1 Timothy 4:4 – For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. (KJV)
Thanksgiving at our household is like opening a gift that keeps on giving. Because we've long had kids in university and/or living and working away, we're never sure exactly who will be with us, or who they'll bring home. Often we have several Thanksgiving meals over two or three days, depending on who can come when.
As with any celebration, there are preparations to make: plan the food; make sure there are enough dishes, cutlery, candles, and other celebratory things; clean the house; prepare the beds and couches; arrange our time around other activities and ferry schedules.
We ask only that before we eat, as we go around the table, each person is to give thanks for at least one thing. Sometimes the words of thanks bring lots of laughter, sometimes a melancholy tear — but always, thanks for what has been and what is now.
This will be the first year in 24 years that we've not had someone in some kind of school, so although there likely won't be any new university students, some of the friends will be the same, so they know to prepare their thanks.
As each one of us prepares to come together for thanksgiving, and as we each think about what one thing we will choose for our thanks — we are reminded of all for which we have to be thankful.
Prayer: May we see even the smallest of mercies, the beauty around us, the gifts of friendship we are given each day as something to include when we prepare our thanks. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.