What do our children see?
Football games. Overeating. Shopping. Complaining. Hurrying. Family. Moments. Love.
Our children mimic us.
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” ~James Arthur Baldwin
And I remember the days before Thanksgiving 2 years ago…
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and another hopeful round of chemo.
And a visit to the gift shop for some fake moustaches to make a terminally ill older brother laugh.
Six year old, Nick put his on in the shop.
And on our way back to Zack’s room. We can’t help but see…
A bald child in a wheelchair and a mother pushing- both of them in tears.
And the look on the mother’s face said everything I had felt.
And we had to stop.
Because we know like in a child’s game of hide-and-seek, finding joy a in a place that all too often tried to steal our own family’s joy, can be an overwhelming task.
I learned a mother had shared with her child all that a doctor had said.
And an overwhelmed mother – hopeless by words spoken from a doctor.
And an overwhelmed child – hopeless by words spoken from a mother.
And while I encouraged a weeping mother, Nick encouraged a little girl by making her laugh with a silly fake moustache.
Do we nurture and train and influence our children with our own strengths and our flaws?
And do they absorb all of our own energy – good and bad?
Because they see us and learn…
Because they see us and learn be afraid.
Because they see us and learn to be courageous.
Because they see us and learn to be kind.
Because they see us and learn to be cruel.
Because they hear us and learn to guard their tongue.
Because they hear us and learn to gossip.
Because they see us in moments of hopelessness and learn to be hopeless.
Because they see us on our knees and learn Who to find hope in.
Because they see us giving thanks and learn to be thankful.
Can we be proud of what they see?
Can we be proud of what they hear?
We are the teacher…
We are the example…
In teaching them about Thanksgiving, what did we teach?
And is real living for Him not just in a day of Thanksgiving, but in a life of Thanksgiving?
Because when we trust and live in Christ, every day becomes a day of Thanksgiving.
Because when we count blessings, we remember Who can be counted on…
And in trusting God and giving Him thanks in everything, it becomes possible to live through anything…
We are grateful for memories and for the 12 ½ years we had with Zack here in this life and continue to count blessings and find joy A Moment at a Time…
(In case you have forgotten how Thanksgiving came to be in our great nation (I know I had), scroll down past the photos for some great information that Nick and I found in our homeschool weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mayo and Nick around the fire at Dawson’s Creek…
All my boys around the fire at Dawson’s Creek…
~~~ We traced this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed:
“All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.”
On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside:
“…for solemn thanksgiving and praise.
Then again, on January 1, 1795, our first United States President, George Washington, wrote his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he says that it is…
“…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…”
Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 was thus set aside by George Washington as a National Day of Thanksgiving.
Many years later, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving “on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” In this Thanksgiving proclamation, our 16th President says that it is…
“…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…”
And we still celebrate that same Thursday today. Have too many forgotten what it is really all about?