Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving keepsakes

1:41 p.m. Today's project was to make up keepsake cards for our family's Thanksgiving dinner. Each year the Lord gives me an idea to bless our immediate and extended family, focusing on Him and His goodness, thanking Jesus for His working in our lives. Whether some of us might be reeling from devastating circumstances, or celebrating joyous news, we thank Him--NOW.
This year's inspiration came from a box of photo keepsake cards I received as a gift at my school's retirement recognition in June. The large cards have a space to slip a 4x6" picture into. I combed through boxes of old and not-so-old photos to find a memorable one for each of my kids, their spouses, my dad, sister, niece and nephews. Most all have rsvp'ed; any who didn't can receive one in the mail later.
In this digital age, when we store our images on the computer, I was grateful that I've long been a shutterbug, and have thousands of pictures to select from. I chose random, sometimes silly, but spontaneous shots, like Kriss' then-fiancee Marisela watching him dig into his serving of French toast on Christmas morning, or a gathering at Marie Callendar's restaurant in Redlands for my dad's 80th birthday.
I wrote in gold ink under each name, "Describe this memory. What are you thankful for?" Simple, but conversation-provoking, possibly funny, knowing that any given memory could trigger a wistful thought, if not an outright sad one. But we will be inspired, no matter how our emotions run. After all, a great Thanksgiving feast this year will undoubtedly make me wonder what the event will be like next year for Steve and me. "Don't borrow trouble, " the old saying goes! And in Matthew 6:34 Jesus Himself said, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Kruckenbergs, Gray, Abbotts, Roelofsz', Loves and significant others will be together at our old oak table; that's what matters--NOW!
This has been a difficult, disappointing year for many of my friends at church, some of whom have lost loved ones, some of whom have been abandoned by their spouse, or had their home foreclosed upon. The devil wants us to have a black cloud over our heads here in my house too--but not so! I know whom I have believed, and He is able to keep me until the day either He returns for me, or I go home to be in His presence! ( from II Timothy 1:12)
This year has also been one of wondrous events, magnificent harbingers of hope! Several weddings have taken place recently in our circle; Steve and I have been blessed by two weddings in little over a year ourselves! Many new babies have been born to couples who see no need to fear the future, and two new great-nieces are on the way! The hopeless don't start new homes or bring new life into the world! These young people are saying, "I know whom I have believed!" (Even if they don't realize it!) AMEN to that!
Habakkuk 3:17-18 says, so poetically,
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls--
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

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