There is So Much to be Thankful For
One of my favorite months of the year is November—when we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, usually on the fourth Thursday. An annual holiday in the USA, it shapes an important part of our culture and also heralds the beginning of the holiday season, leading to Christmas and then the New Year.
The first Thanksgiving was a harvest festival. Today it is more generally celebrated as a day designated for giving thanks for the many blessings of the passing year. For most gatherings of family and friends, the celebration features a large meal, and what has become a tradition for Americans around the world, a main course of turkey, stuffing, lots of gravy, accompanied by yams or sweet potato and a variety of vegetables, both raw and cooked as determined by geography. Filipinos are likely to add lechon (roasted suckling pig) and favorite desserts (suman, bibingka, tupig, halohalo). And for some of us, pumpkin or sweet potato pie is a must.
These past two and a half years have been extremely challenging and difficult for so many due to the pandemic, high inflation and political unrest here and everywhere. In spite of everything, there is still so much more for us to be thankful for. For instance, recent reports indicate there are approximately 50 million or more US residents expected to be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest ever!
For me, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and express our deepest gratitude for having a wonderful family, a roof over our heads, food on the table, a safe place to live, a community that cares for its neighbors, good health, jobs, clean air to breathe, wonderful friends and the list goes on. Also, I appreciate the delicious aromas that the day brings to the house and neighborhood—that fusion of smells of lechon, suman and pie baking in the oven. Do you smell the sweet aromas?
What are you thankful for this year? When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the wonderful things God has blessed our family with throughout the year. Of special note, this year is particularly blessed for our ‘ohana, as we welcomed our newest (fourth) grandchild. After years of praying for one of our daughters, God answered our prayers with a healthy baby boy. He is a reminder of the sovereignty and power of our Almighty God. You see, when we pray and bring our petitions directly to the One who grants the desires of your heart, He listens, acts and responds according to His perfect will. This is further confirmed in Philippians, 4:19 “God will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which He has given to us in Christ Jesus.”
So this Thanksgiving Day, let us take time to remember what Thanksgiving all is about. May you all have a safe and blessed holiday with your family and friends. May we all be encouraged to extend a hand to those who are less fortunate, so that they, too, can experience the amazing love of God.