Anchored in Gratitude
Lydia Mulkey
November 21, 2023

Anchored in Gratitude
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord  is good,
    for God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 118:28-29

I remember going to my Grandpa and Grandma Anne’s house for Thanksgiving most of my childhood. There were routines to this visit. Grandma Anne would set up a bed for me in the den and Grandpa would turn off the grandfather clock so it didn’t wake me every 15 minutes. Grandma Anne made her yellow layer cake with chocolate frosting and I had a piece after every meal. I wandered the cotton field behind their south Georgia house, picked up pecans with Grandpa, and played games with various cousins. We joked that the only entertainment in town was the recently added stoplight, so you had to entertain yourself. This was the kind of small town where my grandpa still had a tab at the general store down the road. It was a gift to run and play there.

When I was in high school, grandpa died and we started going to Mama’s house for Thanksgiving. The menu was different there, different cousins to play with, and after the meal there were plenty of options for entertainment. We usually went to a movie. There is one tradition that never changed, no matter where we were or who was there. Before the meal, we all held hands, and a prayer was said to express our gratitude for having enough to eat and for each one gathered.

Traditions are an anchor for our souls. That Thanksgiving prayer is like a reminder that amid all kinds of change, God’s faithfulness remains. Year after year though people die, babies are born, jobs are lost and found, and folks move far and wide, still we find so much for which to be grateful. I hope that your traditions this holiday season will ground you. I hope that you will remember that year after year, no matter what else has changed, God has been faithful and there is always something for which to be thankful. May this season anchor your soul in gratitude.