Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.
I still remember this special time of year from when I was quite young. At church there would always be a cornucopia filled to the brim with squashes and gourds of various kinds during the month of October in anticipation of Thanksgiving. It would sit in a prominent place at the front of the church in front of the pulpit. Somehow it always brought me joy and a feeling of comfort.
At the same time my mother would always prepare a magnificent feast for the special day. Honestly I have never seen anyone do it quite like her and I'm not even sure how or why she started the tradition of feeding so many people on this day. She would get up very early and literally prepare a hotel type buffet every year. Though I enjoyed having all kinds of food to eat I used to tell her she prepared far too much food but she ignored me. She would really want to give her very best and in so doing made all kinds of salad, vegetables and desserts. She would also roast a huge turkey with lots and lots of stuffing and gravy.
We would eat our family meal together rather early. We usually ate between noon and 1 p.m. because mother thought it a waste of the day to have dinner in the evening. After we ate, people would drop in throughout the day and into the evening to share our table and visit. It was always a great source of pleasure and pride for mother to entertain her family and loved ones in this way. And the guests really enjoyed it. My uncle would often bring someone from out of town to join us as he had a kind heart and didn't want people to be without friends and family on this day of Thanksgiving.
In my older years, I never saw another cornucopia again. I also never saw anyone else prepare such a large feast and invite others to drop by all day and night long.
From time to time, I invite others over for a holiday dinner and I do make more than an average dinner. But it is nothing like the feast my mom would have prepared. I would like to retain that memory as something special to her and not try to emulate it.
I wasn't going to make dinner this year because next week I hope to prepare a lot of food for my church's monthly "love feast" and didn't want to do so much cooking so close together. I am also feeling a bit poorly so am trying to take it easy. However I ended up preparing a meal unexpectedly. Instead of turkey and all the trimmings I prepared a ham with bone in. I love ham. I am kept it simple with just mashed potatoes, gravy and cabbage. I wasn't into making salads and other veggies today today and certainly don't need any more dessert. It was just the "right" meal for the day.
This year at Thanksgiving I am thankful that my mom is still among us. I am thankful that my family is intact and that friends are still with me. I'm thankful for the love and provision of God. I'm thankful that there is another day that I am breathing and alive and have an opportunity to do good to others. I am happy too when God gives me joy and gladness and helps me to see the many ways that he blesses my life because let's face it, most of us have days when we don't feel too joyful or when we don't see how blessed we are compared to some others. It is always good to remember one's blessings. I have learned that there is always someone else who has it much worse and I think there but for the grace of God, go I. I have also been privileged to travel to parts of the world where people literally have nothing. No shelter, no food, no idea where their next meal is coming from. I can truly say I am among the blessed and I don't ever want to take that for granted.
I hope wherever you are in Canada, you have enjoyed the day and that you too see many blessings in your life. However hard life is there are still blessings if we can see beyond our circumstances.
I know my friends in the USA don't celebrate until November and I wish you all a happy time in preparing for the special day in your country.
May God bless us all with another wonderful year with family and friends, food, shelter, joy and a chance to bless someone else.