Here in the US, we are celebrating Thanksgiving. A day set aside to be thankful for all we have. The first Thanksgiving in the fall of 1621, was a celebration of the harvest between the early Americans and the Indians. We celebrate it today with loud and busy families and way too much food.
As with all holidays, an element of sadness can occur when we focus too much on the physical aspects of our surroundings and not enough on “the heart of the matter”. Some families may have very little to share physically but love and kindness is a free component that carries more value that all the turkeys eaten on this day.
For all of us, let us remember to give thanks for the bounty of this day. And in all things be kind. If your bounty is very small, give thanks for what you do have and in all things be kind. Giving thanks is choice of the heart. We can look around us and be sad for the things we wish we had or we can praise God in all things, being thankful for what we do have. So I challenge you on this day of thanks to be Thankful for in all things and the world will suddenly begin to look much brighter.
May you have a blessed thankful day and as always remember to be kind in all things.
We all feel this is a year that we would like a reboot or rewind on. Even as careful as we tried to be at our church, Covid still got in. It is the world we now live in and we all need to make adjustments and sacrifices to not only protect ourselves but all those around us. We need to be better than careful.
As many of you who read my blog know that I have been smothered since October with crafts for Christmas and I can now say…I AM FINISHED!!! YEA! Dreams were way too big this year but it all got done and it is all up…on trees(there are 4), on walls, on shelves and yes, on my fence. Tonight I will start showing what I did as some of you have seen preliminaries. But since this is Thanksgiving week, being thankful is first and foremost.
I made a sign for my fence that is 4 feet long and about 2 feet high honoring all of you who have been so important to everyone for the last 8 months. It has 3 Christmas trees that I painted ornaments on it to represent those people and professions that have kept us going and safe. It is not a great work of art but it is a great work of heart and I sincerely thank all of you for being the willing essential workers to keep this world going during these horrific times. I sincerely hope all of you know how much you are appreciated. Enjoy my fun, feel the heart of my thanks and have a blessed Thanksgiving.
And always remember, being kind is a gift to be shared even when it may be small. No gift id kindness is ever wasted.
While we can’t tell by the temps outside, this is the month of November. Iowa has been hit with the craziest bough of Indian summer that I am still in a t-shirt. I had the AC on yesterday and tomorrow its supposed to be in the 30s. Welcome to the midwest.
November is the thankful month and we all try to focus daily on the many blessings we have and make it a point to be thankful for them. That is something we actually need to do throughout the entire year.
Sometimes when life is zooming so fast around us, we get lost in the “goings on” that we lose our focus and forget to be thankful…in all things. So we need to purposely slow down and be deliberately thankful. In bible study we talked about how we do things sometimes not requiring or expecting a thank you, we do it out of love. But man, how a thank you can make us walk a little lighter, smile a little brighter and be all the more willing to do it all again. It’s the same with God. He knows we are thankful, those who love him, but He still likes to hear it. I look forward to His brighter smile.
Having a thankful heart, brings you peace, it gives you courage and fills you with hope; hope will give you the strength to survive whatever ordeal you face, so then you are able to give thanks in all you do creating a continuous circle with God in the middle of it.
I fully understand we have not had Thanksgiving yet but I am ready for the joy and thankfulness of Christmas. So I am decorating early this year, and the very first thing that goes on the big tree(yes there are more than 1) is The Christmas Nail. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that tree trimming tradition but I have been doing it well over 40 years. The Christmas nail is a nail shaped similar to the nail used to hold Jesus to the cross. The Christmas tree foreshadows the Christ-tree that He decorated for us with nails like these and the lights we put on the tree remind us of His light that shines for us and through us.
The red ribbon represents His blood that was shed for me. I can not think of anything more powerful to be thankful for…daily. The nail is to be hung inside the tree by the trunk where it is only known by the family who hung it there, whose hearts are fully aware of the significance of why it is there. Especially this year with so much stress, anxiety and uneasiness of tomorrow, the nail’s message is ever stronger for us. So I encourage you tonight to reach out to God in thankfulness for all that He has done for you in the past and will do for you in the future.
