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How To Respond To Thankless Thanksgiving Dinners!

Your heart’s desire is for a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

where you go around the table several times

with various ways of thanking God.

The fellowship is sweet, rich, laced with laughter,

and glorifying to God.


But that may not happen.

You may be at a home where

the host is hostile to Christianity,

or uncomfortable with the idea of sharing,

or simply hasn’t thought beyond giving grace.

There is a time to speak and a time to be silent.

If there is hostility toward Christianity, you will likely be seen like this:


And instead of drawing them to Christ, it may actually be a stumbling block.

On the other hand, if there an openness, a little encouragement from you might be what God is calling you to do, for it might be truly thought-provoking to some there.

There isn’t a cookie cutter solution, but I’m eager to hear your thoughts and to share a few of my own.

Here are three ideas, and then I’d love you to share too!

And, because this is a group that loves to give thanks, each day this week

you’ll be given a question to help you remember His mercies.

Here are three scenarios I can imagine — though there are many more.

1. Hostility toward Christians — possibly not even a sit-down meal, but just sitting in front of the game with a plate.

In this situation, I wouldn’t even suggest giving thanks. You main goal is always to win them to Christ, not to have things the way you’d like. You can give thanks silently, in your closet, and as you interact with each person. Silently pray for each person you encounter, and find ways to give them love. You might even tell them something you are thankful for about them. For example, “Uncle Tom, I want you to know i’m so thankful for your smile — it just brings cheer to me every time I see you.” 

2. Not hostile, but uncomfortable with the idea of giving thanks or having to share.

Probably, I’d do the same as above — but if you sense any sort of openness from the host, you might ask if you could have a time of going around and saying something they have been thankful for this year that they couldn’t have been last year, giving freedom to pass. Here, you might prepare notes to give to people individually and quietly, telling each why you are thankful for that person.

3. A Christian home — but not likely to do more than a simple prayer.

If you know the host well, you might ask ahead of time if you could bring some fun questions for them to draw out of a basket to both get to know each other, and to think of things they might be thankful for. If they don’t like the question they draw, they can draw another without explanation! (This happened for me last year at a friend’s and she had enough questions for everyone answer several times. It was great.) But if she doesn’t like the idea — just gracefully back off. But if she does, here are some possible questions to throw in the basket:

  • What was a movie you saw and liked this year and why?
  • Share a fun family memory from a Thanksgiving or Christmas past.
  • What are you thankful for this year you couldn’t have been last year?
  • What was hard this year, but God helped you through it?
  • What is something a child said that made you smile?
  • Did you get to see the solar eclipse? If so, how did it make you feel?
  • Is there a way God helped you to grow?
  • Share a time where you sensed God was mindful of you.
  • Share a reason you are thankful for the person on your right.



1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?

2. What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering?


3. Share your last experience of sweet Christian fellowship.

4. To what does the psalmist compare brethren who are in unity? (Psalm 133) Comment.


5. Share the last time you responded to the Lord’s warning or conviction, and why, now, looking back, you are glad you did.

6. To what does David compare keeping silent and then confessing? (Psalm 32)


7. When is the last time a child made you laugh? What did they do?

8. What does Proverbs 17:22 tell us?

Thanksgiving Day

9. Be alert to how you see God on the move today and then come back and share!


10. What do you grieve for what might have been, but how can you be grateful for what is?


11. Looking back on this year, what are you grateful for that you couldn’t have been grateful for last year?


Tomorrow: Advent Begins!






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  1. 1.  What stood out? All the wonderful questions as possible conversation boosters! I love, love, love to have people in, but I am lousy at keeping the conversation moving. It is an area I really should work at.


    2.  This year there will be 14 at our house, basically all family, all believers. I am blessed that it will be mostly relaxed and easy. Probably the best way to enhance it is to first of all relax more in the hosting rose, and then use one or two questions during the meal. It could be tricky because we’ll be at two tables. We will do the three times around the group sharing thankfulness after the meal.

  2. We will be prepping and serving a meal for those in the community where our church is located, who have no where else to go.

    In fact, that’s where we’ll eat our Thanksgiving dinner this year.  As it turns out…..we would be alone otherwise ourselves.  None of our kids will be home this year….but our youngest and her boyfriend will help with the community dinner (also so they can spend some time with us) before going to his family’s gathering.

    It’s going to be a different holiday!  But I’m okay with it.  I’ve been ‘safe guarding my expectations’ so I want to just enjoy the day come what may.  We’ll also be with our youngest some throughout the weekend and that’ll be nice.

