Tag Archives: thankfulness

Falling in Love is Easy…It’s Living It That’s Hard

The leaves have been spectacular again this year. The vibrant colors explode like July fireworks and linger so you can enjoy them for a few days, not just seconds.  But I love the fall for another reason. It’s when I married my sweetheart. He was an awesome young man. Intelligent. The leader of our youth group. […]

They Knew They Were Pilgrims

They Knew They Were Pilgrims




When I think about the pilgrim’s landing at Plymouth Rock I am drawn down memory lane to our visit to the fabulous Plimouth Plantation. https://www.plimoth.org (A wonderful trip for families!) Although we have experienced numerous living villages, the Plimouth Plantation remains my favorite. Probably because of the painful story that I am about to share.


Like most of the living history museums we have loved across the nation, artisans were employed in their trades. Farmer were caring for their sheep. Children were picking vegetables from small gardens inside the fences that surrounded the little thatched hut houses. Women were cooking over smoky fire pits. Every living museum demonstrate these events, but Plimouth Plantation takes historical reality one step farther. Each actors assumes the name and personality of a real person that actually lived at Plimouth. As a guest you are invited to interact with the residents of the tiny colony. Their response to your comments and questions are seasoned by the personality, culture and beliefs of the person they are representing. You are invited to enter the open doors of their homes and chat with them as they walk and work.Jason and Kimberly were fascinated, but not any more than I was. I was captured and intrigued by the flower bearing herbs , crooked neck squash and tiny tomatoes that grew in their yards.


Wayne and I meander through museums at different speeds, because of our different interest. Wayne lingers to watch blacksmiths or tanners, while I linger over gardens and food. My son Jason shares my love of food! Wayne took Kimberly with him, and I took Jason with me. As lunch time approached the men and children trudged through muddy paths homeward where they would eat lunch. Everyone shared my curiosity—what did they eat?  How did they cook it? What would they eat it from?Wayne started inside the one roomed home and motioned for us to join him. By the time I got to the door, the door way was full.  People stood on tip-toes or twisted around each other to watch the pilgrim family eat. There was no way for neither Jason or I to see anything. When I spotted a window on the other side of the tiny house, I told Jason to follow me.


And much to his chagrin, he obeyed. We stood at the window peering inside. Now we could see everything. The man sat in a simple wood chair, while his wife dipped the steaming contents from a pot and onto plates.  The man looked up from us plate and out the window-straight at us. Clearly, I remember the surprise in his voice. “Oh my! We have window peepers. Proper visitors enter the door and don’t gawk at the window. Please, join us inside.”


Proper visitor? I was in my museum mode…gawking, reading and learning. I forgot I was a guest. Jason was beet red with embarrassment and at the moment I had to have been redder. Poor child, he never let me forget how badly I embarrassed him. From time to time, he’s reminded me of my etiquette blunder.


One of the mantras of the Plimouth Plantation is “They knew they were pilgrims.”

Samuel Palmer - Study of a Pilgrim - Google Art Project


And they did. They knew they were pilgrims. They thought like pilgrims. They planned like pilgrims. They lived like pilgrims. But what made them pilgrims? It wasn’t their funny looking hats or the strange clothes they wore. Not even the foods they ate or the culture they came from. It wasn’t their religious affiliation or their lavish inheritances or their empty bellies.


It’s what they did, their journey, their search for a place where they would have the freedom to worship God  that made them pilgrims. They left their homes, their relatives, their culture, their normal for God.They traveled to a strange land with strange foods, to live among people that spoke a language they didn’t understand. Their faith propelled and sustained them. Their discipline and commitment energized them. Other travelers came to this new world, but they failed. Why did the pilgrims succeed? Let’s look at the writing of George Cuthber Blaxland in his book “Mayflower” for an explanation.



And so we pause in our review of the causes by which the Pilgrim Fathers of New Plymouth were able to bring their Colony through storm and trouble to a position of stability and success, where so many failed. The causes lay in the men themselves, in their resolution, their industry, their sober self-control, their faithfulness to one another,  and their maintenance of a high standard of righteousness in their dealings with their fellow-colonists and with the Indians. They succeeded because they deserved to succeed. The qualities for which we admire them and by which they deserved and won success sprang from a root which lay yet deeper. It sprang from a sincere devotion to the service of God and the belief in His sustaining power and protecting arm. The spirit of faith and of the love of God breathes in every page of our author’s manuscript (Gov. Bradford), and in this he is, we may well believe, the representative of those whose history he records. And it is this spirit which gives its Epic character to the history which he relates, for it is an Epic of the ways of God with men, of the vindication of His faithfulness to those who trust in Him. “Taken from “Mayflower” essays on the story of the Pilgrim fathers as told in Governor Bradford’s ms  George Cuthbert Blaxland, John Smith (Accessed from Google Books)



Are you a pilgrim? Look with me at  Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly,if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out , they might have had opportunity to have returned . 16 But now they desire a better country, that is , an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

If you are a believer—you are a pilgrim.

Think like one…live like one…believe like one.


Realize you are a pilgrim. This earth is not your home. You’re headed somewhere.

Pilgrims are headed somewhere better. This life is a dressing room for heaven.

Pilgrims look where they’re going, not where they are or where they’ve been. Don’t look around you or behind you. Look to Christ.

Pilgrims are willing to pay the price, work hard or even suffer for God. Diligence. Faithfulness. Committed. Self-control. All describe a pilgrim.

Pilgrims trust God.


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Turkey Day? Really? How About Thanksgiving?

Turkey Day? Really?


