Thanksgiving week – Day four – my extended family
Psalm 107:1 (ESV) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
As you may have noticed, the last few days I have been posting reasons that I am thankful on this thanksgiving week. On Monday I posted about my daughter, on Tuesday I posted about my wife, yesterday I posted about my faith in Jesus Christ. Today I wish to be thankful for extended family.
Thanksgiving is a time to get round the table and have fun and fellowship with those who you love, in my case what normally happens is that we all converge on a member of my eternal family’s house, (We all live within 20 miles of each other so it is easy to do so) spend several hours together, eat a lot, watch a little football and have fun as a family.
The external family I am speaking of is my wife’s brothers, their families and her mother. This year the shindig is at the Mother in laws house, but we are having some family sickness so we may or may not be there. This is sad to say the least. I am hoping that this is not the case and we are able to do so, but I have a nephew with a low immune system who is very susceptible to getting infections and in his case it would require a visit to the hospital, so you can understand my concern.
I am grateful to them as they have emancipated me into the family with much love and kindness. I am grateful to the LORD for the love and support they provide, especially to my wife.
Getting used to the concept of an extended family
My wife has always did the “big family” thing, my parents, not so much, they did celebrate New Year’s by socializing with other folks and we did visit relations from time to time, but in Scotland we so not celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas was usually done with just my parents (I don’t think I have ever celebrated a Christmas meal with my brother and his family) so it was a bit of a culture change coming over here.
As extended families go, I certainly have been blessed, there are quite the mix of people, different humours, different temperaments, in my case a different culture, but deep down they are good people, we tick each other off sometimes but deep down there is love there. I know that in most instances that I would back them up and they would have my back also.
I have only been a part of that family for a short time, married 9 years to my wife but there are just some things that you do, I have memories of rescuing folks from things that have happened and being rescued myself. I have accounted these times as a blessing to the LORD the times I have been able to help and serve and also the times that we had that I have been served.
As stated before, in my country we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I was asked earlier this week “What do we call Thanksgiving in Scotland?” I answered as best I could so my reply was “Thursday”.
I am of course being flippant, but despite knowing very little about the day itself and why we celebrate it, I am thankful for the ability to come together (whether it is just with my wife and daughter or if it done with the extended family) I will count it as reason to praise him.
Misery lacks company
I hope that if you don’t have a place to go this thanksgiving that someone reaches out to you, my hope is that everyone is surrounded by family and friends and folks that love them. If you know someone who is going to be alone and you have enough to share (let’s face it, many of us have more than enough) then pull an extra seat at your table for that person.
James talks about this in his epistle…
James 1:27 (ESV) Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Get those who have no-one and show them the love of Jesus. Be that example of Christ’s love, which is more powerful to someone who is alone than the best orated and smoothly delivered sermon.
Actions like that back up what you are preaching is also what you are living. This is intentional Christianity, not just meeting a need but bringing Christ front and center in your service.
Be thankful in the small things
Don’t focus on the bickering, the fights or whatever will steal your joy from that day. Focus on the laughing, the sounds of the kids chasing each other and the positive memories. Also be thankful for the LORD, who created the harvest. This is the day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!
This article is a series on being thankful. LORD willing I hope to do one every day this week. Other blogs in this series include:
Day one – My daughter
Day two – My wife
Day three – My faith
God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.