Today as I mix and chop and stir and bake, I am reminded of other years and other times.
Times when my mom was up at four in the morning basting the ham to make sure it would be perfect in time for lunch. Times when dad waited to be the taste tester for mom’s dressing. Times when brothers and sister all sat in their spots around the table. Times when the good dishes came out, and laughter ruled the day. Times when I was just a participant and not a preparer.
On this Thanksgiving, Aunt Lillian’s dressing will grace the table, as well as her rice recipe. Ham will be served because mom always prepared ham for Thanksgiving. Turkey is a more recent addition in honor of new family and friends. There will be Cranberry Salad for me and the stuff straight out of the can for the purists in the family. Sweet potato souffle, and, of course, turnip greens! The greens are cooked as my mom taught me with a fresh pork chop and just enough water.
Memories baked into food.
Food connecting family.
Such priceless memories. Such a priceless legacy.
This Thanksgiving I am reminded that I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have poured into my life and my family. I am reminded of the love that demonstrated itself in hours spent cooking and making sure that everything was just right.
I am reminded, and I am thankful.
Thankful for God’s gracious bounty, for the love and presence of family, for heritage and memories, for grace.
Over the past few days, I have tried to list the many blessings in my life, but I always run out of time and paper. While every day is a day for thanksgiving, today I am especially mindful of the myriad of merciful gifts God has provided. I look at my husband, my children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.
Today, the cooking and baking, the preparation and clean up, are a joy and a tribute to all I have been given. I will end this day tired but, oh, so grateful.
May this day find your heart so full of thanks that it overflows into giving.
Hebrews 12: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Psalm 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
Turkey and dressing, pudding and pie – Eating so much that I think I must die. Mounds of potatoes, mountains of rolls, The table is piled with bounty untold. The family is gathered; the feast is all spread. We smile as we look over each loved bowed head, and we offer great thanks to our Father above Who has blessed us with plenty and goodness and love.
Photo – Autumn Beauty, Beth Mims