Happy Thanksgiving! Proverbs 15:15 says that a “happy heart is like a continual feast.”  May your heart be filled with joy as you pass the pumpkin bread and all your family favorites this Thanksgiving.

Whether you gather with your own family, or you’ve created a “family” with the people in your neighborhood or from your church group, there’s nothing quite as delightful as sharing a bountiful meal and sweet memories of days gone by. Of course, it’s also fun to tap into the blessings you’ve received all through the year. Perhaps Thanksgiving is the only time we gather with people we love and share stories of why we are thankful for each person around the table. We count our blessings, knowing we’ve overcome some challenges, grown a bit, and flourished in new ways.

This year, I’m pleased to gather with two of my sisters and their spouses. We’ll create our favorite dishes, hoping to make an apple pie that lives up to what our mom used to make. We’ll mash the potatoes until there’s not a lump in sight and then we’ll apply copious amounts of gravy when the time is right. We’ll make sauces and toppings and extra whipped cream because nobody said Thanksgiving should come with a diet plan.

We’ll have warm conversation, with crazy family stories, special memories, and genuine gratitude that we’re still all able to get together. We’ll remember the last Thanksgiving we had with our parents, never knowing it would be the last one we’d ever share with them. We’ll remember gatherings from years gone by with aunts and uncles and cousins that were always warm and delightful. I suspect we’ll also recall, that despite some difficult times, when we barely got by on noodles and tomatoes, we never missed a Thanksgiving gathering as we were growing up. It’s there that we laughed a lot, danced a little and ate our favorite family recipes.  

Wherever you gather this Thanksgiving, and whatever your traditions may be, may you join with all those families across America who are gathering with hearts of gratitude to share their own recipes for love and give God the glory.

Maybe it’s time for just one more piece of pumpkin pie!