Dressing up for Thanksgiving | Faithful Living

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and once again I’ve created a binder that holds this year’s collection of recipe and decorating ideas. I have also begun to confer with those who will join us. The idea is to identify those “must have” dishes so eating will be a truly enjoyable experience for everyone.

  • Sunday, November 13, 2011 8:44am
  • News

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and once again I’ve created a binder that holds this year’s collection of recipe and decorating ideas. I have also begun to confer with those who will join us. The idea is to identify those “must have” dishes so eating will be a truly enjoyable experience for everyone. I enjoy making the dressing most of all. That’s because it involves lots of chopping and combining. It’s a feast for the eyes and the nose. I get up early, put on a beautiful apron lovingly sewn by my friend Pauline, and set out all of the ingredients. Then I dive in, almost literally. I’ve discovered over the years that a large bowl of cornbread dressing with all the additions is best combined with thoroughly washed hands. I take great pride in preparing delicious food and thoroughly enjoy planning the meal, but I also challenge myself to keep looking at the bigger purpose: and that is developing a heart filled with true gratitude. Whether I’m creating shopping lists or making my way down grocery aisles, I’m mentally rifling through the events in 2011 to identify those people and experiences that fill me with gratitude. Some experiences, while seemingly sad and stressful at first, appear very differently when gratitude leads the way. This year I’m recalling the day we took a friend and his wife fishing. Battling cancer at the time, it was all he could do to set up his chair and get his hook in the water. But what a day it was. The sun warmed our backs, the breeze stirred the trees. We told stories of past fishing adventures. We enjoyed a picnic lunch. And we caught so many fish there was fresh trout for everyone that night. It was to be our last outing. But a heart filled with gratitude cheers at the memory of a day filled with friendship and love, enjoyed in the natural beauty that surrounds us. To give everyone the chance to express their own gratitude this year, I have traced autumn leaves from various pieces of colored paper. I will provide pens and each person who would like to participate can write his/her own sentiments on these leaves before pinning them inside a frame. Writer William A. Ward once quipped, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you!’?” It’s a question I’m asking myself each day as Thanksgiving nears and I ask you as well. As you look back on 2011, what experiences have filled you with gratitude? How might you demonstrate your gratitude? Who have you thanked?

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