Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was younger I loved waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of turkey cooking and pies baking and watching the parades on T.V. Now I love doing some cooking of my own and being able to celebrate with my family for lunch and Josh’s family for dinner. This year more than ever the holiday means more to me than turkey, more than football, more than parades and pumpkin pie, more than the kick off to the Christmas season, it’s about what God has used to heal my heart… thankfulness.
The story of the Mayflower voyagers is fascinating to me. I try to put myself in the shoes of some of the passengers and imagine what it must have been like to get on board a ship, a cargo ship, not a nice passenger ship and leave behind family and friends in search of a new land, a new life, a new everything. I’m sure there were some realist on board that realized how difficult the journey would be, but I know not all of the passengers realized how many hardships they were going to face or else they wouldn’t have set foot on that ship.
66 days at sea. No bathrooms. No proper living spaces. Sleeping next to strangers on beds made of hay. Eating the same food all of the time. Giving birth (yes, one lady did have a baby aboard the Mayflower!) Sickness, all kinds of awful sickness. Ship troubles. Whiny kids. Thoughts of fear. Boredom. That had to be a really rough 66 days, but they made it! The hard part was over, right? Wrong!
And in three months past, die Half our Company. The greatest part in the depth of winter, wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvy and other diseases which their long voyage and unaccommodate condition bring upon them. So as there die sometimes two or three a day. Of one hundred persons, scarce 50 remain. The living scarce able to bury the dead; the well not sufficient to tend the sick: there being in their time of greatest distress but six or seven who spare no pains to help them. – William Bradford
These people left England so they could worship God freely and now they could, but would they? Would they be able to praise God after going through so many hardships and such great loss?
They were alive. They made it through the winter. Squanto taught them how to grow food and how to survive. Some of the food they planted had returned a harvest. So yes, even though they had a lot to complain about, they gathered together and gave thanks to God!
I like what Edward Winslow, one of the Mayflower passengers wrote when he was talking about the first thanksgiving… yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want…
We all, because of the goodness of God, are so far from want. All of our needs are met according to His riches and glory, and even if you’ve had a rough week or a rough year, or a rough couple of years, if your heart is beating you have reason to give thanks.
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures FOREVER.
- The 102 passengers who were brave enough to board that ship.
- The way God used Squanto to teach them how to survive.
- That the survivors were not mad or bitter at God, but still believed He was good and worthy to be praised.
- God is good and His mercy endures forever.
- We are so far from want.
- Sarah Josepha Hale – Thanksgiving was not always a national holiday, but after 17 years of Sarah writing letters she helped make it one!
- In 1863 Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.
- Two sweet notes from two sweet girls about my blog.
- Slept great last night. I LOVE the pillow top mattress at nana & papa’s house.
- Got to see “Wreck It Ralph” with Gus, Josh, & Papa today. What a great movie.
- Gus has a really sweet and sensitive heart.
- Nana kept Beau so we could go to the movie.
- “The Paper Man” one of the sweetest shorts I’ve ever seen. I found myself smiling the whole way through.
- The St. Jude “give thanks” ad. I am SO thankful my kids are both healthy.
- Beau was adorable in her little Christmas apron and oven mitt pretending to bake cookies this afternoon.
- Beau’s cousin Olivia gave Beau her pottery barn kids kitchen for the playroom at nana & papa’s and Beau is really enjoying it this trip.
- Enjoyed going on a shopping trip alone to buy all of my ingredients for the Thanksgiving dishes we are making.
- Nana and papa watched the kids tonight so we could go out.
- Triple date with my brother and his wife and my nephew and his wife. Some of my favorite people.
- Ron’s Hamburgers. A good greasy burger really hit the spot tonight.
- Josh saved his popcorn bucket from “Wreck it Ralph” and got a free refill tonight when we went to see “Lincoln”
- Got to see some of pictures from yesterday’s photo shoot. They turned out great. My sister is super talented!
- My mother in law wrote the sweetest post in my honor today. I am so blessed to have her in my life.
- Enjoyed being lazy today.
- I asked Beau, “Who does mommy love?” Thinking she would say Beau, but instead she said “God!” I like that she knows that about her mom.
- Beau got to go on her first ride in Papa’s black truck today.
- Gus got to play with his cousin Ryan this afternoon. He loves having cousins around to play with.
- Josh gave the kids a bath for me this morning.