And in all that you do, do so with kindness. Kindness reflects the light of God, the love of God and the thankfulness we have for what He has done for us.
As we approach the marvelous day of Thanksgiving, with the love of family, food and gratefulness for where we are at this point of our lives, we need to remember to always give thanks to our heavenly Father.
Sarah Young of Jesus Calling reminds us today that when our mind is occupied with thanking Him we have no time left for worry or complaining.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
My hope for you today comes from Romans 15:13 – “May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
And as His love and peace surrounds you, let the effects of it ripple out from you in kindness waves to others and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
While this post is strongly Christian inspired and maybe not really your thing, I do you will read on a little bit as we all need assurance that we are going in the right direction in our lives, that we are hoping to make a difference and last but not at all the least…that we are loved. While the word love is so vastly over used, it is still the most powerful word God created, after all God is love and he proved His love for us by giving us a part of himself, Jesus. Love is a noun and a verb. It shows up in the most unexpected places sometimes and in many unexpected ways.
It shows up in the beauty of a sunrise of the dainty fragrance or color of a flower.
I comes in the form of many works of art, from writing, to painting, to photography, to music and so many more.
In 1873, Fanny Crosby and her friend Phoebe P. Knapp combined Phoebe’s tune that she could not,get out of her head along with Fanny’s words and came up with the song Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. Fanny was blind at a young age but never let it stop her form sharing the love she had for God and his wonderful love for us.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Can you feel what that says. A foretaste of glory in being assured of Jesus’ love.
Heir of salvation, purchased of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. An heir is a person who receives items at the death of another. So we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God with Jesus’ blood. What do we need salvation of?? Think about that.
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. What an awesome thought, lost in His love. I think this pictures expresses that.
I have strong assurance of His love for me and I hope you do as well. Fill your selves with His love and let it flow from you to others with kindness reflecting God’s love for all.
My devotional reading this morning was about thankfulness. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you inner mind becomes dark and disgruntled. When you approach God with thanksgiving, the light of His presence surrounds you. Lets have some examples from my life –
The harshness of this past winter only to be reminded of the ever resilient fabulous bulbs of spring.
The poor commitment of the “handy man” that showed up to get the old curtains down but has yet to show up to put up the new rods. But yet the light shining through the windows has been beautiful and helped my violet to burst forth in fabulous white and purple blooms.
The most inconvenient idea of being without a refrigerator for 10 days, yet I can still enjoy a fabulous cup of hot tea. And last but not least…
The ability of being able to enjoy fabulous fruits all year long from those warm climate zones and the trucking industry getting them to the stores for us to enjoy.
The inconvenient challenges of life can drag us down or we can give thanks to God that we have an ability to view those challenges through His eyes and find that silver lining – there is always one however small it may be.
So all the more reason to understand you inconvenience and be thankful of the light they can shed on us and bringing forth kindness to others who are also experiencing inconveniences themselves. Remember to always be kind.
Linda G Hill’s challenge today for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” And I think if we really look around we can find more fab than non-fab. You just need to correct frame of mind. So I challenge you to review and give thanks for all the fabulous things you have in life. You could probably amaze yourself in seeing your gifts.
Winter is usually a time to rest with spring being the time to clean but this cold has just about done me in so I took the time to go through a closet I have not open since we moved in 6 years ago. In it I found a framed picture of a drawing and poem I wrote for my mother. Now I loved my mother but she was…a mess.She was an alcoholic and as an adult I understand why and that is probably why I don’t touch alcohol, other than it taste gross. I guess it is an acquired taste and I have has some of the better and more expensive to taste and I just as soon leave it be.
Sometimes God puts people in our lives to help us heal from issues we have faced and He did so with me with Miss Mary Lou. Miss Mary Lou is well in her senior years but has the most gentle soul I believe I have ever met. The first day I visited the church I am currently worshiping in, she came and sat me as she said she didn’t want me to sit alone. I am one of those weird people who to sit up front, second pew. With ADD, I don’t need any distractions. But the wonderful stories I had heard about Miss Mary Lou and her ever gracious husband never seemed to surprise me as they were always sharing God’s love.