    I was just remembering a year or two ago, when I thought in advance about a question I’d pose for dinner conversation, with my own kids…..and as soon as I said I had a ‘conversation starter-question’, one of my adult kids groaned.  (because I think it was assumed it would be ‘too spiritual’) but when I asked the question, everyone really enjoyed sharing their answers!   I was very intentional about it, based on the encouragement here on the blog.  I share this to say that it’s not even a given that within one’s own immediate family,  the directed conversation will happen….but it’s a bonus when it does!  Smile.  🙂


  3. Love the Norman Rockwell pictures…they say it all! My hope & dream would be to have the warm & cozy experience where everyone gives thanks, but as Wanda said…”I’m guarding my expectations” & will pray to be able to enjoy the gathering “come what may”. It will be very different all meeting at a restaurant in Baltimore. I think it will be the first time that the whole family will have got together for at least a year, so very special! I will probably propose a toast & say how thankful I am that we can all be together! Then I pray that I can just relax & enjoy them, & that the Lord will be there with us & give His Peace & joy.

    Dee, all the ideas sound great, but it seems that whenever I try & do anything intentional like that in my family; there is resistance. My husband rebels against any “agenda”. The kids have picked up on that, but they know my heart. So….I will be thankful but try & just love & listen & pray for wisdom. I want it to be a happy memory & a blessing!  🙂

    1. Jenny, I can relate to your story and I LOVE your sweet heart to be thankful and love, listen and pray for wisdom-so good.


      SO i confess-this was back in the 1990’s and in my immature (and unloving) zeal I asked my sister in law that we change this year and celebrate the resurrection instead of having another secular Easter-that it was only a handful of her relatives and they shouldn’t determine what we do. OH MY.  🙂

  4. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why? 

    I have asked the question what are you thankful for and get mostly “ughs.” It is sad. Within my immediate family is not so bad, but my husband’s family is not so touchy feely and I get “deer in the headlight” stares! They are the kind that thinks,”Of course we are thankful for something, why do we have to talk about it?” I like the general questions you ask that really don’t have any specific Christian meaning (again sad). I have a book about Thanksgiving by Barbara Rainey that I might try to read to the kids this year. Maybe others will listen as well.

    2. What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering?

    We don’t have family close to us in New Hampshire, so it will be my immediate family minus my wayward daughter and our oldest who lives in Texas. Our youngest will be home today from his year long European schooling “vacation!” Thank You Jesus for keeping him safe this year! I am soooo thankful for that! One more plane flight this morning from Pittsburgh to Boston and then he will be with us! Please pray for the last flight if you think of it…I have waiting a long time to have him back here safe and sound. Of course we will have the babies too. I might blend up turkey and gravy for baby Grace; she is getting sick of formula, I think.


    I wanted to change up Thanksgiving this year, because the idea of cooking all day didn’t really appeal to me. I have realized that I always tried to meet my mothers wonderful standards and I am just not that good 😔. I decided my family is going to run/walk a local Turkey trot in the morning (and of course I have been sick all weekend) and then each of us will need to cook a part of the dinner. That way, maybe I won’t have to do most of it (my husband always does the turkey, but oh all those side dishes and pies…) I had even thought of going out or ordering catered dishes, but it seemed sac-religious really.

  5. Oh yeah, my husband and I have agreed on a code phrase “Pass the peas…” we don’t have peas for this dinner lol! when the conversation leans to politics, of which he and I are passionate, and believe our children are being led astray from the freedom of our republic toward a more socialist, government centered stance 😔. They are immature in this respect; not really understanding what that actually means for them. We definitely want a peaceful dinner though, so we are (hoping) to avert any negative conversation as they are passionate as well.

  6. 3. Share your last experience of sweet Christian fellowship.

    This, for me, would have to be the church service I went to yesterday. We had many people baptized and it was such a blessing to me. I love the baptism ceremony; it is my favorite of the church. I cried the entire time. Not sure why, but it was so sweet to me.

    4. To what does the psalmist compare brethren who are in unity? (Psalm 133) Comment.

    It is “good and pleasant.” He compares it to oil running down the head and robe of Aaron and like the dew of Hermon on Mt. Zion where God blesses eternal life.


    I suppose oil makes our skin soft, so by unifying we soften the atmosphere.  By being this way we are blessed by God.


    I have decided to be the unifier this Thanksgiving by doing what Dee suggested and telling each person why I am thankful for something about them. I think I will do it individually throughout the day.

