“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord…” Psalm 92:1
Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays as a child not only for the wonderful food, but also for the opportunity to be together as a family.
It was a day of laughter and love as well as sharing with others. It was everyone pitching in to clean up and laughter while washing the dishes.
Unfortunately, there were a few spent just with Mark and one that I spent all by myself. By sharing a few of these details it is my prayer that it will help others.
One of the fondest Thanksgiving memories was the year my great aunt and uncle lived in the same town as us. I was about 7 or 8 at the time and decided to dress up as a pilgrim. My Aunt Lula spent time helping with my project while at the same time working in the kitchen with Mother and Grandma. It was a special time because the people I loved were all there for that special day.
Thanksgiving Day at Grandma’s was something else. She worked for days getting the table set and preparing what seemed to be hundreds of various kinds of food. Grandma’s house was very small and we always had to bring the table into the living room before adding the leaves. Folding chairs and benches were brought in and you practically had to squeeze into your chair. Although her house was small, it burst at the seams with love.
When I got married, I was introduced to several of Mark’s relatives, but had no idea what our second Thanksgiving would hold. Aunts and Uncles, cousins and second cousins and friends were coming for the big dinner to join brothers and their families, parents, and grandmother. Where would they all fit? Mark’s brother provided the answer when he opened up his restaurant for the gathering. Some of his regular customers showed up, not realizing the restaurant was closed. They were welcomed in and joined us for the festivities. When they tried to pay for their meal, Mark’s brother told them it was his gift to them. Although I didn’t know them, I was happy how many family members welcomed and included them in the gathering.
Not all Thanksgiving Days were joyous. There was the year I was sick and spent the day alone. However, it gave me an opportunity to focus on the Lord and the things I was thankful for beyond a once a year meal. You see, Thanksgiving is more than a meal, it is a lifestyle. In the good and in the bad there is always something to be thankful.
For the past several years, we participated in the community Thanksgiving Dinner at First Baptist Church. Open to everyone, this free dinner is an opportunity to minister to those in the community. There are many people from different backgrounds who are heartily welcomed. The conversation and laughter fills the room and no one goes away hungry. Each and every year I come home with my heart overflowing with blessings.
Whatever your circumstance, there is always something to give thanks if you look hard enough. Always remember that giving thanks is a state of the heart instead of a date on the calendar.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: