Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thanksgiving Contentment

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. Every Thanksgiving I turn my usual daily prayers into praises. The perspective provided by this practice is great. Then there's family. Usually my mom's side of the family gathers for a feast and we do crazy things like watching parades on TV, playing poker for pretzels, and listening to my mom and her four sisters reminisce.

I love the colors of Thanksgiving, and the memory of American history. Turkey is a really good dish, and football is my favorite sport to watch. Am I born for Thanksgiving or what? We rake, and color of leaves to make pretty patterns. Light candles, pull out the throws. The season is warming up for Christmas.

Contentment goes way down in the fall. I'm about to have another birthday. The holidays are family time. Family I haven't seen in a while checks up on the progress of my life. What do you say? What do they want to hear? What do they need to hear? Carolyn McCulley addresses this very issue, nay, problem in her blog. Read it.

Some day I'm going to invite or drag my fiance/husband to this wonderful ritual of family life. That image is probably the source of my discontent. I can't wait to introduce him to everyone. Instead, I have to pray that his Thanksgiving is thankful, and less lonely than mine feels.

Why is that? Why can't I take Jim Elliot's advice: "Wherever you are, be all there"? In Carolyn's blog, the answer is pride. I'm tempted to believe that. Self-pity, believing I deserve something more than the incredible grace God has given me - is pride. The solution, in my experience, is to fill myself with God. Read lots of Scripture and spend dedicated time in prayer, just pouring my heart to Him about all the dreams, the concerns, the struggles, and the praises.

Back to praises. Giving thanks. What do people do who have no one to thank? This past month I read Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias. In it, he writes that an integral part of wonder is gratitude. Feeling gratitude causes generosity. The whole experience is wonder-ful. I want a life of wonder, of delight, and of adventure. So this year, I'm going to be intentional about gratitude and generosity and seeing that others are blessed.

What about you?

To God be all glory.

7 comments:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Oh, don't feel lonely! That's why there are family get togethers! You'll be married on God's time! Don't worry about it! You read the Jennie Chancey thing I posted. One day, he'll be thrust under your nose, right on time. Don't worry about it.

(Oh, and Zacharias. Was it good? I'm wondering because he's the senior editor of my Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin, btw great book.)

On another note, I find Rebecca St. James's song "Wait For Me" very comforting. Check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/Transform-Rebecca-St-James/dp/B00004ZDMO/ref=cm_lm_fullview_prod_6/002-8853810-4338442

Hope that helps.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

It looks like I lost a big fat post. So, here's what I basically said;

Please don't feel lonely! Why should you? Thanksgiving's all about family, and being together. Forget those people that say you need to be married now. My sister has yet to wed. Remember, you're on God's time, and that's the best way to go. One day, God will thrust him up under your nose! Remember that Jennie Chancey article I posted? She didn't even get it!

On another note, this song, "Wait For Me" encourages me a lot. She wears pants so I don't agree with everything she believes, but she has one of those attractive, Aussie voices, and wrote this song just for Christian courtship.

http://www.amazon.com/Transform-Rebecca-St-James/dp/B00004ZDMO/ref=cm_lm_fullview_prod_6/002-8853810-4338442

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Dr. Paleo,
There is comment moderation on this blog. I was still deciding whether to post your comment or not. I'll post your initial comment, too. Thanks for the encouragement.

Girls might not like the reference to their husband being "thrust under their nose." It's not, um, romantic. Thus the phrases "cross your path," "sweep you off your feet," etc. = )

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

MAC said...

Heya'll,

I read these posts, and I had to comment.

Kudos on the whole Aussie thing, Paleo. Echo that. She's got one doosie of a voice for sure. Wearing pants, though? hmmm... I guess we've all got our own convictions. Anyway, Keep on thinking, smiling, askng questions, and seeking God for the answers.

Thanks, Lisa, for the grand post. I love the picture you give of our family get togethers. Brings back memories. Poker for pretzels, hmmm, is that moral?
I'd say so; it's Christian fellowship, right? And after all, who cares about pretzels, anyway?

Well, well, well, waiting is the thing, I guess. I keep asking the question, "What is patience?" and I have an answer here and there, but none of them ever seem to put my mind entirely at ease on the subject. I still don't know what patience really is. "Love is patient" I know that. So yes, when waitng for your friend to come to Thanksgiving with you, patience is needed, whatever it may be. One thing is for certain, waiting, either patiently or impatiently, is inevitable.

What is patience?

And, Paleo, I like what you say, but I agree with Lisa here, and from a guy's perspective too, I wouldn't really find it all too flattering to be "thrust under" my future bride's nose. Your meaning, however, was understandable. Please know I enjoyed your comments, Paleo,

And Lisa, thanks again for the warm memories brought back by your post and for the hopes of many future memories made, with new "friends".

Sincerely, and In Christ, With Smiles,

-MAC =)

"Fear God and keep His commands; for this is man's all."

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Oh, I'm sorry...that wasn't romantic enough? Let's try this:

One day your prince will come, decked in shining armor, on a white horse and riding to your rescue.

There! Is that better?

Now I hope my first comment wasn't offensive in any way. Did I say something that made you hesitate to post it? If I ever do, please don't think I will be offended by you deleting them. I am very, very sorry about that, okay?

Spencer

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Dr. Paleo's comments weren't offensive. I was just hesitant to publish the whole post in the first place. No worries.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Okay, thank you. You can call me Spencer too, you know...only if you like. It's your preference!

And btw I forgot, thanks Mac. If you ever want to post on my blog, feel free to.