  7. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?

    “Your main goal is always to win them to Christ, not to have things the way you’d like.”
    I tried a year or two ago to have us all sit down at the same time, we grew up w/o a kitchen table and as adults Thanksgiving has always been at my house with at least 3 times as many people as we have seats at out table. We aren’t accustomed to sitting down together and it makes me sad. My efforts flopped. I also tried to have everyone say what they were thankful for, you would have thought I was asking them to get an injection or have a tooth pulled. It was super uncomfortable, I felt foolish and disappointed.

  8. 2. What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering?

    I won’t get home from work until like 8pm on Wednesday so I invited family to come on Saturday. I haven’t done a big family gathering in a while. When our parents were alive I always did. Today is the anniversary of my brothers death, my sister Marsha is gone too. There is much pain in the loss of people in my life at the holidays.

    I wasn’t planning to cook big on Thursday but Bill has a friend whose wife left him and their young children this year, we have invited him to come over on Thanksgiving, so I will cook turkeys twice this week.

    I feel a little timid about what I can do to enhance the gatherings, I will pray and, I hope, be open to inspiration.

    1. Chris, I wish you lived close!!!

      1. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
        I thought about your comment all day yesterday Rebecca 🙂

  9. 3.  Last experience of sweet Christian fellowship. So many recent experiences! Yesterday at church I connected briefly but deeply with a half dozen people. We invited a foreign family to dinner. It didn’t work for them right now, but the look of surprise and delight was precious. Then in the afternoon I got together in the afternoon with a friend to discuss mentoring, and that was totally sweet.


    4.  The Psalmist compares brothers in unity to precious oil anointing someone’s head, and then to dew on the mountains. In either image, I get the sense of refreshment, soothing, settling the dust. It is a welcoming picture.


    5.  Responding to God’s warning or convinction, looking back…. When He was speaking to me about food and I actually ran to a specific verse of scripture, coming into His presence with it and begging for His help. It led to not moments, but hours of relief.

  10. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    I always look forward to these posts every year! God always quickens me to some of Dee’s ideas. One was to pull a name from a basket and tell why you are thankful for that person and it has become a tradition. Another idea we had was to worship in song before everyone arrives. Since my family is musically inclined we have instruments as well.

    Most of the family that comes aren’t believers.
    2. What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering?
    The same as above-my sister in law hosts every year.  I have asked for her to do the questions where we each draw one and answer for I think that is a wonderful idea but since most of her family doesn’t know Jesus she has decided not to do it.


    3. Share your last experience of sweet Christian fellowship.

    With my husband a few days ago. 🙂

  11. 2. What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering.
    I have lots of company this year with people coming and going. The gatherings started last Friday when our youngest daughter and son-in-law and  two little grandsons 5 yrs & 22 months came from Seattle. They will be here until this Friday after Thanksgiving. My oldest son & daughter-in-law from San Antonio came Saturday  and leave tomorrow.  My two other children and their families live here in our small town close by. So we were all together Saturday evening and all day yesterday.  19 in all with my mother included. We ate out Saturday night at a favorite local Mexican Restaurant. Yesterday we had Sunday dinner here at our home and then brought in Pizza last night.  My daughter and daughter-in -law brought part of the meal too.  Cooking and clean up is constant.  Not fancy with paper plates.

    It is just plain crazy here to say the least. Toys & clutter and shoes and drink cups and food and games through out the house.  It all goes against my sense of order and quiet but I am old enough to know it will actually be short lived.  Age and time have given me perspective and I want them to feel loved.  I just have to let alot of things go and pick up as I can.

    And we still have the main event to go. (-: Which will be a traditional turkey dinner on Thurday.  With some more family and friends joining us.  3 days of meals and prep until then. Our house does not have a large kitchen or  dining area but that is where most everyone congregates.  I do have a larger living room and a family room down stairs for overflow.  For years I wasn’t the most pleasant because of the stress of preparation and my own expectations to to have the Norman Rockwell setting of the first picture like my mother-in-law did in years past.  Someone asked me at church yesterday how I stay calm with so much happening and so many around.  It is the gracious Holy Spirit at work because it is not my natural personality.  I have to lean on Him and when I get tired I have to check my spirit get to bed for some rest.  I’m not young anymore (-:

    We have all believers in the family and this year God in his magnificent grace and mercy has brought restoration to our relationship with our oldest son and his wife. This is the second time in 3 months we have had all 4 of our children and their spouses together with us and that had not happened in 4 years.  My husband and I couldn’t be more thankful.  There is lots of laughter.  And last night our oldest son and youngest daughter sat up together late with my husband and I for some wonderful conversation and sharing of memories.  God has answered much prayer.  Actually years of tears and  prayer.  I don’t take any of it for granted. All glory and praise is the Lord’s.  I deserve none of it.  I am coming to appreciate deeply that He calls me beautiful and loves on me.  I have been a long time getting here.  Shutting out and dispelling the idol lies  has contributed greatly to my thankfulness this year.

