Thanksgiving with a Different Perspective

Waking up at 4am on Thanksgiving Day wasn’t in the plans this year.  Unfortunately, this is what happens when your body has recently crossed eight time zones. However, the early morning quiet has given me a time to reflect, and I have a new perspective on Thanksgiving this year.

Everything seems beautiful. Our antique dining room table, that will soon be the stage for a gorgeous turkey, reminds me of my Grandma Isabelle, who so eloquently set this table for her family 75 plus years ago. Today we will sit around it again and celebrate our gratitude.

I am grateful for the antique Dessert Rose dishes that will be placed on the table to serve as a resting spot for an immense quantity of food. These dishes were passed down to us from Stephen’s grandmother who left a legacy of faith, and a reputation of fabulous southern cooking. Seeing all these treasures from loved ones, who have moved on to the other side of eternity, puts a big smile on my face.

My Isabel is in charge of decorating the table this year, and she has been working very hard on personalized napkin holders that will also serve as place cards.  I think this one is mine because of the pink suitcase. I don’t really have a pink suitcase, but it might be the distinguishing color so that Steve doesn’t think this is his.

Then there is the food.  My mom and Julia have been busy preparing the very large turkey by brining it, and Grace spent the night with Grandma Sandra so she could get up early today to help bake the pecan and pumpkin pies.

One of the biggest lessons I learn from traveling and being with the poorest of the poor, is gratitude. The poor express gratitude for the simplest of gifts. They take nothing for granted, and see all gifts as a blessing.  The poor are generous. When they do have something, they share it with others.

Last week I was fed goat stew with tripe (intestines). I ate it and told myself that it was amazing, because this was a sacrificial gift that was cooked for us by those who couldn’t afford such a meal.

What happens when you receive a gift you don’t really like?

Living with gratitude means you can find the beauty of the gift regardless of your feelings, because the Giver offered it in love. It means no matter what the circumstance, you can be content in all things and be grateful.

In Burkina Faso, I witnessed a disabled man receive a tricycle/wheelchair (powered by the arms) that will allow him to get off the ground and be mobile. All his life he has hobbled along the ground.  Watching him receive this gift was a beautiful reminder of what gratitude looks like. (see pictures below)

Today, I am so excited and incredibly grateful for the beautiful gifts that God has surrounded me with and it is refreshing to have a new perspective on this amazing holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whenever I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man, I take it
for granted there would be as much generosity if he were a rich man.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

3 Comments on “Thanksgiving with a Different Perspective

  1. Happy Thanksgiving friend.

    Thanks for a beautiful post!

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Sandra Jones Counseling

Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy


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