Sunday, November 26, 2023

Give God Thanks and Praise

 


Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. ~Psalm 100:4


How was your Thanksgiving, friends?  I know from reading your blogs that most of you had a marvelous time feasting and spending treasured time with family and friends.  That's the way it's been for us for so many years, but not this time around.

Originally, Danny and I had planned to travel to Florida to see our son, Giovanni, and his wife, Hope, near the Hurlburt Air Force Base where he is stationed.


This, sadly, did not come about.  Hope's beloved mother, who lived in the Atlanta area, passed away after a long battle with cancer; her funeral was held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.  So, yes, we got to see Gio and Hope, but not in a joyful way.

Of course, this turn of events had me missing Sarah, John, and the girls more than ever.  They, too, celebrated Thanksgiving just as an immediate family.  John's brother and his wife were visiting his parents who also live in North Carolina, and there simply was no room at the inn, so to speak.

When Sarah sends us these photos of their Thanksgiving Day festivities, I'm beside myself with joy at seeing everyone's happy faces.  It is almost as good as having them here with us.  Allow me to share their holiday with you.

The photo at the top of this post is the dining table prepared for the ensuing feast.

Here are John and Sarah with puppy, Finn.


Virginia and her mom.



Alexandra with mom.


Virginia looking so grown-up wearing a festive dress for the occasion.


Savannah holding court with her favorite stuffed animal, Rosie, that we gave her one year for Christmas.  It sings "Jesus Loves Me," and it still works!


And here's the comical Alexandra wearing her mashed potatoes!


It's readily apparent that a good time was had by all.  And I'm so proud of my daughter for lovingly preparing this meal for her family.  If I say so myself, this girl was brought up right!

So, friends, treasure your memories of this Thanksgiving, and always and everywhere, give thanks and prayers to the Lord.

Amen!

48 comments:

  1. Loved the "family get together" Martha! It is fun watching your grands growing up. The church served a Thanksgiving meal to our community from 11-1:00 but i was tied up from 8:30 until about 2:30. We served 80+ meals by delivery, drive up, take out and in house. We use the local Lions Club building who graciously open it to us free of charge. When that was all done i read a book (one of Glynn's books) with my eyes closed. :) Just as Gio's wife experienced the loss of her mom, Jo suffered the loss of her sister on Sunday morning. She has been in a nursing facility in Sandusky, OH for over 2 years and gradually went from dementia to full blown Alzheimer's. That along with diabetes and dialysis finally did her in. But Thanksgiving is a time of celebration so we are thankful that she was a follower of Jesus. Glad you were able to see much to be thankful for (and sorry for the book).

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    1. I'm so saddened to hear about Jo's sister passing, Bill, but perhaps, it was a blessing since she was suffering so. Please tell Jo that I'll be keeping her and all of you in my prayers.
      I love seeing them grow up, too, although it's happening way too fast! And congrats to OVCF for another successful Thanksgiving feast for your immediate community. I have no doubt your time and generosity made the holiday special for many, especially in these difficult economic times.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. You may not have been there in person for Thanksgiving; but you were all there in prayer. The Lord is watching over all of you at all times.

    God bless you, Martha, and your family.

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    1. Yes, I most definitely was, Victor. And I'm so grateful that God is watching over all of us at all times. So comforting!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I am sorry for the disappointments regarding the family get togethers, as well as the loss of Hope's mother at this time. But I love how everyone persevered and still gave thanks to the Lord for His many blessings. It is so good to see your lovely daughter and her beautiful family. The girls are growing up and are such sweethearts! That is definitely something worth giving thanks to the Lord for!!

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    1. I give the Lord thanks daily, Pam, for my precious family, that's for sure! Yes, the girls are growing up too fast, but I'm learning to accept the changes, and embrace them the best I can.
      And we never know what may happen to derail our plans, but God does, and He will see us through all those circumstances.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Not every holiday can be festive, but joy can be found in every one my friend. So glad you were at least able to vicariously enjoy Thanksgiving with your girls. They are growing up so fast.

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    1. Growing like weeds, J. D., that's for sure! Circumstances may not always be the best, but we can continue to have joy in our hearts because of God's grace and mercy.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Dearest Martha Jane,
    Often LIFE gets in the way of our planning fun get togethers... But in Faith we can handle it.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. What would we ever do without faith, Mariette? I'll never know how folks who don't have God in their lives navigate the dangers and sorrows encountered along the journey. May they come to know His unfailing presence.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Our oldest son took his wife and the three grandsons off to a vacation in the Caribbean, which from all accounts was a smashing good time. We had Thanksgiving dinner with the youngest son, his girlfriend, and her family, and we had a smashing good time, too (without the sunburn).

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    1. Lol! I do like that a great time was had by all, Glynn, and I'll take without the sunburn any day of the week. :) Glad you could all be together for the most part.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Martha Jane: God was certainly with all of you as you had to alter your plans for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, it was just Jim and me; we had perch filets and shells and cheese. I had some fresh veggies. On Saturday, our son, Roger, came up from where he lives and we had ham, sweet potatoes, corn and peas. He had to go back earlier than usual on Sunday because of the rain and possible snow that was forecasted.