    I am thankfufor this blog!

    1. Bev , that is wonderful , rejoicing with you for His goodness.

  12. Just wanted to jump on here and let you all know today is Mary E’s birthday!! She’s not on FB so I wanted to let you know here so she can see the posts! She is a GIFT to us all! We LOVE YOU MARY E!

    1. Thank you both!  I am so glad, also, Dee, that I got to meet you.  I’ve been a bit quiet lately here because have had a rough time of it these past few days, but I’m popping on and reading.

      Love you all!  You guys are a blessing to me…something I definitely give thanks for at this time of year and throughout the year.


      1. Happy Birthday Mary ! I’m sorry its been a rough go. lately , Praying that you will be feeling better soon.

      2. Happy, Happy Birthday Mary! Love and hugs this special day 🎉🎂💃🍦🍧🎉🎈💕

      3. Mary, belated happy birthday! What an awesome gift you are from God to me. Though we have not met, I felt a kinship with you like no other. Love you, sister and may you always feel the presence of God. During the good times. During the rough times of your life.

      4. I am always late!! Sorry Mary e! I hope your birthday was as beautiful as you are my sweet sister. Happy late birthday! 🙂

    2. Mary E….I am wishing you not just a wonderful birth day, but weeks of celebrating who you are and how the Lord is present in your life!!

    3. Happy happy birthday to you sweet Mary, you are sure a blessing to all of us and we love you dearly 🌷

  13. we always had celebrated with my husband’s family but over the years everyone has passed except his sister. She isn’t answering phone calls , she thinks that we are mad at her because she divorced her husband of 45 years last summer. We’ve told her over and over that we are not mad. So I make dinner for us , we go to Thanksgiving service and maybe a movie. We may go see The Star. We have Lots to be thankful for but I do miss those large family times.

  14. Happy birthday, Mary! You are a blessing even though I am mostly a silent reader. Your words are always welcome. I thank God for your words of wisdom and your perseverance through these present trials.

    Many blessings are my wish for you.

    1. Missed you here Shirley. Hope all is well!

  15. The last time I listened to the Lord’s conviction has been this week. I like listening to sermons, I like someone like Tim Keller or Matt Chandler to unpack Scripture for me . And God has been pressing me to go to His Word on my own and I don’t feel “equipped “ . I know that it is the Holy Spirit that reveals God’s truth through His Word but I just kept resisting. Not that I don’t read my Bible , that He was encouraging me to go deeper . So I am reading   In Psalm 73 today , where the Psalmist is wondering about a lot of the same things that I’ve been wondering about lately !! Then he remembers that this isn’t our home and that everything will be righted in the end .

    It was very good of God to make my first lesson an easy one 🙂 I don’t know if every day will be like today but I’m excited to see what’s in store.     And I’ll still be listening to Tim Keller afterwards!

  16. 5. Share the last time you responded to the Lord’s warning or conviction, and why, now, looking back, you are glad you did. 

    Last spring, my youngest begged me to go to Europe, where he was studying, to visit him at the end of the summer. He wanted me to meet him in London for a week. I was scared due to all the terrorism that Europe has seen over the past few years. I prayed and had the sense that God wanted me to go and would provide the money to do so (the ticket was relatively inexpensive for that flight). A few days later I decided that I would go. The ticket was still available at basically the same price! I booked it (still not sure where the money was going to come from). I  logged on to my school email a day or so later and there was an email to attend a curriculum session over the summer with my school district for three days! Only 80 teachers could attend and I quickly put in to be one of those selected. The amount I would earn was exactly the amount I needed for the ticket! The session could have been 1 day or 2 days, but it was exactly 3 days which made the money perfect! I knew then that He was blessing me. I was selected and viola ticket paid for! My son and I had a blast in London and I was so glad I prayed and followed what God told me to do 😊.

    6. To what does David compare keeping silent and then confessing? (Psalm 32)

    Your “bones will dry up,” (I think he means it will eat you up inside) and if you confess you will be forgiven.

