Thanksgiving has been over for awhile, as well as the eating of leftovers. When I think of leftovers, I think of food – turkey sandwiches made on rolls with turkey, stuffing, lettuce, tomato and cranberry sauce and other leftovers; turkey soup and turkey casserole. There are so many things that can be made with leftover turkey and all its fixings. There are side dishes, such as candied yams, roasted carrots, green bean casserole and mac ‘n cheese to name a few. And don’t forget all the pies – pumpkin [my favorite Thanksgiving pie], apple, sweet potato, banana cream, coconut custard, chocolate cream, and list goes on. All this delicious Thanksgiving food can be eaten more than once, twice, and even three or four times. But, eventually, Thanksgiving leftovers can become too much of a good thing. After several days of consuming these leftovers, all I want is a nice Porter House steak [and a piece of pumpkin pie, if there’s any left].
Besides food, there are other kinds of Thanksgiving leftovers that will never get finished. Sometime during the Thanksgiving meal, some families go around the Thanksgiving table to share what each one is thankful for. Hopefully, this “tradition” of giving thanks awakens the appetite of giving thanks for all the blessings each has received throughout the year. Giving thanks and having an “attitude of gratitude” may be verbalized on Thanksgiving Day, but that’s only the beginning. Having thankful hearts is what we need to cultivate everyday of the year. I want to be thankful for the people in my life, the food on my table, a comfortable place to live and all the blessings of the past and present, which helps me have hope for the future.
Being thankful is not always easy, especially when loved ones are hurting with health issues or all sorts of struggles of everyday life. Being thankful is not easy when I encounter struggles of my own. Being thankful requires hard work. It’s so much easier to be overwhelmed with our struggles than to have an “attitude of gratitude” and thanks. There are times when being thankful is almost impossible to do on my own. I need help from the Lord and from the people who care about me.
This Thanksgiving and each day after, I have been giving thanks for the people who have touched my life, past and present, and played a special part in helping me to grow during my struggles. I have a feeling this new “tradition” or way of life will never end because there will always be leftovers of people to be thankful for in the days to come. When I think of others and thank the Lord for them, this gives me a break from only thinking about me, and my struggles do not seem so overwhelming. Do you have any Giving Thanks leftovers?
“I thank God in all my remembrance of you…” [Philippians 1:3a]
P.S. This blog post may seem a bit late, because at the time of this writing we are in the middle of the Advent Season. I’ll blame it on the tryptophan. Let’s see; what to have for Christmas dinner? Turkey!