Still Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving is over. Are you still full?
We made a turkey, cranberry chutney, two loaves of bread, and four pies.
We asked our boys what pies they wanted, and one boy said “Mince Meat Pie.” After some questioning, we deciphered his actual wish. Mint Pie. We searched for recipes. We crushed up Oreo’s. We purchased cool whip and Andes. The result was delicious. Like thin mints. In a pie. We called it “Mint Meets Pie.”
We were with our wider family all day. We saw friends. We gave thanks. We broke bread.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, I had the thought, how perfect that Thanksgiving precedes Christmas.
Then, right before we prayed over our feast, my sister-in-law said the same thing.
It is no accident that before the season of gifts is the season of thanks. That before our focus is yanked toward sale signs, we fill ourselves up with one gift that is greater.
Hopefully our focus never actually makes it to the sale signs. They can provide terrible distraction unless we are filled with thankfulness. I know I need some work in that area. Some reminding. Constant reminding.
It is better to give than to receive.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov. 17:22)
The words, “Give thanks,” lined the aisles on boards and posters. Now, the signs say “Cheer” and “15% off.” But cheer doesn’t connect with numbers. The most wonderful time of year turned into something akin to dust.
Can Thanksgiving continue?
As in, “Thanksgiving is our dialect.” (Eph. 5:4)
Are you still full?
Do leftovers remain in your fridge? Do you have so much turkey that you need to freeze some, make a pot pie or two, a big pot of soup, a casserole?
And how does our Thanksgiving feast translate spiritually?
Our tradition of abundance.
And while I wonder, I’m reminded of words that my 3 year-old son spoke a few months ago. Words that pierced me. I wrote them into an entire blog post, or I thought I did, but those words are missing now. Either I never actually wrote them down, or I have misplaced them. I have been searching because I wanted to share them. And at the same time, I am thankful for the loss. Often, it’s not the words but the spirit of them anyway. Often, the original thought lives on.
“Mom, how do you spell Grace?” he said.
Grace. The name of my youngest child. A girl who smiles and mimics and loves to be a part. A girl who squeezes when she hugs and sings when she wakes. A girl who was given the name Grace partly because it is the only female name my husband and I have ever agreed on, and partly because Grace is the most beautiful word, and now it’s a word that we speak over and over, every day. We will never forget.
When my son asked me how to spell Grace, I knew what he was asking. The answer, “G-R-A-C-E.” But the only thing in my head was “In order to spell Grace, you have to spill Grace.”
In order to understand Grace, we have to recognize the need for it. And I’m speaking both about my daughter and about the free and unmerited favor given. Two things that God has given purely because He is good.
We receive the gift of Grace when we realize it is given freely. But Grace is made whole when we give thanks for it. Because it’s better to give than to receive. And when it’s all intertwined in a great big Holy circle…
Well, are you full yet?