  17. 3. Share your last experience of sweet Christian fellowship.
     This past Sunday one of our pastors who is a friend and I both said we were just okay when we greeted one another, not fine, just okay, there an was unspoken communication of struggles. Then we were in the same row during the service. We sang the song Though You Slay Me during which I cried the whole time.
    Our church has been in a season of loss, 3 funerals in 3 weeks, two of those gone now were young, a father in his 40’s a young wife in her early twenties. Seated right behind me was a family who this summer lost their dear 14 year old boy who was loved by our whole church. 
    The pastors wife, who I love, gave me a hug, at the end of the service he did too, I smiled and said ‘don’t poke the balloon’, he smiled and said nothing. It was sweet, I felt seen but not wounded by it. It lighted my load to acknowledge before the Lord and other people that I felt super frail Sunday morning.

    Here is the song if any of you don’t already know it, it is pretty powerful:


    1. oh Chris–that is one of my favorite songs, and musicians. OH my lump in my throat, just reading what you have written here–out loud, I said “it’s too much Lord”–meaning this “season of loss” surrounding you and your always fresh pain. But then I re-read and was thankful you are in a place where you are so loved–by your pastor, by his wife, by countless others I am sure, and I thank Him for surrounding you with those who love you well. You are a treasure dear friend.

    2. Chris, that is beautiful!  I have not heard it before now.  Thanks for sharing.

    3. Chris , such a great blessing. We are in a new church, closer to home , just 8 weeks now . I’m praying to have that kind of unity among Gods people there.

    4. Your comments helped me realize an answer to prayer. I have always been an introvert who is awful at small talk but craves deep conversation and relationship. I used to run out of church as quickly as possible, avoiding contact with people. After Daniel I was desperate for those deep conversations about things that matter but I was convicted that I hadn’t laid the groundwork of community for them to happen. I have since been intentional about being with people, even when I would rather not, I am not perfect in this but I am different than I used to be.  All this is to say that God has answered my prayers for face to face friends. I still want more and better and deeper, but I also know that some of those longings will remain until we get home, so today I am grateful for this little bit of movement towards things being made new in my life.

    5. Thank you for sharing Chris , I had never heard the song before, it’s truly beautiful.


  18. 4. To what does the psalmist compare brethren who are in unity? (Psalm 133) Comment.

    I glanced at a couple of commentaries, the fragrance of the copious amount of oil would have been a blessing to everyone nearby. I thought about the fact that they were 40 years in the desert, how dry everything must have been and how precious oil must have been.
    Also the picture of dew, of precious moisture and the fruitfulness that water would bring was mentioned in the commentaries, so among other things, unity is a sweet blessing to observers, and it creates fruitfulness among brothers.

  19. 5. Share the last time you responded to the Lord’s warning or conviction, and why, now, looking back, you are glad you did.

    I am reading Making All Things New, Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by David Powlison. I bought it because I am walking with someone who I felt the need to be better equipped to talk to, but the Lord has used it to convict me about some wrong thinking I have always had about sex. I was surprised and convicted. I feel loved by the way He leads me, so patiently, to the places I need to go.
    My sister posted a video of a man rescuing a sheep. The sheep seemed unwilling or incapable of aiding the man at all in his rescue efforts. I thought about how we are like that sheep, we don’t even know the ways the Lord is working on our behalf. That thought convicted me and made me well up with gratitude.

    Here is the video of the sheep:


    1. Chris…the book is thought provoking. Thankful for you that you are walking the path with a friend. And isn’t that the truth? That with serving others, we, too are served and enlightened. I want that mind-set.

    2. “We don’t even know the way the Lord is working on our behalf “ I want to wake up every morning and remember this .

      Thank you , Chris

      1. I will send you mine Dee 🙂

  20. Sunday:
    1.  What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    The Snoopy quote. “ One of the best gift you can give someone this Thanksgiving is to thank them for being part of your life.”
    For the 24 years that I have lived in the U.S., I cannot thank God enough for the many wonderful American friends, my in-laws, brothers and sisters in Christ who have welcomed me with open arms and homes. Not one of them is perfect and neither am I, LOL but somehow they have managed to hang in there with me through the good, the bad and the ugly. So I am thankful for all of them.
    2.  What is your situation this year — and what might you do to enhance the gathering?
    Two gatherings stand out for me. One will be tonight. I am celebrating my 60th (yes, not 16) birthday with 7 of my girlfriends at my house. Yay! I invited them as a way of thanking them for being my friend these many years-they pray for me, bring me food when I am sick, etc. etc. They are all churchgoers, at different seasons in their walk with the Lord-again, not perfect, all of us learning to trust God in our own circumstances. Dee, I am using some of your suggested questions to go round the table. I also will thank them for one specific thing as we go around the table.
    The other one is with my husband’s 2 sisters. Their families are all Christians. I am hoping that as we catch up with each other, I can go beyond the surface questions and convey a sincere interest in their lives and again, say thank you for being a part of my life and name one specific thing I am thankful for them. There will be 8 of us total as some family members are going elsewhere.

