Well friends, the season of feasting has come upon us. Turkeys and dressing and pumpkin pies – oh my! We at Redeemed Girl love all things food so we couldn’t wait to gather around the table for our first annual Friendsgiving. Since we have such a tight-knit team, it was easy to celebrate with friends that feel like family. As we sat by the fire post-meal in a turkey coma, I couldn’t help but look around and feel so thankful for our team! One of the greatest joys of serving with Redeemed Girl is doing life with these wonderful friends.

Depending on whether you’re traveling home for the holiday or you’re having a Friendsgiving of your own (see last week’s blog about planning one), we want to encourage you to have a meaningful table as you gather around friends and family. Lucky for you, Millie has a few thoughts on just that!

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

If you’re anything like me (and I know I am!), a break from the chaotic pace of a typical fall could not come quickly enough! Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to STOP and take a breather. And to stuff your face.

But guess what? The actual act of giving thanks – in general – has shown to be medically beneficial for ones well-being. Seriously, research has shown that grateful people tend to be happier, more energetic, more hopeful, more empathic, more spiritual, more forgiving, and less materialistic. Those outcomes sound very appealing!

Let’s be intentional this Thanksgiving to model attitudes of gratitude as we choose to be thankful for the big as well as the little things in our lives. Sometimes as Christ-followers we have to choose by faith to be grateful in spite of our circumstances. Interesting how God wired us to be healthier when we do this!

I think Thanksgiving has the potential to be the best family holiday of all because it’s not that long(!) and it’s purpose really is to be in each other’s presence while eating insane amounts of food, then wrapping up in a Snuggie for a coma nap.

Let’s all agree to make THIS Thanksgiving different. What if we are the ones to bring some depth and meaning and healthy gratitude to this typically chaotic time? How?

Thoughts and suggestions for a meaningful Thanksgiving: 

Pick one or two of these to try out and see how your time together can be more meaningful than just talking about every little thing.

-For many unchurched families, this is the one time it’s accepted to pray before a meal. If no one else usually does this – ask if you can! Then just pray a normal, heartfelt prayer of thanks! People need to see that prayer is simply a normal conversation with the Lord.

-Technology free meal time: wow – this could radically change your whole experience together! Institute something fun like the “technology offering basket” and pass around a basket to collect all phones and iPods….silenced first of course. Anyone cheats – kitchen duty for sure!

-Play “Hot Potato” – grab a small uncooked potato and share one quick thing you’re thankful for, GENTLY pass or toss it to someone else as they continue – if someone can’t think of anything, whoever passed it has to share why he or she is grateful for that person! This is a good exercise to think on your feet!

-“Remember When?” – every family loves to reminisce and share the same stories 1000 times! Start a “remember when” sharing time and get those stories going around the table! This should provide a lot of laughter – it could also backfire – approach with caution as you know your own family dynamics!

-“Hot Seat” (for those who want to participate)

  • Ask the younger children to share what they want to be when they grow up
  • Ask the older generation to share what they think has been the most helpful invention they’ve seen in their lifetime and why
  • Ask adults to share one adventure they’d like to experience in the next 10 years

If none of these fit your family — make up your own! The point is to be intentional to have a good time together full of fun, laughter and gratitude.

Imagine what it would be like to give those goodbye hugs and know a little bit more about someone in your family than when you arrived! Thanksgiving can be more than just food, football, and Black Friday — dive in for some meaningful conversation.

Approach your family time this year with a heart to serve and model what Christ-like behavior looks like. And remember as you’re filling up with food, the only way to really succeed in Christ-like behavior is to be filled with the Spirit! You’ll need extra helpings of the power and supernatural love only He can give you!

Bon appetit!

Millie Welsh, Director of Development 

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