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Bread for the Journey

Celebrating Thanksgiving

This weekend we are joining Canadians nationwide in celebrating Thanksgiving. I grew up in a home where "Thanksgiving" turkey did not make an appearance on our table. Thanksgiving Sunday after the service, hospitality was offered as we joined together with our church family in the church basement and enjoyed the bounty that arrived in different forms from each kitchen.  Fresh baked buns, salads, sweets and cold ham never tasted as good as when we ate with friends, filling every Sunday School room, eating at long tables.

On Thanksgiving Monday, my parents loaded up firewood, the fixings for a wiener roast and we all piled in the blue chevy and headed up to the mountain to crunch in the leaves. This was my mom's idea and it had nothing at all to do with avoiding the kitchen.   She delighted in being together as a family, crunching through the autumn leaves and relaxing in the slight chill of the autumn air. 
Rather than working days in advance for the meal, on Thanksgiving Monday ....we lived in the moment, celebrating life as it was unfolding and the abundance around us. Remembering her expression of thankfulness for the beauty of her surroundings has never left me. I can still see her smile as she inhaled the scent of autumn.  

What then is the right way to celebrate Thanksgiving?  It is more than a holiday on the calendar and time spent with family and certainly more than the delicious food we look forward to. It is an outpouring of gratitude to God for his love. During lean years and years of bounty, the gratitude remains the same because we have all we need in Christ Jesus. 

We are thankful for  . . 
  new birth, the children that God entrusts to us, our families, upcoming marriages, the communities we are part, the beautiful creation around us, the milestones throughout the year, the Holidays we look forward to, the gift of friendships, and even though our hearts are saddened, some of us will be celebrating a life well lived. We are called to give thanks to God in all things.  

From all of us at Mennonite Girls Can Cook, we wish you and your family a memorable Thanksgiving. 

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:8-9


  1. Sweet memories of happy times. I know that Canadians are celebrating many different ways just as Americans will next month. We're considering lasagna this year. It really doesn't matter what the food will be. It's much, much more and your sweet mama knew that!

  2. I wore the same smile as your Mothers' all day yesterday, as we did exactly the same thing...enjoyed a camp fire, with all the simple amenities that put smiles on the family's faces. Thank you for sharing that 'simplicity' can also be something meaningful.

  3. I love the how you spent your Thanksgivings together. First, with friends, family and the people of your community after service. Fun, food and friends! And on Thanksgiving Monday, family, mountains, driving, leaves, laughter, fun and hey, who doesn't love a weinie roast! :o) How wonderful to be together and actually living the being thankful part of Thanksgving Day! It truly doesn't matter what is on the table or the decorations, etc. It is wonderful to have something in your belly and to be sharing it with loved ones! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful memory and a beautiful photo! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. love this post! Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Thank you again for the super great message!!! Simplicity rocks!!!


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