Thanksgiving Tidings on Throwback Thursday

By Kristen Johnson

The “first Thanksgiving” was celebrated in 1621, when the the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a celebration feast. President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in the midst of the Civil War in 1863. A lot of the religious traditions have been lost over time, but the tradition of spending time with family and friends over a meal, volunteering, watching parades, etc. remain. (

Although every day should be a day of gratitude, discussions about “what I’m thankful for” have always been common at any and all Thanksgiving celebrations I have attended. I read somewhere recently that it isn’t appropriate to be thankful for “things” (big house, fancy car) but rather God would call us to be thankful for intangible, but important things (like health and family). I wish I had bookmarked that article, because it really spoke to me. I hope you will share some of the things you are thankful for in the comments section, as I share my simple list here.

On Thanksgiving 2016, I am most thankful for:

  1. My husband of (nearly!) 20 years who is kind, generous, and wickedly funny.
  2. My parents, in-laws, and great Aunt Dorothy who is 98 years young and a national treasure.
  3. The friends and family members who have been special mentors for me over my lifetime, particularly the older and wiser female friends who have guided me along with wise counsel.
  4. My Church congregation who loves and grows with me.
  5. Our three dogs (and our 2 dogs in heaven) who show us what unconditional love is, as well as the horse-friends I’ve known and loved this past year as I’ve been slowly learning to ride horses.
  6. My physical ability to exercise everyday.
  7. The creator of “Tofurky” who has enabled my family to have a compassionate Thanksgiving feast.
  8. Knitting needles and yarn.
  9. Good books to read.
  10. God’s call to serve the community.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NRSV): 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. today or not, I’d love to hear what you are grateful for today. 🙂

Serve all with love.

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