Thanksgiving came a week later this year. Usually we have Christmas in full swing at the Hendrickson home by the end of November. But, Gary and I purposed in our hearts to make Thanksgiving a priority and center stage in our home this year. So, we decided to push Christmas decorations off for another week and give Thanksgiving the spotlight it deserves as well.
Thanksgiving is a choice. You can choose to find a reason to be thankful even in the most dire circumstances. And, thankfulness changes who you are and what you perceive. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 100:
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before Him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are His.[a]
We are his people, the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and His faithfulness continues to each generation.
This is a popular Psalm. If you have attended church for any number of years, I am sure you have heard or sang songs that incorporated lines from this Psalm. It is a Psalm that beckons us to go before the Lord with Shouts of Joy and Singing with Joy. The Psalmist paints such a great visual image of entering the gates of our God with Thanksgiving and His courts with our Praise. You see, in the Old Testament, the law of our Lord would not allow for “normal” people to enter into the Holy place. Only the Priest were allowed to enter. But, the Psalmist encourages us to go into His gates and His courts, the outside portion of “God’s House.”
Think about this for a moment…if someone came to your home and stood outside in your front yard (your Court) and began to sing with shouts of joy and songs of praise and thanksgiving on your behalf, I am sure it would draw you outside with them. When I read this Psalm, I couldn’t help but think that as the people entered His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, God’s presence came outside to meet with them! God doesn’t need us to worship Him, but it is HIS WILL that we do so. When we are obedient in this act of Worship, He meets us with His Presence. And, it is in His presence where there is fullness.
He is our Maker. His hands fashioned who we are and we continue to be His. Not only are we His sheep, but we are His sheep in His pasture. He continues to provide for us and give us all that we need. He is our Provision, our God of more than enough. His love and His faithfulness never ends.
My 27 Thanks:
1. I can boldly approach the Lord.
2. Thanksgiving and Praise draws the presence of the Lord close to me.
3. In His presence, there is fullness.
4. I am His sheep. I am a sheep of His pasture.
5. His is Loving and Faithful always and forever.
6. My mom woke me up this morning and reminded me to put on the turkey. I am thankful my mom still wakes up before everyone else.
7. Gary ran to the store on the way home from the fire station and picked up a couple of forgotten items.
8. My home is hosting both Gary and my families for Thanksgiving.
9. Everyone is participating in the cooking of the BIG meal, so it isn’t too stressful on any one person.
10. I have a turkey roasting pan. It makes the job of cooking the turkey cleaner and leaves the ovens open for side items.
11. My mom, sis-in-law Madison, and I stood around my kitchen island and cooked together.
12. I love my kitchen. We really broke it in this Thanksgiving. There was plenty of counter space and the Island worked perfectly for serving food.
13. My dad and brother Jake helped Gary finish our fence project.
14. Gary saved us a lot of money by doing the backyard fence himself. I am so glad that I have a handy husband.
15. Gary is very particular about his projects, so I know he did the fence perfectly.
16. Judah has loved having family at his house. My nephew Gatlin and Judah have played so well together.
17. This is the first Thanksgiving in at least 10 years that Gary and I have not traveled to my parents. Usually the boys have to deer hunt, but this year they didn’t. It was a nice change. We all got to spend a lot of time together visiting both before and after the meal. No one wore a single piece of camo!
18. My grandma and Uncle Danny got to come! It was so good to see them too.
19. The food was wonderful and we had more than enough leftover. Every family got to take food home with them.
20. The weather was amazing. I am so glad because all together we have 9 kids under the age of six. It was so good to get them outside.
21. We played games together.
22. We told stories about one another and laughed together.
23. My family and Gary’s family love one another and get along really well. We are truly all one big family.
24. Big Messes=Big Fun. And, everything can be cleaned.
25. Everyone pitched in to clean up both the inside and the outside of our house.
26. I am the Pastor on call this week and have not received any urgent, tragic phone calls. I am so glad all has been well with others too. It is so sad when tragedy happens around a holiday.
27. I have so much to be thankful for…