Faith, Food, and Family

 

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with lots of food, lots of family, and lots of time for relaxation. This year I even had the awesome opportunity to have my good friend, Julia, spend Thanksgiving with my family and I. I don’t know about you, but that all sounds pretty great to me, and it was! The saying “you learn something new every day,” is actually quite accurate. Something that I did not know was that Thanksgiving, as a holiday recognized by the state, was actually a very religious holiday that our nation founded. George Washington recognized and practiced days of fasting and thanksgiving, which then led him to issue the first presidential thanksgiving proclamation on October 3, 1789. The history behind Thanksgiving is intriguing! You can read more about it at https://christianheritagefellowship.com/the-first-thanksgiving-presidential-proclamation/ .

Going into the scripture, we find that giving thanks should be an everyday occurrence, not just something to be set aside for the fourth Thursday of every November. 2 Corinthians 4:15 reads:

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Even as we go about the holidays spending time with those that we are close to, it is important to remember that our biggest blessing is our salvation that has been granted to us for Christ dying on the cross. My family, as I am sure many other families do, often go around the table and discuss what we are thankful for each year. Typical answers include family, friends, good health, and so on; however, sometimes we forget to point out one of the biggest blessings of all, and that is our heavenly Father’s love for all of us. I don’t know any verses that sum it up much better than Psalm 107:8-9 which say,

Let them (all of us, Christ’s children) thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Even though I am always craving a good meal, especially the feast my family always has for Thanksgiving, I need to take a step back more often and let myself hunger and thirst for more of the Lord, for he will always fill me up. It’s easy to complain or have a bad attitude, especially for me, it’s something I struggle with all the time, but when it comes down to it, I need to focus more on being filled up by Christ than by my worldly desires.

While I was at home, I had the opportunity to go watching my cousin’s first varsity basketball game! Baylee is only a freshman, but she never ceases to amaze me at how she is not only extremely talented (she broke the school record for cross country, as a freshman…), but she is also extremely humble (she would never have told you about breaking the school record or about being a starter for the girl’s basketball team as a freshman).

Unfortunately, Baylee’s basketball game did not go as well as anyone had hoped, and they ended up having a big loss to their rival team, but Baylee was still smiling after the game. She is able to see that her team is young and inexperienced, that they have lots of room to grow and improve, and that this game does not have to define her team. Baylee looks forward to the season, which is hard for outsiders to comprehend because they just see a team of mostly freshmen girls who probably will not have a winning season, yet she is excited. This is as an opportunity for Baylee, whether she realizes it or not, to be a positive influence on her teammates, her coaches, and all of her competitors!

Baylee is growing in her faith, and Matthew 18:3-4 are great verses to encapsulate Baylee’s attitude, whether she knows it or not. These verses say “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” My prayer for Bay is that she is able to meditate on these and other verses so that she can be strengthened to play this basketball season not for herself, but for the glory of God, that she might build up those around her in encouragement so that they will see Him through her.

Even though Thanksgiving break went way to fast, I am thankful that I was blessed to be able to go home and fellowship with family and friends for a short time. This short break was enough time to catch up on some sleep and eat some really good food (which is definitely lacking back at school) while also spending time with the fam. I cannot wait for Christmas break! Only 26 more days until my last exam of my first semester of college is done (not that anyone is counting…)! May the Lord give all of us strength to make it through the next few weeks.

I write these words with love to all who read them, but always remember that God loves you so much more than myself or any other human possibly could!

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My cousin, Baylee, and I after her basketball game. I love her big heart and huge amount of passion!
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Zander (aka Z-man) is getting so big! He will be saying “Go Army” in no time!
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Julia, a good friend of mine from school, joined my family and I for Thanksgiving this year.

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