  21. 4. To what does the psalmist compare brethren who are in unity? (Psalm 133) 

    Like the precious oil overflowing upon the head like Aaron. I was thinking of the oil and I recall Mary who anointed Jesus feet with oil. SO I think it was costly..How precious, costly and of course fragrant it was. So is our unity. It is overflowing, Extravagant, self sacrificing love toward one another-so different from the world. Fragrant so those around us-and unbelievers can smell it. How costly- that it is a sacrifice and so we must be extending grace as He has extended it to us. How precious-well how precious it is to God! 🙂 It is how He designed us to dwell together in unity with Him and then with one another and this loving unity is who He is.

    I am already getting convicted!! So I will have to share #5 later. 🙂

  22. As Rebecca shared, I’m always inspired by Dee’s Thanksgiving ideas and great questions to ask. I love Dee’s heart that seeks to really know others, to go beneath the surface and engage in true fellowship. I can only imagine how many lives she has led to experience something they never have before simply by her good hosting and really caring for people.

    Thanksgiving for us is not at all like I grew up, for the last 12 years, we have lived many many states away from all both our families in Houston. In the early years we traveled back several times, but it just isn’t feasible anymore. Some years we’ve spent with Church friends, but I usually like to have our own celebration at home. This year I had hoped to invite people, but then we were scheduled for surgery today, then a few days ago it was canceled–so I’m planning a low-key first Thanksgiving as a family of 5.

    It’s also always a bit of a sobering time. Growing up, we could look like a Rockwell family. But now, I see all the brokenness more clearly and things have changed so much and I wonder if anyone really has that. Sometimes I tell myself “not on this side” to make myself feel better, but maybe it is possible. And I know it’s not so much about how many people are around us, or how many varieties of pies. I do want that true fellowship, that koinonia, and so I pray we are building that now in our little family, and sometimes I day dream of a table filled with my kids future spouses and kids, and that makes me smile to imagine.

    I just came across this article on CCEF (Chris has shared many great things from them as well). This one I appreciated for how it acknowledges loss, and reminds us to focus on Christ, thought I’d share here: https://www.ccef.org/resources/blog/eyes-wide-open

    1. But now, I see all the brokenness more clearly

      I thought about this and I see where I had forgotten that part of the family Thanksgiving’s past. I think I needed that gentle reminder so I could be in the present and not be looking backwards looking to Egypt where I thought life was so good !!

      I’m reminding myself that every day is Thanksgiving to God day , that everything I have is from Him and through Him. Tomorrow will be a blessed day because He lives in me , He looks upon me with Grace and unending Mercy and sings songs of love over me . And that’s true whether there is 2 of us or 22 of us gathered together. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am blessed to read your words of wisdom.

      Psalm 95: 2-3
      2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 
      3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

      1. Sue–this is beautiful and really blessed me just now: “I’m reminding myself that every day is Thanksgiving to God day, that everything I have is from Him and through Him. Tomorrow will be a blessed day because He lives in me , He looks upon me with Grace and unending Mercy and sings songs of love over me . And that’s true whether there is 2 of us or 22 of us gathered together.”

    2. Thanks for sharing that blog Lizzie, I hadn’t read it yet. That I did this morning was timely.
      The song at the end, Sharon Covington was my RI for the last CCEF class that I took, she was really kind and encouraging to me. It was sweet to get to hear her voice.

      Your brokenness comment resonated with me too…we tend to long for things that never really were.

  23. 3. Share your last experience of sweet Christian fellowship.

    I love our little Church and do feel we have sweet fellowship each Sunday, but for some reason when I read this, a memory from this summer came to mind first. The night before we left for China to get Philip, we were met at our door by the Pastor I work for (not my church) , his wife, and their daughter. They surprised us with a basket loaded with goodies, but most of all to come pray over us. We had become so worn in many ways at that point. Longing for care from places we didn’t receive it, we were physically, emotionally and even Spiritually weary. I can only describe it as oil poured over us. To be cared for in that way, from an un-expected source and so selflessly given time and prayer, it was a gift.

