Holidays often include times of remembering. Because so many things about Thanksgiving are the same each year, my memories tend to blend together. It is a kaleidoscope of a familiar scene with variations. I remember my mother preparing the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and basting the turkey. I remember helping to set the table with a linen tablecloth, the "good" plates and silverware. It was magical. Many of the traditions were ones I brought into our marriage and still enjoy.
I remember the small wax pilgrim man and woman candles that were part of the centerpiece. We never burned the candles—just had them as a reminder that early pilgrims gave thanks for simple and essential things like surviving the winter and a first harvest. They were also a reminder that members of my father’s family were among the earliest Quakers to arrive in Pennsylvania.
In addition to remembering past holidays and enjoying the present one, Thanksgiving provides me a time to be thankful for how I have been blessed over the past year and that I have hope for the coming year. I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I know that God has invited me to walk with him into the future. No matter what happens, the promise of his presence and his purpose are sure.
For many girls, women and families in the world, remembering past holidays may not elicit either positive memories or hope. The good news is that this month we have ways to share hope both locally and internationally. Locally, our Connections Team has introduced us to the organization Every Child Oregon and has invited chapter members to fill Launch Boxes. These boxes are filled with essential items that help youth to get established as they age out of foster care. Internationally, the funds our chapter provides help provide resources for World Vision projects in Central America, in Kenya and in places around the world facing natural and man-made emergencies. Those resources are bringing current assistance as well as opening doors for girls, women and families to believe in the possibility of a vision for the future.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you will enjoy memories of past Thanksgivings and will also have a new reason for thanksgiving, knowing that you are bringing hope for the future to some person you will never meet but whom God knows and loves.
Wishing you Thanksgiving blessings,