Five more days until we remember and celebrate the first Thanksgiving and how the Lord provided and brought the pilgrims through their first hard winter on the North American continent.
As I think about that first Thanksgiving, I become even more thankful for what I have. I can't imagine the struggle the pilgrims faced when they landed with very little food, no shelter, and about to face a terribly cold and harsh winter - completely unprepared. Yet, God brought them through and they were able to plant crops and receive a wonderful harvest the following fall. And then they offered up a feast in Thanksgiving for what God had done for them.
These are huge things, but things I take for granted. Outside the weather is just above freezing, and it hardly even crosses my mind to give thanks for the beautiful house (with indoor plumbing and heating). I don't even have an idea of what it would be like to go hungry -- something I don't think most Americans can fathom. Even the poorest of Americans don't have to starve -- with food banks, government assistance, churches, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters -- Every American can enjoy enough food to survive (notice I say enough food -- meals don't have to extravagant or large. I think most of us would be surprised by how little we need to consume in order to live.)
So today, I am thankful for grocery stores and restaurants. With these stores even if my garden does not do well, I know I can still have a source for fresh food and all the necessities to feed my family.
I am also thankful for indoor plumbing. I can't imagine having to go out in the cold to use the outhouse or having to empty a chamber pot every morning (especially in my current condition). God truly has blessed our nation by providing these for us so that to an American it is a necessity and not just a privilege.
I am thankful for natural gas and for the intelligence that determined how to pipe this gas into homes in order to heat homes (I think a wood stove or fire place would be fabulous but would also increase insurance costs). I love being able to push a button to make the house warmer when I'm cold. This is one that I am going to have to remember to be thankful for as the winter comes and the drafts start slipping through the house. I can't complain about the drafts because at least we have heat :)
I am also thankful for the invention of the freezer (I'm just jumping from one extreme to the next). Over the course of the past three days I have been able to make and freeze 34 meals. This means at least of month of not having to prep and cook supper! Without the freezer or refrigerator I would not be able to look forward to a small break from cooking after Gabriel's birth.
God has provided so many blessings and comforts to our home and family that I can't even begin to name them. I hope I will always remember to rejoice in the blessings and the little things and not take for granted what God has provided for us.