I like the definition of “thanksgiving” that I found at bing.com. It’s simple and to the point. “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.”
In the United States, Thanksgiving is a holiday when we gather with family and friends to give thanks to God and celebrate our blessings. I remember learning in school that the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving in gratitude for God’s provision for them and invited the local Native Americans to join them. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
When I take time to be thankful for what I have, my complaining and grumpiness take a back seat, and I have a more positive outlook on life. I also believe I’m a nicer person to be around because my focus extends outward.
Psalm 100 is an expression of praise and thanksgiving, and its focus is God.
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Here are some things I’m thankful for:
- God’s love demonstrated to me through the gift of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ
- My immediate and extended family
- Friends, old and new
- Food, a home, clothing
- Interests and hobbies for pleasure
- Continuing health
- A 50-year marriage
- God’s gift of nature
I’m also thankful for my fellow authors who write the books I love to read. Not many novels are set around Thanksgiving, but Christmas is a favorite setting for many. Here are a few recommendations.
A Gift for All Time is a novella collection by Tonya B. Ashley, Ellen E. Withers, and Jenny Carlisle. Each novella is centered around an heirloom nativity set that brings a special blessing and hope to the people and communities where it’s found, in 1845, 1861, and the present.
Chiseled on the Heart is another collection of novellas set during the Christmas season. In this collection, four generations of the Hawkins family find hope and healing through a box of wood carving tools and the message of faith in a family heirloom nativity set. The authors are Elaine Marie Cooper, Cynthia Roemer, Candace West, and Kelly Goshorn.
True Blue Christmas is the fifth book in the True Blue Mysteries series by Susan Page Davis. Christmas is coming. Bill and Campbell McBride and Nick Emerson are making holiday plans while carrying out investigations for their clients. There’s mystery, suspense, danger, and a bit of romance.
From author Heather Stearns Greer comes Reflecting on Christmas Past: 31 Devotions for the Christmas Season. This is a lovely devotional which includes space for your own memories and reflections.
May your hearts be filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving. I know there are some of you who have aching hearts and find it difficult to celebrate. God understands your pain. May you find comfort and peace in Him.