Here in the United States, some gather together on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate thanks to God for all the gifts He so generously bestows upon us.
This American tradition all began when a group of Separatists felt the need to leave England to seek out opportunities for civil and religious freedom. They went from England to the Dutch Netherlands then to America.
On September 6th a ship called the Mayflower carrying 102 Pilgrims traveled over harsh waters for over two months before seeing land on the shores of Massachusetts early in November. Before docking, they searched for a suitable place to begin their new life, so in early December, before disembarking the Mayflower, they signed what is known as the Mayflower Compact. This was the first document to lay the groundwork for civil government and for these people to be self-governed.
The Pilgrims began building their community, but many of them became sick and only “52 people survived the first year.”
After several months in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Pilgrims and the Native Americans from the Wampanoag Tribe befriended one another. A treaty was signed between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans to ensure peace remained between them.
Squanto, who had been taken as a prisoner by Englishmen, had lived in England and ended up joining the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and taught them how to hunt beaver and grow Indian corn.
In the autumn of 1621, during harvest time, the Pilgrims, who were now American colonists, prepared a feast that lasted three days where they were joined by the Native Americans. We have come to know that day as Thanksgiving Day.
Read more about the Pilgrims departure from England at https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/who-were-pilgrims
These Pilgrims were certainly a brave group of individuals, but I trust that their desire to practice their faith without repercussions inspired them and led them to America.
The freedom to practice one’s faith so long as it does not harm another was worth traveling over threatening seas and uncertain conclusions, and many suffered as they paved the way for us to be able to celebrate this holiday, so let us observe it with overflowing hearts of gratitude for the Pilgrims and Native Americans who participated in making America great.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from us at Foundation of Love!
Giving Thanks Before Thanksgiving Day
I was taught by my mentor that the best way to get through the feeling of lack is to make a gratitude list. One day when I was challenged with the feeling of despair that I would not be able to overcome my financial struggles, I decided to take the counsel of this wise individual and make a gratitude list.
I purchased a pretty journal, turned on some meditation and spa music, and got to work.
Page after page I found myself writing down the many gifts that God had bestowed upon me which included individuals I dearly loved who had passed, others who left my experience for various reasons, family members, pets, friends, good health, and overall experiences including the ones that were not harmonious because those tried, tested, and refined me.
I continued writing down how grateful I was for all the things that I had like a home, furnishings, a bathtub, a shower, food, clothing, hot water, air conditioning, heat, a vehicle, my body, my everlasting relationship with God through Christ, all the healings I had experienced and the many other gifts I had been given over the years. By the time I was finished, my journal was almost halfway full of thanks!
Since that day, I have filled many journals, and still to this day, when despair seems to sway me away from my path, I count my blessings by turning my focus on the abundance I have already.
This practice reminded me of the song “Count Your Blessings,” from the classic movie White Christmas, written by Diana Krall and sung by Bing Crosby.
“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings”
I believe that we have many reasons to be thankful and many people to thank whom may have been overlooked, underappreciated, and forgotten because we became distracted with what we have yet to achieve. There is no need to wait for Thanksgiving Day to express gratitude for all the good in your life or to those individuals whom would love to hear a thank you from you.
In Ephesians 1:16, the apostle Paul wrote, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (ESV).
Before, during, and after Thanksgiving Day, let us be grateful every day for all that we have even as we wait for our heart’s desire to be fulfilled.
Thank you for visiting with us at Foundation of Love!
Happy Thanksgiving, every day!