Do you remember the traditional story of the first Thanksgiving?
Is it still taught to children in elementary school classrooms across the country?
Maybe it’s tucked so deep beneath the Halloween decorations and the Christmas preparation that the details are dim and no longer inspiring. Can you even find a picture of pilgrims kneeling on dirt, praying to God with Native Americans standing in the background? I have panic attacks thinking about how much of our heritage I’ve set aside or forgotten to keep alive for my family.
At least we can bring out those cleverly painted wooden plaques we buy at Home Goods and Target with italicized words like THANKFUL, and BLESSED, or WELCOME HOME! to remind us to reflect on virtues we often neglect in the normal course of a year.
This year as we mention names we remember around the Thanksgiving table, let’s attach a specific memory to those names. We can keep people from fading into dusty scrapbooks and storage bins in our family histories.
“I’m thankful for our friend, Clint Kelly, who recently achieved his eternal reward. Clint loved well and well-loved. He served NCWA faithfully and tirelessly for thirty years. He leaves us a legacy to carry forward through the next generation.”
“I’m thankful for the Godly heritage of our country’s founders, who wisely and prayerfully drafted documents delineating freedoms and rights for citizens not found nor protected in other societies. The words THANKFUL and BLESSED merely scratch the surface on this topic.”
“I’m thankful for each member of NCWA, who moves the ball of The Greatest Story Ever Told, down the field another few yards each year. For the leaders who have served for decades, and for those who are bravely suiting up for the first time this year, set on the offensive line, creating new game plans, to help the whole team win.”
Whether you celebrate with paper turkeys on your door or pilgrim candles on your table, you’re an important piece of our unique national day of Thanksgiving.
How will you use your time, your words, and your influence to encourage others to remember what it means to be truly thankful?
Write it all down. It might make a great book!
If you’re a writer or a reader in the Seattle area, please join us for the December monthly meeting.
Jill Esau is the President of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and oversees the annual writers conference the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal. The conference this year is May 15-16, 2020, featuring Mary DeMuth. Esau is the author of Start and Grow Your Faith-Based Nonprofit.