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Thanksgiving is MEAL TIME

David Gentiles

We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
— Psalm 75:1

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today we fill our tummies to the brim with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, boudin, green beans, hash brown casserole, pumpkin pie, and countless family traditional dishes that send us head long into afternoon football naps and glorious leftover dinner buffets.

 And yet it is at the Thanksgiving table that families share meals together.  It is at this table that siblings who haven’t seen each other in years share again a family meal. At this table friends become family and the wayward find their way home.

 What happens at this table can shape us.  These are moments that can change the trajectory of our families. Husbands, don’t let this table pass without telling your wives how dear she is to you. Fathers and mothers, tell your kids how proud you are of them and that you will always be there for them.  All us kids can pour out appreciation to our parents and grandparents.  They’ve sacrificed so much for us.

 For me … the challenge is set in my mind and I can’t escape or ignore it.  Both Emily’s family and my parents will be in our home for Thanksgiving this year.  I can either do one of two things: 1. Let the day happen and let everyone else bear the responsibility of making moments, or 2: I can intentionally create moments for my family that will encourage and bless them.  I can initiate conversations with my mother and father in law that will grow our relationship. I can ask Emily’s sisters questions about what’s going on in their lives and listen.  I can tell jokes, wash dishes, turn the TV off and engage in conversation.  I can go for a walk with Mr. Sam (Emily’s dad) because I know he really loves personal time with each of us.  I can give my mom really long hugs (she’s a hug extender hugger) and tell her that I love her.  I can cuddle Huey (the cat) a little longer and maybe give him some turkey this year.  I can lead us in a time of prayer and thanksgiving for all that God has done in our family.

 SELAH (Deep Breath)

 If someone means something to you, don’t be passive. Tell them. Let’s not wait for someone to initiate with us, but let us take steps further and create windows to love, shepherd, and guide those closest to us to the safest place of God’s grace and affection. 

 The reality is… There is a ton I can do to make this Thanksgiving magical.  What’s comforting is that I don’t have to do much except open my mouth and speak words of love and affirmation. There are consequences to passivity and intentionality.  The beautiful thing is that my intentional investment on this day will echo into the future intimacy of our family.  Every small step today cultivates health and joy for tomorrow.

 So… I just laid out my own challenge on the page:) Big goals I know, but I have to.  Friends we have to! The heart of my family is at stake today.  The heart of every family is at stake today.

 So let’s make moments.  I’ll make ours and you make yours and let’s see how God blesses the table this year.

 With Great Affection,

 David Gentiles