This week many of us will welcome friends and family into our homes. Families will gather all across our country to give thanks together for God’s blessing and for each other. This is a well honored tradition across our states. And over the years, we have learned to master the turkey dinner. We have come a long way from the first feast.
Although this time together is much anticipated, the days before offer us an opportunity to give thanks as well. So often in daily family life, we are caught in the business of life. Going here and there, on time and late, seven days a week robs us of the relationships we enjoy. Our family relationships are reduced to a quick text, a quick kiss and a quick hug good bye. We easily fall into our beds in an attempt to get enough sleep so we can do it all again the next day. Or maybe this is just happening in our family! Exhausting.
In the days leading up to thanksgiving, there are some spiritual practices we can exercise to re-set our hearts on each other.
Yummy Breakfast–Breaking bread together in a special way, is a yummy practice. If the children in your tent are enjoying a school break, take time around the breakfast table to enjoy each other a little more. Nothing says good morning like the smell of warm biscuits, bacon, pancakes, sausage, eggs, muffins and other yummy creations. A delicious breakfast will help everyone recognize that something special is happening this week.
Set the Table Together–Prayerfully preparing your heart for the guests you love is another practice. If you are the one hosting this year, do it with a heart of joy. Joy is contagious. Invite other people in your tent to join you. While setting the table, pray for those who will be gathering around your table. Pray that your Thanksgiving Feast is a place that is life giving. Make it a place where the Holy Spirit can be experienced by all.
Tell Your Story–Remembering God’s story and how it connects with your story opens awareness in your heart. While you are gathered together, share your family story. Duke Marshall is a psychologist at Emory University. His work with families shows that families who share their family narrative and build it together help children in the family know who they are. It helps children successfully navigate their lives. It also helps the adults remember who they are as well.
Give Thanks–Gratitude is a life giving practice. Our families may not look the same as they did this time last year. Some members have grown taller, some will have more wrinkles and some will be missing from our tables. Life is precious. As your gather, give thanks for this moment and this time together.
Be rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving just as you were taught. Colossians 2:7
We hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday together.
From our Happy Tent to Yours,