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    3. It sounds like you had a delightful Thanksgiving, Cecelia, and a wonderful visit with Roger for an even more impressive feast! I've certainly been following all the rough weather, so I don't blame him for going back home earlier than anticipated. It wouldn't do anyone any good to get stuck in the snow and ice!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Blessings to you and your family, Martha.

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  8. Thanks so much, Christine! I'm kind of partial to them all.
    Love and blessings!

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  9. Glad you had such a good family time with thanksgiving. I remember many wonderful Thanksgiving dinners we enjoyed when we were living in the USA.

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    1. I'm sure you did, Marja, and that you have some wonderful memories. Have you ever thought about moving back here?
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I am pleased to read that over all you had a good Thanksgiving

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  11. Thank you for sharing your loves with us, Martha! Everyone's so stinkin' photogenic ... even Finn. Alexandra's mashed potato face cracks me up, and I'm glad these brought smiles to you and Danny.

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    1. They are indeed that, Myra - photogenic! I'm glad you got such a kick out of it. Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely, too.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. I'm so sorry you weren't able to be with family on this Thanksgiving! I understand the loss of a dear family member, and it is just hard. It mixed up our plans for the holiday as well, as we hoped to spend one more Thanksgiving with our beloved Mom, but the Lord had other plans. Our daughter had already made plans to be with her inlaws for Thanksgiving, and so, when they found out - they graciously invited us, along with many other people, and it was such a sweet time for all of us. I can see the joy on the faces of the ones you love, and know you were missed so very much. Many blessings to you dear friend!

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    1. We both experienced an interruption in our planned holiday activities, Marilyn, but I know that you all, as we did, make the best of the situation. How sweet of your daughter's inlaws to host you at Thanksgiving!
      Yes, the grands really enjoyed the day, even though it was just immediate family. And the photos Sarah sent absolutely made my day.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Bom dia, Martha
    Sua família é linda, que a gratidão sempre esteja presente em nossas vidas, muito triste a morte da mãe de Hope, que Deus console os corações, um forte abraço.

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    1. It was sad, indeed, Lucinalva. She was only 61. My heart breaks for Hope and her sister, and other family members at this time.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. sure does sound like she was brought up right! LOL. lovely photos and so sorry for the loss in your family. The actually day we see and spend time with our family doesn't matter, it is the hugs, right?

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  15. Always the hugs, Jean - always! Now those can't be replicated in a photo, but I can dream, can't I?
    Love and blessings!

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  16. I'm so sorry for the loss of Hope's mom, Martha, and for the disappointments. How thoughtful that your daughter shares those family pics. She really catches some memorable moments. :) Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, Trudy, the loss of Hope's mother was a blow to all who loved her. She was a fun-loving person and optimistic to the end.
      I'm so thankful that Sarah sent me the photos of the family. It truly did make me feel like I was right there with them. May we all give thanks for all the good things God has given us.
      Love and blessings!

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  17. feel the togetherness between you, the warm family atmosphere

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    1. I'm so glad you could feel that bond we have with one another, Abasozora.
      Love and blessings!

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  18. I'm so sorry for this difficult loss ... made even harder right at the start of the holidays. my heart is with your daughter-in-law and those she loves. praying for you all even as we speak, dear Martha.

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    1. Thanks so very much for your prayers, Linda. They mean so much, especially at this tough time.
      Love and blessings!

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  19. There's something to be said for quiet, intimate Thanksgiving dinners with just your spouse. (We've enjoyed a few of those!) Less prep and clean-up are certainly two of the advantages. But I wouldn't want to be apart from family for all the holidays. So I pray you'll be able to celebrate Christmas with at least some of your crew, Martha, to complete your joy in our Savior's birth!

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! We're still mulling over whether we have the resources to pay a visit to the grands over Christmas break, and I'm so hoping our answer will be a resounding, "Yes!" Can you guess that I miss them?
      Love and blessings!

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  20. I'm sorry your plans had to shift around and that a loved one was lost during the holidays. It's such an irony of life that we can have joys and sorrows all in the same seasons.

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    1. An irony, indeed, Lisa. I'm reminded of the admonition: If you want to see God laugh, tell Him your plans. With His help, though, we can navigate all the unexpected changes we will inevitably encounter in life.
      Love and blessings!

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  21. I'm so sorry for the loss of Hope's mother and that you couldn't spend Thanksgiving with your family.

    Hugs and blessings, Martha

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    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Veronica.
      Love and blessings!

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  22. Things in life don't always go as planned. With God's help we adjust and make the best of any situation. The wonderful photos you got from your daughter made up for everything and practically saved your Thanksgiving.

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    1. It's so very true, Duta, that life doesn't always go as planned, but God can guide us through. Those photos did make up for so much, and I couldn't be more pleased.
      Love and blessings!

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  23. thecontemplativecat here. Your photos are so wonderful. Such a lovely family. Losing one's mother during holidays is so awful. Keep well, enjoy rejoicing.

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    1. I love these photos, too, Susan - they make me feel like I was right there with the ones I love so much. We pray for Hope and her family every day.
      Love and blessings!

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  Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment for your bones. ~Prove...