Tuesday, November 9, 2010

That ONE Thanksgiving

As I decorated our house for Thanksgiving, I asked myself, "Why do I love Thanksgiving so much?"

Different thoughts came to mind.

When I was younger, my dad was in the military and we moved around a lot. Sometimes we would eat Thanksgiving dinner in the base mess hall, where I was introduced to shrimp cocktail (still a favorite), ice sculptures, edible cornucopias, and active duty personnel with no families other than ours sitting at his table that day. Then, other years, I would get the distinct honor of setting the Thanksgiving table with my homemade place cards and hand printed menus for each place setting when we would eat with relatives in West Virginia. I'm seeing a "food trend!"

But then, there was that ONE Thanksgiving...

I served corn and green beans from coolers. It was Thanksgiving 1992 that I met my husband. We were both blessed to be Bonner Scholars. Our freshman Thanksgiving we would join other volunteers from West Virginia colleges to offer humanitarian aid to Homestead, Florida after Hurricane Andrew. I wanted to our college's public relations contact and team leader. Yahoo! My future hubby HAD to go because he needed to make up service hours due to a first semester bout of pneumonia. God has a sense of humor, let me tell you...what a matchmaker,
right RUTH?! All 150+ WV students stood on the stage, of a hotel auditorium (where we were staying in between rows of seats), in a circle and drew names for Thanksgiving Buddies. Out of all those people, his paper said, "April" in my handwriting. Then, he switched papers with the guy next to him because the "other" guy wanted my name...I didn't find that out until months later!! My husband spent the next week shaking my ladder while I was nailing and tarring shingles to a Habitat for Humanity roof, befriending me when I couldn't hang out because I had to go to "leader meetings" in the evening, and making me a copper bracelet from scraps at the construction site. Now , I know all that was intentional, right honey?! Best green beans and corn I ever served!

So out comes our Thanksgiving decorations and as I think about the power of that
ONE Thanksgiving and how God joined our hearts together I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Now years later, decorating our home, I open the Rubbermaid container to hear our four year old asking, "Did I make that?"

As we shifted through pilgrims, pumpkins, construction paper and traced hand print turkeys
, I thank YOU, O God for...

Thank YOU for being my Light in darkness!
May Your Light shine from our home and ours hearts.

Thank YOU for being a God of abundance!
May our family's blessing box
overflow with praises of people you have brought into our lives...
those teaching us and those we are teaching...
preschool teachers, Bible Study girls, friends, and newborn family.

Thank YOU for being ever present!
Continue to
take Your Seat in our home
with each decision, conversation, action, and reaction.

Thank YOU for never letting go of me and seeing me through!
Help me remember that even a little hand
can do BIG things
when one of them holds on to You!

Thank YOU for all of those "golden nuggets"
in Your Word

that melted my heart this year.
As we come and go through our day,
may Your Words ring the loudest in our hearts.

Thank YOU for showering me with Your Love.
Love has only one face...Yours.
Love has only one voice... Yours.
Love has only one motive...You.

Thank YOU for abiding in my heart.
For all who enter here, even if we entertain unaware,
may You meet needs and sow seeds.

Thank YOU for not giving us fear.
Help me to take stands for Truth as we live and leave a legacy.

Thank YOU for Your Grace!
I acknowledge that You place things in my path
and arrange each divine appointments for Your Glory.

Thank YOU for Your Vision.
How amazing You are to see through me!
YOU make all things beautiful in time.

Thank YOU for filling our cups to overflowing.
As we "gather together to ask the Lord's blessing"
let our gifts be what we give, not just what we gather.

Lastly, as I look upon my son's contribution,
Thank YOU for Your Son, Jesus, and what He did for me.
I am in awe of YOU. Amen.

This was such a special day, I think we just started a new family tradition and didn't even know it. Join us? As you look around your home where do you see Him? Thank Him.


Cindy Bultema said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! I loved the tour of your home....precious!
Thanks for sharing!! And I thank God for you and the special gift of your friendship!!
Much love
Cindy :)

LisaShaw said...

I found you through Cindy Bultema's blog. I have been so blessed by this very encouraging and loving message. I too stand in awe of the LORD and I'm so thankful for all that HE'S done and is doing for all of us. He's a great GOD indeed.

I look forward to visiting you again.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Love in Christ,

barefootoffering said...

Thank you for visiting! Please come back. I stopped in a visited your blogs today and rejoiced in how great our God is. I pray that God will bless your ministry. He is a God of abundance and may the Words you speak in His Name take flight in the crosswinds of fear, guilt, and confusion...offering a hope, joy, and comfort! I am thankful that God is using you in a much needed area of ministry!

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Loved getting to see a glimpse of your home, April, and it does overflow with gratitude and praise for God's movement. So thankful for our divine appointment together this month!


LisaShaw said...

Hi April,

You popped right into my mind so I scrambled over here to say Hi and to pray for you...

Abba Father,

I lift your precious daughter before You. You are such a loving Father. You know our needs even before we ask so I thank You for ministering to every need that April has in her life right now and in those whom she loves. I pray that she draws ever so close to You that she can feel Your touch tenderly upon her life. May her times spent with You in Your Word find her growing all the more into what You've spoken over her life. Thank You Abba Father for loving us the way You do. We love You and adore You. Thank You for hearing my prayers in Jesus precious and everlasting name, Amen and Amen.

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