Give Thanks

by Dawn Smiling

The excitement is in the air as we get ready for this busy season.  The menus have already been planned for Thanksgiving dinner.  Family and friends are gearing up for food and football while some of us can’t wait for the sales in our favorite stores.  We are programmed to fall in line and carry out the yearly rituals. 

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.  For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.  It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, the President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. 

But it was a woman, Sarah Joseph Hale, an influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign, for nearly 40 years, to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century.  If you don’t recognize her, she is also the author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb.”  Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp.  This stamp was designed by Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework.  It depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase “We Give Thanks.”

As beautiful women, we have the power to simply “Give Thanks”.  No matter how crazy life may seem at times’ or the dysfunction at home, and let’s not forget the drama we face at work.  No matter what the doctor says about a diagnosis, or a child’s report card, we have the power to give thanks.  We have the influence to give thanks for our girlfriend’s happiness, and our husband’s common sense. We have the power to give thanks in spite of 800,000 residents in the Philippines being displaced due to a typhoon, or a storm that raced across 26 states.  We have the power to give thanks that these people will still see the power of God move in their circumstances.  We have the power to pray that there will be thanksgiving in their heart and strength in their souls to rebuild a better future. 

While you are working it out in the Kitchen this year, don’t forget to add these three ingredients during this Thanksgiving Day season:  An extra hug for a family member in pain:  Contentment, which displays a kind heart (compassion), and persistence.  Contentment is being thankful for what God has given you instead of worrying about what you don’t have.  A kind and loving heart allows us to do the work of our Lord, and persistence gives us strength to stop the devil and his cohorts from robbing you and your family of God’s blessings.  The Shunammite women’s persistence in bringing her child back to life (2 Kings 4:8-37) did not weaken over time, but grew stronger. 

Not only do you have influence in the kitchen ladies, you also have influence with God.  Use it, and simply “Give Thanks”!!!

Share what you are thankful for below! 

Dawn Smiling enjoys volunteering at Grace Family Church as a prayer counselor, part of the soul care ministry, and as a table leader for Beautiful Monday Nights.

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