By Tricia Goyer
What are you thankful for? What has God blessed you with? Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, and the best way to do that is to serve others.
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving,” says W.T. Purkiser. And, as a mother of six children I found this to be true.
Like most families, Thanksgiving was always a time for us to gather with those we were related to. Then, when we moved to Little Rock, we discovered our church (www.mosaicchurch.net) hosted a community meal. Our family signed up to serve, but I was worried. Would the serving take away the joy in our day? Would it wear us out so we wouldn’t enjoy the holiday together?
Just the opposite!
1,000 people were served that Thanksgiving day at our inner-city church. Our family hosted a kids’ carnival during the event. We had games, face painting and prizes. Hundreds of kids participated.
As we left the church that day, our two teens were glowing as we piled into the mini van. “That was the best Thanksgiving ever!” my daughter exclaimed. She was energized by her service.
“Can we do it next year?” her younger brother added. A smile filled his face.
I was energized myself, and it was the best Thanksgiving ever. This was before we had our Thanksgiving celebration. We were headed home for turkey and all the fixings, but that didn’t matter. According to my kids, serving on Thanksgiving made it the best yet!
Would you like to dish up some Thanksgiving service?
Here are six ideas to do just that:
1. Make holiday baskets. Think of young moms or singles who don’t have the money to buy the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal. Or contact your local Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org/) to ask about any local programs.
2. Open your home. Think of guests who do not have family in the area and would otherwise be alone. Invite them over!
3. Volunteer in a soup kitchen. Call around to local shelters. (Thanksgiving might be full, so consider volunteering in the weeks before or after!)
4. Deliver cooked meals to families in need. Ask your local church or community organization if they know a family who would be blessed by a Thanksgiving meal. And while you’re there, take time to talk with the family. Mother Teresa once said, “Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them.” Make talking to those in need fashionable!
5. Visit a nursing home. Take “thank you” cards to residents and spend time asking about their lives. Take along treats, too.
6. Volunteer to help people in your own family. Usually mom or grandma does all the work. Help your kids make lists of ways to help family members, and assign tasks!
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, but with a little planning it can also be a time to show our true measure of thankfulness by giving to others.
How about you? How to does your family give during Thanksgiving?
Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia’s written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her newest release Remembering You and Chasing Mona Lisa. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia atTriciaGoyer.com
Used by permission. Originally published at http://hedua.com/blog/dishing-thanksgiving/
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