The turkey seems to be the official symbol of Thanksgiving. Not that I’m against turkeys, as a matter of fact I love them.  I married one. LOL Honest, I love them.. on my plate, right beside the dressing. No, seriously I do love turkeys. Our woods are full of them. I hear loud gobbles almost every morning as I sit on my back porch having my devotions. I counted about thirteen of them as I walked down a trail. They were zigging and zagging their way up from a stream flanked on both sides by steep banks. I stopped to watch them amble and feed, but when they spotted me these brown, big birds with their distinct forward head-thrust reeved into a power walk and then burst heavenward into flight.

I love turkeys, because my grandchildren love turkeys. Jason joined us and the grandkids at the cabin one day. The grandkids wanted to see turkeys. It was a little late in the morning, but we loaded into the car and began to drive up and down the hills straining our eyes to spot one or two of the masters of camouflage that filled our woods. Jason spotted three turkeys. So with passion akin to his mother’s, he ordered us to stop. Jason grabbed Brayden, who was pretty small at the time, and began to run in the direction of the turkeys, just so Brayden could get close enough to see one. Jason didn’t know that those skinny birds can run twenty miles an hour and burst into flight speeds of 50 miles an hour. Brayden didn’t see the turkeys, but we made a memory.


I love turkeys, honest I do, but turkey day? If you’re a hunter I understand your enthusiasm, but if you’re talking about Thanksgiving…really? A turkey…the symbol of Thanksgiving?


OK! You think they’re cute. Have you actually seen a turkey? They don’t make my list of cute…interesting–very… cute–not so much! Delicious? Now you’re talking my language. I can’t wait to pile my plate with potatoes and gravy, southern cornbread dressing and yes, I’ll have turkey on my plate, especially since Jason is smoking the turkey this year! I love smoked turkey.


Maybe a turkey should be the symbol of thanksgiving, because a whole lot of gobbling will be going on! Most of us will gobble our way through the green bean casserole, the sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows, and through the homemade bread and right on through the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.


I get it and I do it. I gobble, gobble on Thanksgiving Day. I always gobble way too much!  But gobbling is only part of the celebration, not the reason, not the symbol, not my sign! I will celebrate with good food, great friends and some of my family. But I will do more than celebrate. I will be grateful.


I will Stop. Drop. And thank. And that’s not a Southern way to say think, although you might have to listen close when I say it. I will stop my gobbling. Drop my fork and thank God for His blessings, His love. Thanksgiving is not a noun, it’s a verb! It’s not about gobbling, it’s about giving thanks. The name is still Thanks Giving isn’t it? Thanksgiving doesn’t need a symbol, it needs action. People that will live it out in their everyday lives all year long. Giving Thanks!


I’ll leave my Thanksgiving table full. But when I am grateful, it leaves my heart full too.


And I am so thankful! Thankful for Jesus who died to save us from our sins. Thankful for my husband, my children, their mates and their children. Thankful for my pastors Jimmy & Esther Wilder. Thankful for all my friends that read my blog. So thankful for so many blessings and yes…for turkeys! It’s going to be sooo good… on my plate right beside the dressing!

Ten Warnings That Could Save Your Thanksgiving.

Ten Warnings That Could Save Your Thanksgiving.

The chances are great that there will be many cooks making their very first Thanksgiving meal this year. I’ve written this blog because I want to help both them and you avoid some cooking blunders that could ruin your Thanksgiving. I must admit, my only claim to fame is “Making the Smoke Alarm Go Off the Most Times in One Year”. And maybe I should tell you that when my children were little, they always ended their blessing with the words, “…and please God, make it good” And while my only qualification for blogging about food is that I like to eat, I still want to share my “Ten Warnings to Save Your Thanksgiving.” Please pay very careful attention to each of them.


ten warnings that could save your thanksgiving 


   1. Do defrost your turkey before you pop it in the oven and no, it will not defrost in 30 minutes.

   2. Spaghetti O’s is not a vegetable and it does not go with turkey.

   3. Dressing the turkey does not require a visit to your favorite clothing store.

   4. Forget your Cracker Jack days: Do not leave that little bag inside the turkey. It is not the prize.

   5. Do not set the table with personalized barf bags.

   6. Do not carve the turkey with a chainsaw, even if it is still a little frozen.

   7. Do not fry the turkey inside the house.

   8. Do not put the antacid on the table. But be sure you have some on hand.

   9. If guest will be spending the afternoon, do not serve beans or sweet potatoes.

   10. Do not leave the dog to guard the food while you greet your guests at the door. When someone calls them guard dogs, they are not referring to food.


Can I add one more? Can I make that, Eleven Warnings That Could Save Your Thanksgiving?”  This one is more important than all the rest–“Don’t make Thanksgiving all about the food. OK, maybe that’s what you would expect from someone that is the Smoke Alarm Queen. If your day is only about food, you may feel full and filled, but your day will fall short of FULL FILLING its purpose. Make Thanksgiving about giving thanks.  Express your gratefulness to God.


When you do, everything tastes better. I like that thought—maybe there’s hope for my cooking after all! Blessings on you and your cooking this Thanksgiving!

ten warnings that could save your thanksgivingBrayden, my little Jedidah is my kinda cook!


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Think MISSIONAL. If you know someone that would enjoy this blog, please pass it on!

Thanks Giver Menu- Thanksgiving

Thanks Giver Menu

Thanks Giving I love to cook almost as much as I love to eat. The hardest part is the clean-up afterwards; which often influences my cooking. The second most difficult part of cooking is deciding what to cook, which also influences and limits my cooking to a few favorite recipes. From time to time, I […]

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