Whether traveling, hosting, driving across town to the folks’, or volunteering at a Thanksgiving outreach, most of the women I know have extra responsibilities this week that they do not have every other week of the year.
Some will glide through them.
Others will trek step after step uphill not really sure if they can reach the top and see what is beyond this week’s to-do list. Several years ago on the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving, Mr. John Richard read from God’s word in our devotional before Sunday School. He reads God’s word well and I love to hear him pray. His words are wise, calming, and never hurried. It’s like he reads Ephesians 4:29 and takes it to heart:
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,
but only such a word as is good for edification
according to the need of the moment,
so that it will give grace to those who hear.
On that Sunday morning, his passage was from 1 Peter. For the first time, I was struck by how much those words are exactly what we women need to hear in order to live the week of Thanksgiving well. Imagine Thanksgiving gatherings with your children, your husband, your parents, your Aunt Susie, and everyone else.
Read slowly through this passage from 1 Peter 4:8-11. As you do, imagine the gatherings you anticipate this week and imagine yourself following these teachings:
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;
whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving
by the strength which God supplies; . . .
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:8-11
That sounds like a Thanksgiving to-do list to me.
- Fervently love my husband, children, parents, siblings, and every relative I see (and don’t see) this week, while being thankful they are in my life.
- Make my guests feel that I am thrilled they are here (or if I am a guest, make my hostess feel that I am thrilled to be there).
- Use my special gifts to serve wherever I am this week.
- Speak as if I am saying God’s words.
- Serve by the strength God supplies.
And while you are doing this, go ahead and treat Thanksgiving as part of your children’s education instead of a time-gulping interruption.
Devote yourselves to prayer,
keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.