  24. 7.  A child last made me laugh…uncontrollably, at the Omaha zoo. My three year old grandson wanted to see a goat poo again, and checked out the back of every goat in the enclosure because he was so fascinated by it.


    8.  Proverbs says that a cheerful heart is good medicine, while a crushed spirit dries us the bones. In other words, gratitude and optimism lead to greater health, while inward focus and grumbling lead to a shriveling of the spirit.

  25. I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all, as I probably wont have time to get on here tomorrow. Would love your prayers for our family time in Baltimore, & that I can continually lay all anxiety down, & trust that Jesus has gone before me & will be there with us! My husband & I will fly there early Thurs am from Chicago.  God bless you all & your families abundantly. I didn’t grow up with Thanksgiving in Aussie, but it is now my favorite holiday!  🙂 Thank You Lord for Your steadfast love, mercy, kindness & grace.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving Jenny, I pray that the family fellowship will be super sweet for you this weekend!

  26. 7. When is the last time a child made you laugh? What did they do?

    My granddaughter, Grace, has uncontrollable hair! Makes me laugh every time I see her. She is starting to interact with her brother and she “chases” him around the room on her knees. Very cute!

  27. 10.  What do you grieve for that might have been, and how can you be grateful for what is?

    I grieve that nine years have passed since I developed a framework for a mentoring program and have been unable to implement it. But I am very grateful that right now I can be mentored in multiple ways. Here on the blog is one, another is with someone meeting with me, and a third is the opportunity to connect soon with a student and mentor her. Maybe God is even going to let parts of what I developed come into use. Whether He does or not, I am satisfied in Him.

  28. 7. When is the last time a child made you laugh? What did they do? 
    We have our daughter’s family with two of our grandsons here for a week.  Ages 22 months and 5 yrs old.  There is a whole lot of cuteness going on and it just makes us smile alot.

    8. What does Proverbs 17:22 tell us?

    “A joyful heart is good medicine.”   Laughter is healthy for us.  It has a healing effect.  Laughter has the innate ability to lighten the heart taking away heaviness.

  29. I looked up Proverbs 17:22 in The Message

    “a cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone -tired “

    so true !

    Yesterday I spent time with 3 year old,  Harper . We took flashlights and hid under blankets, she thought that was great fun ! There was a lot of giggles going on .

  30. I am wondering about you Susan, wondering how you are and I am praying that the Lord will be your refuge.

  31. Happy Thanksgiving dear blog sisters! This place has been such a sweet place of encouragement and wisdom over the years for me. I truly thank God for each of you and for our dear Dee who “hosts” us all and provides such rich teaching to nourish and grow us. Praying for a beautiful thanks-filled day for all!

  32. 6. To what does David compare keeping silent and then confessing? (Psalm 32)

    Whenever I keep silent and don’t confess it is because there is deceit in me-lies I am telling myself to justify my sin-and I am being stubborn like the wicked who are stubborn. He said it is like his body is wasting away through his groaning-kind of like depression-Like the drowning in Psalm 18. My vitality dries up like the extreme heat in Summer-I will have a downcast heart and countenance. I will have many sorrows-like the wicked do who are stubborn in their sin.

    However when I confess, turn and trust Him I am free for the waters won’t drown me. His lovingkindness will surround me with songs of deliverance and He will be my hiding place.  He will teach me and help me. I will have His Joy in whatever trial I am facing. When I don’t confess, turn and trust I have no hope-no where to go but to wither away alone but with Him He will lift me up to the heights overwhelming me with His kindness and what is healing and amazing is that He will also teach me in the way I should go and counsel me with His eyes on me. :))



  33. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am thankful to be welcomed to your study . I have so much to learn , I see exactly what Mary B means when she says that she is being mentored by this blog !

    Gods blessing and Peace of His Presence Be with you all today.

  34. I was inspired to write a list of the Godly women the Lord has brought into my life over the years and spent some time i had the luxury of having this morning reaching out to as many as I can to let them know how thankful I am that they have been a part of my life. I had this beautiful blog family on that list as a whole. I know I do not interact with posts too often but in my mind I can think of you so often individually and just how special you all are and seeing how the Lord is working here. I pray each of you had a Blessed Thanksgiving and saw our Lord in your midst in some unexpected ways.

  35. 8. What does Proverbs 17:22 tell us?


