Give Thanks First


This uniquely American holiday reminds us to give thanks. Our way of celebrating primarily brings out the bounty of food we enjoy: family recipes, fall vegetables and fruits, and usually poultry! Our food choices are so abundant that it sometimes overwhelms us. The recent disaster in the Philippines along with my trips to Africa and Jamaica remind me of the scarcity of their choices, but on the other hand, their reliance on the abundance of their land.Fall pumpkins

My Thanksgiving food traditions suddenly became important on my first Thanksgiving with my husbands’s family and friends.The dressing! Most southerners know you have to make dressing out of cornbread, but in Kansas? It’s big chunks of bread cubes. I phoned my mom back in Tennessee to let her know it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving without her dressing and giblet gravy.

Since March of 2012 the habit of giving thanks first has been apart of my life, and this stack of journals documents my daily list — over 5500! The blessing and joy come from the counting – from being totally aware of the small gifts from God as well as the large.

My Journals of Thanks
“This counting blessings, it’s the unlocking of the mystery of joy; joy hiding in gratitude.”                                 Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

The past few months my new journal doesn’t have as many daily entries; I’ve found that chronic pain and the brain fog that sometimes comes with it reduced my list. It’s harder to make that list on days when I just feel crappy, but it’s still important to make the effort.

How else can I appreciate this gift of a knee that bends and pivots whenever my brain sends the signal? 

Have you been counting? Even when you are in the middle of a storm God says, “Give thanks in all things” Give Thanks

I pray that you have found blessings today and have taken time to reflect on them. A wonderful tradition to begin with your own family is making a tree of thanks.See Ann’s blog for pictures.




One thought on “Give Thanks First

  1. Belinda

    So sorry to hear you’re having chronic pain, Martell. Will be praying. On a happier note, I did my “tree of thanks” this year with my grandkids for the second year in a row. It’s such a great tradition that I hope to keep “alive.” Love you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s