11.27.2014

Father, We Thank Thee

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm sitting here with the meal in various stages of preparedness. With a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, I decided to set the cup down and spend some time at our bench together, just you and I. The meats are cooking in the roaster. The rolls are raising on the ledge of the stove. We've got time to visit for at least a while before its time to make the gravy and put the green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and dressing in the oven. Of course, if you wanted to come on inside with me, we could continue to visit while the meal is finished. Well, we could visit until I needed to go change my clothes and put makeup on anyway. We might get distracted by the aroma of the food as it cooks though. It's a hazard of the day.

A hazard of the day. Seems there are many hazards of the day for many people on this Thanksgiving Day. As I have been reading the historical account of the first Thanksgiving Day in America, I can't help but think of the freedom dreams our forefathers carried in their hearts for us. When I hear of the rioting across our nation, I hurt at the thought of how much it would hurt, and possibly anger, those men and women who sacrified, fought, lived, and died that we might live in peaceful freedom. They gave everything that we might live free. Some would say that the rioting is freedom in action. I disagree. Freedom doesn't hurt others. Freedom releases people from the smallness of hurting, looting, and killing. There is a better way. There is God's way. Oh, I know, I know, few feel that God belongs with talk of a nation. Our nation's founders didn't feel that way. In fact, the more I learn and read of their original writings, the more the history I was taught in school is found to be in error. The Puritans and Pilgrims not only felt God to be an essential part of this new nation, they dedicated this land to Him and the furtherance of His Gospel. This nation was intended to be ALL about God.

God who is left out of government, and practically everything else, is the reason the first celebrators of Thanksgiving in America came to this land. As the smells, sights, and sounds of this Thanksgiving Day weave their way in and through me, I pray my heart is not distracted from giving thanks to God, the reason for the celebration. May I be ever centered in Him and allow His way of living, doing, and being to guide and control all I do and say. May the thanks I offer be me living truly free. May others too live free, and may freedom's song rise up in a soaring symphony of truth ringing loudly across the land for all to hear. May smallness and evil be conquered while healing grace and love reign strong.

I am thankful dear friend, thankful for Him and thankful for you. Whether Thanksgiving dinner is turkey with trimmings or takeout, together we can be thankful, and thankful we will be. A poem from one of our children's books is running through my thoughts. May I share it with you before you go home? The poem is shared from the book Poems and Prayers for the Very Young. This book has been a beloved favorite of all of my children.

Father, We Thank Thee
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee,
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
Father, we thank Thee,
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee,
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Until this book was given to my oldest daughter, I didn't think I liked poetry. After reading this to my daughter, I realized that reading poetry is almost like singing. The rhythm and musicality of the words are a delight to the soul. How happy I was to be wrong and discover I do like poems. They are much like reading the Alice in Bibleland series of books with rhymes that flow from the tongue in a rollicking rhythm. 

Happy Thanksgiving dear friend! God's mercies to us never end. He leads and guides us through the day and shows us all His loving way. Hugs and loves wrap you up. They carry you home to drink and sup. Good-bye, Ta Ta, So long for now. Put on your hat. Tie up that scarf. It looks like it might snow. And always, always, always know You're loved wher'er you go.




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