple it works.

Thanksgiving Day ~ what it means to me

Thanksgiving Turkey

When I came across this turkey in the oven photo, it reminded me so much of the way my grandmother roasted her turkey. Boy did that bring back fond memories.

Thanksgiving Day, here in America,  is a time to gather with family and friends to hang out and enjoy each other’s company, to give thanks,  watch a game, go to a parade or watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. Everyone has their own favorite float or balloon. I personally, always wait for Santa at the end of the parade.

Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled weekend of the year. It’s a time when loved ones make the effort to be together. This is a grand American tradition, complete with long lines at ticket counters.

Yet, everyone I know who is celebrating this holiday has personal issues, sadness, or tragedy. Sons and daughters are in the military and are stationed in dangerous locales, or simply stationed far from home and can’t get leave. A beloved family member or friend is battling an illness. Some are in dire financial straits. Others are going through a divorce. Yet others have lost a loved one.

I am grateful for all the people in my life who lift their chins and walk-the-walk, making it one-day-at-a-time. I’m so very grateful for them and they are an inspiration to me. I’m grateful to God for the role He plays in my loved ones lives, blessing them, even when they don’t realize He’s blessing them.

I’m also grateful for the Americans who came before me, who built this great nation. I’m grateful to the founding fathers, but I’m also grateful to the men who built the railroads, the bridges and tunnels. I’m grateful to women factory workers, farm workers, teachers, nurses, doctors, police, and many more. And don’t forget the IT guy. I know without a doubt that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may you be blessed beyond measure in all ways.

 

2 Corinthians 9:11-12 Living Bible (TLB)

11 Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help.

12 So two good things happen as a result of your gifts—those in need are helped, and they overflow with thanks to God.

Squanto: A Special Thanksgiving Gift From God

Native American, SquantoI love Thanksgiving because I get to eat, and then to go back and pick and go back and pick again, and again. LOL

Seriouly…The entire holiday is a “feel good” holiday for me. The family is together and there’s a huge feeling of home ‘n hearth. The cooking smells are soooo nice. And the spirit of thanksgiving just permeates the air. PTL!

However, I’m also a researcher and I’ve come to learn that what we call Thanksgiving Day was begun by an American Indian of the Patuxet tribe named Tisquantum, or as he is better known today, “Squanto.” It began when Squanto took a tradition from the heritage of his native people, that of Potlatch, an Indian covenant ceremony that centered around feasting and giving of precious gifts in honor and covenant.

Tisquantum’s tribe the Patuxet lived in what is now known as Plymouth. In 1605 he was captured and brought to England where he learned English.

Several years later Captain John Smith Brought Squanto back to New England. Shortly after that, he was again captured and brought to Spain as a slave with several other Indians. He and the others were kept in cages and shown off as a type of carnival or circus attraction. Local friars rescued them, taught them to read and write, and introduced them to Christianity. Squanto became well versed in Scripture while there, and also became an expert horseman. He eventually traveled back to England and in 1619 returned back to the New World. It occurs to me that to be able to do all this, especially in that day, he obviously had the hand of the Lord on him.

When Squanto reached his native village, he discovered his entire tribe had been wiped out by a plague. Being the only survivor, he went to live with a neighboring tribe, the Wampanoag. Squanto lived among them as a Christian.

In November 1620, after enduring more than two months of difficult conditions on board the Mayflower and also being blown off course (they had planned to settle just north of the Virginia colony), the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod. They hastily constructed rude shelters, but they were not prepared for the harsh New England winters and the scarcity of food. By spring, nearly half of them had died from malnutrition and disease.

William Bradford wrote in his book, Of Plymouth Plantation, about the spring of 1621:

“About the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English…His name was Samoset. He told them also of another Indian whose name was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself…About four or five day after, came the aforesaid Squanto.”

Squanto labored with the Pilgrims to plant corn and other crops that fared well in the New England soil and climate. He showed them where were the best places to trap and fish. He helped negotiate a peace treaty between the colony and the surrounding tribes. According to William Bradford, “Squanto…was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

The harvest brought enough food for the next winter, and Governor Bradford called for a day of thanksgiving. Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag and 90 of his men came and stayed for three days of feasting and entertainment.

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“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November…that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.”

It was not until 1863 that President Lincoln set aside the last Thursday of November as the annual national day of thanksgiving.

In 1941, Congress established the fourth Thursday of November as a permanent national Thanksgiving Day holiday.