    Being cheerful is soothing to us and being negative is painful to us.


    9. Be alert to how you see God on the move today and then come back and share!


    We had a fun time at a local turkey trot, running the 3/5 mile routes and my husband walking the babies. The sky was blue and though it was cold we prevailed! It was our first time and I think we will continue this tradition; our donation went to the local food pantry and such.


    I was wary of this Thanksgiving being too much for me with everything going on in our lives, and so I delegated the side dishes to each person. I made the pies on Wed night, and my chef son made the awesome stuffing. Youngest son made the mashed potatoes, husband did the turkey and salad. I did sweet potatoes and cranberries. It was a lovely meal and we all chipped in! Only one blip in the day, when my husband said something snarky to the youngest who then stormed upstairs. I managed to get him to come back and let my husband know how I thought he was wrong in what he said and that I thought he should apologize. He actually listened to what I said without getting mad at me, although he wouldn’t apologize because he said it was how he felt. They both cooled off; might have been because I wasn’t  willing to engage with either of them.


    You would have been proud of me Dee, I didn’t react when my youngest baited me with a potential discussion on why I believe it is wrong for a 14 year old girl to decide to switch to being a boy (family friend). I told him that I would not discuss it with him and he left it alone 😉. I will go back and have this discussion at another time though when we are not stressed with the holiday and I have time to gather my thoughts on what specifically I want to say.


    All in all a very good day. I do believe God showed up and was present even though we didn’t have any earth shattering sightings.

  36. 10. What do you grieve for what might have been, but how can you be grateful for what is?


    I grieve that that my husband and I decided to move to New England instead of staying in Texas. We wanted to be closer to most of his family here on the east coast so our kids would know them better; especially the grandparents. We did accomplish that, however it was the worst thing we ever did to our kids. They never seemed to adjust well and I am convinced was the reason they each still struggle today. The things we went through with all of them a “normal” family would have only had perhaps one kid do. I am grateful they got to know the family though, because I have a very small family and that is sad to me.

  37. 11. Looking back on this year, what are you grateful for that you couldn’t have been grateful for last year? 

    Because our our daughter has “wigged out” on us, we are standing in as parents for our grandkids. It is exhausting work at times, but fulfilling as well. I am grateful that God stepped in several times and either provided something to us we needed, or took away something that would make our lives overly stressed and busy. He guided us through this time. I couldn’t be grateful for this last year because we weren’t in this situation. Thanks be to God!

  38. Our Thanksgiving is an extended one. We started Wednesday eve about 5:30, and are still going till tomorrow late afternoon. There were 14 here Wednesday eve and all day Thursday, and then 12 all day yesterday. Now we are down to 8, until the kids leave tomorrow. It has been a really good time of sharing thanks and lives and laughter and games. Dee, I tried your question about movies when the 20 year olds were here, and was told that was a really good question, though for us old people who rarely go, it was all foreign. The conversations were lively and cordial. People struggle a little with having to come up with something new to be thankful for, even though they all knew it would be coming, but I admit that I had a list written for myself. Two more days of constant cooking and running the dishwasher and fun!

  39. 10. What do you grieve for what might have been, but how can you be grateful for what is?

    Sometimes I do the if only … if only I had met Jesus sooner. I actually asked Him into my heart in my early 20’s. We had a new Pastor that talked about a ” relationship with Jesus” All the time. One day I said to myself ” I really like the sound of that … Jesus will you come into my heart”. I remember feeling Joy. I never told anyone then shortly after that the pastor was asked to leave – too much Jesus talk. So I figured out on my own what it meant to have Jesus live in me ,  that now I was to be Good. I know , it was sad and impossible and there was no Great Love. Looking back I see His wooing , I really liked Jesus but I didn’t understand that He came to show the Love of the Father. And I just wanted to stay under the Father’s radar because that’s what I always did growing up at home.

    But God , there it is ! Those 2 words. But God didn’t give up on me. I wish I could tell you how Beautiful it was when He broke through but it was really messy and broken and a perfect spot for me to be to experience the Love He was offering.

    So I guess that’s my story but I think I would’ve liked to have been the girl who’s always known that she was Loved and always loved Him.

    So now I’m Grateful and Thankful for His pursuit of me , just like He pursued you all . He is Faithful to always remind me of His Love , the Love of the Father and the indwelling of His Spirit. He truly is Wonderful.

  40. I would love to become a part of this so I can dive deeper into God’s word.  Thank you!

  41. May I become a part of the group?