The other thing about Miss Mary Lou that shocked me the most when she first sat by me was how much she looked like my mother, or rather how my mother would have looked had she lived the same age as Miss Mary Lou. They were probably within 10 years of each other in age. I look at Miss Mary Lou and believe this is how my mother could have been if she had been close to the Lord as she also loved people.
So I post this poem I wrote for my mother, probably for Mother’s Day, in May of 1986, along with the tea rose I bought for me. I send it to mom again in heaven in her honor and also with love and honor of Miss Mary Lou for giving me peace from a matronly figure.
Like a rose’s sweet fragrance that floats through the air,
So does a mother’s love as it flows through the home.
Like a rose that reflects its rich vibrant color,
So does a mother when she is loving her children.
Like a rose’s thorns that beckon you to beware,
So does a mother who safely guides her children.
Like the velvety softness of the rose’s soft petals,
So soothes a mother’s hand and voice calms a fear.
Anita Neal 5/11/1986
And in closing as I always remind readers to do – Be kind. Share your gentle softness with the fragrance of God’s love.
An elfchen is an 11 word poem written in 5 lines— Line 1=1 word, Line 2=2 words, Line 3=3 words, Line 4=4 words, Line 5 =1 word. Lines 1 and 5 should not be the same word. Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. We hope to offer all of you something that will spark your creativity and willingness to participate.
Since I had never heard of an elfchen, I thought I would play along and see what I could come up with. The three word choices are You, Stronger or Alive to be the first word of your poem. I accidentally used all three.
Are the reason
I am stronger and
And as I close from this fun, I remind all to be kind. The kindness you share may be the only sunshine that person may see that day.
In all of my post I ask all readers to remember kindness to others. It is the easiest and most difficult thing you could do. The book of Galatians reminds us the effects of not being kind in Galatians 5:15 – “If you bite and devour each other, beware as you will destroy each other.” But then in vs 22 the list of good attributes of following the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. And again in Colossians 3:12 -“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience.”
All of these commands come straight from the heart – God’s heart. And it is passed down to us for us to share with others in reflecting God’s precious love.
I ran across this posting the other day, not knowing who wrote it but I wanted to share it with you to remind you no matter how small an act of kindness you share, it makes a very large mark on life.
So I ask you to leave fingerprints of kindness where ever you go and help the world to smile.
Comparison of the end of a beautiful day and the end of a interesting year,
My house sits on top of a hill, so from my back yard I get to see the sun set as it closes out each day. Today’s sunset reminds me of how tomorrow we will close out another year. Today was a bright sunny day ending in an exquisite fiery flame red sunset against distant clouds. Our year is ending, seemingly on a high note but are their distant storm clouds ahead? Who knows? Does it do any good to worry about the possible storm clouds? No. Are you surrounded by storm clouds now? Possibly. Try to focus on the hand that is reaching down through those storm clouds to hold you steady.
When things seem at their worse try to focus on the blessings you have, even though they change daily. It will help your perspective.
Do I have family and friends that know what I am going through to encourage me?
Do I have food in the house for me to eat?
Do I have a roof over my head keeping me out of the cold and rain?
Do I have running water to drink and wash with?
Do I have fresh air to breathe?
Do I have a savior who knows what all I need and loves me more than I know?
Jesus tells us not to borrow troubles from tomorrow but to focus only on today. Be thankful in the many small blessing you see as they will bring into focus the things you forget you have every day.
As we get ready for the new year, remember to focus on the beauty in life. Yes, it can be very hard but their is always beauty if you look for it. The beauty of a bird as it flies branch to branch, never working, always trusting and knowing it will be provided. Sometimes that provision comes from an unsuspecting squirrel as he too jumps branch to branch seeking and knocking down seeds to the ground for that to bird can get.
Provisions sometimes come for outlandish sources but if you look, you can see His hand at work providing your needs – maybe an angel in disguise.
I bid you all a most wonderful new year with more joy, less pain and brighter hopes. And as I always remind all of us – Be kind. Sometimes your pain or sadness can be lifted by being kind to another person or creature. Kindness is the Love Food of God.